St Columba's Catholic Boys' School



Purpose of study

A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.


The History Department has high expectations for all pupils; we will seek to stretch the more able but to challenge the less able also. Appropriate assessments are essential to setting realistic and ambitious targets which will enable all pupils to fulfil their true potential.
As such, the History Department will take account of all issues in relation to equality of opportunity, thus ensuring that there are no barriers to pupil achievement. The S.E.N. Code of Practice will be fully adhered to so that all pupils gain full and equal advantage of every opportunity afforded through the study of History.

Numeracy & Mathematics:

The History Department will seek where possible to support and develop pupils’ mathematical fluency thereby ensuring that they understand and appreciate the importance of Mathematics.

Language & Literacy:

The teaching of History will develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and the development of a strong vocabulary as these are integral aspects of this subject.
Fluency in English Language is an essential prerequisite for all pupils as this is the medium used for the teaching of History. We are fully supportive of the drive to encourage all pupils to read extensively in order to promote their standard of spoken and written English. This drive to promote vocabulary development is evident in the ambitious expectations for reading at home.

Programmes of Study
Key Stage 3

The History Department aims to ensure that all pupils know and understand key developments in the history of Britain from the Norman Conquest to the present day:
– How Britain impacted on the history of the wider world
– Understand key historical concepts such as change, continuity, similarity, difference, cause and consequence.
– Recognise key terms such as Empire, Civilisation, Parliament.
– Understand methods of historical enquiry and how to use evidence to reach conclusions
– Gain historical perspective by placing events in context

Year 7
Autumn Term The development of Church, state and society in the Medieval Era 1066-1509
Spring Term
Summer Term The development of Church, state and society in Early Modern Era 1509-1745
Year 8
Autumn Term The development of Church, state and society in Early Modern Era 1509-1745
Spring Term Ideas, political power, industry and empire: 1745-1901
Summer Term Ideas, political power, industry and empire: 1745-1901
Year 9
Autumn Term Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
Spring Term Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
Summer Term Flexi-time: To allow for over runs, special projects, Covid-19 etc.

GCSE History 9-1 2019 – 2021

Year 10
Year 10 September – February
Option 12: Warfare and British society, c1250–present and London and the Second World War, 1939–45 Warfare and British society, c1250–present
Year 10 March – May
Option B3: Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509–40
Year 10 June – July ( Weimar)
Option 31: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
Year 11
Year 11 September – December (Nazi)
Option 31: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
Year 11 January – April
Option 26/27: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

GCSE History 9-1 2021 – 2023

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements:

• one period study
• one thematic study
• one wider world depth study
• one British depth study including the historic environment.

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

Section A: Period studies
AB Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Section B: Wider world depth studies
BC Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945–197

Paper 2: Shaping the nation

Section A: Thematic studies
AC Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day

Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment
BC Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

Last updated: March 2, 2021 at 8:01 am