‘An awareness of history is necessary in order for individuals to succeed in modern life’, therefore students will engage in a historical curriculum which fires their curiosity and imagination.  Throughout their time in secondary education our young people will study many periods and events which hold worldwide significance.  More specifically, in lower year groups students develop an understanding of chronology; political and religious changes; genocide and international conflict.  In the upper year groups, they engage with national and international political discourse; historiography and the significance of change over time.  To support the development of their historical literacy, students are encouraged to debate and substantiate their points of view with concise and well evidenced lines of enquiry and specific factual content.  The ability to critically analyse and evaluate evidence and reach academic conclusions is central to the skills of a historian.  When moving into 6th Form students study political change; ideological challenges and the impact of Humanism on society as part of a broad and balanced KS5 curriculum.

Curriculum Intention:

  1. To present historically accurate knowledge from which students can build narratives about the past.
  2. To enable pupils continually to challenge accepted thinking and suggest alternatives through varying interpretations.
  3. To raise students’ awareness of race, gender, sexuality and other forms of discrimination as a historical issue.
  4. To develop the critical faculties of students so that they can feel confident in debating complex and challenging topics.
  5. To stimulate students’ imagination and provoke a desire for greater knowledge and understanding of all historical periods.
  6. To enable pupils to relate the knowledge gained through Historical to current affairs.
  7. To challenge worldviews which promote racism, ignorance and religious hatred from a historical standpoint.
  8. To teach the significance of cause and effect in the short and long term.
  9. To develop resilience through interrogation of complex subject matter.
  10. To engender critical and evidence driven skills which can be used in a cross curricular way.
  11. To support the spiritual, moral, cultural and social skills of our students.
  12. To teach diversity of opinions in world views.
  13. To present an authentic view of history through learning outside the classroom.


  • A sequential, age-related curriculum, based around key concepts. Concepts will be re-visited and explored in different contexts in order to strengthen their journey through education.
  • Curriculum is structured to allow students to see, understand, revisit and explore the underpinning ideas from the subject to develop long term memory.
  • The curriculum is further built around a process of interweaving topics and self-testing and re-testing to aid the development of long term memory and mastery of both the skills and the knowledge required
  • We ensure we consistently follow our ARR handbook by testing through two frequent processes: formative and summative. Students will complete low stake and high stake tests to ensure knowledge of key concepts are being embedded and fully understood. DIRT time will be allocated to allow students to be able to reflect on PEN comments and work on their areas of weakness.

These areas will be assessed through the following Assessment Objectives:

AO1: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the period studied.

AO2: explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts.

AO3: analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied.

AO4: analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied. Second order historical concepts include continuity, change, cause, consequence, significance,


St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress.

Progress in:

  1. Development of the skills to critically analyse, assess and evaluate historical theories, sources and interpretations including the views of modern and contemporary protagonists.
  2. A deep acquisition of knowledge and understanding of a broad spectrum of historical events, periods and participants from prehistory through the Renaissance and up to the modern day.
  3. Development of all students to be capable of dealing with complex subject matter with maturity especially in areas such as persecution, genocide and religious turmoil.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of the history of these islands, 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
  5. Knowledge and understanding of 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
  6. Gaining and deploying a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  7. The understanding 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
  8. Understanding of 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
  9. Gaining a 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.

Curriculum Map

History 7 Year Curriculum Map

History Learning Journey – 2020-21

Course Information

GCSE Course Information History


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