Curriculum Intent & Rationale
The purpose of the History curriculum is to equip all students with the ability to think critically about the past, and to use those skills to better understand and engage with the present. History is a story actively constructed by those who delve into it, not merely a collection of events from the past. By encouraging an active approach to history we aim to enable students to relate to past events and societies in a meaningful and intuitive way.
Learning history at Camp Hill Girls also requires students to develop some key historical skills. Lessons make use of primary source material, so that classes can grapple with issues of source utility and provenance. The ability to critically evaluate information and make reasoned judgements about its purpose and reliability, for example, are essential for our students’ success in today’s information-rich world.
The ability to write at length is also a key focus of History teaching throughout the school. Students learn to structure and argue a case, and to support it with well-researched and relevant evidence.
History is highly regarded as a traditional academic subject and is now included in the English Baccalaureate in Key Stage 4. The skills developed through the study of History develop abilities required in a range of careers such as law, politics, civil service, the media, business management and administration, finance, computing, personnel and medicine.
Implementing Our Curriculum
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3, our focus is on establishing the fundamentals of historical understanding for all students, in such a way that encourages them to be curious about the past. The History Department is committed to teaching about aspects of the past that are relevant to the students we teach.
By studying the history of a range of places, students learn to appreciate the similarities and differences between different societies which existed alongside each other in time. The curriculum allows students to gain a coherent understanding of Britain’s past, whilst placing this history in a broader, global context.
Lessons ensure that students become confident in the use of the essential abstract concepts relevant to historical understanding, such as ‘society’, ‘empire’ and ‘dissent’. Students are also enabled to comprehend the subdivision of the past into periods and eras, and what marks the boundaries between these.
Key Stage 4
In Key Stage 4, teaching builds on the skills and knowledge covered in years 7 to 9, following the AQA History specification. Ensuring that all students are prepared for the rigours of public examination is an important aspect of teaching in years 10 and 11. In addition, lessons continue to provide opportunities for discussion, debate and exploration of the topics that form part of students’ GCSE studies.
Key Stage 5
At A-level, students study the AQA History specification, in particular looking at the Tudor monarchs in England, the history of revolutionary Russia and the reasons for the unification of Germany.
Students of A-level History develop their historical skills to a high level, in particular the ability to write a coherent and well-argued essay, research independently and to consider the issue of historiography. A-level History provides a solid grounding for the very many of our students who go on to related undergraduate study.