Curriculum Overview – Year 7

In Year 7 we start off by looking at the key skills students will use to access history for the rest of their time at St Bernard’s – using sources, using interpretations, historical communication, and a range of second order historical concepts such as change and continuity, and significance.

To engage and excite students, we then move on to look at the Romans with which many of them will have some familiarity from primary school.

Finally we study Medieval England, looking at some of the key events which shaped the nation we live in today. This allows us to look at wider topics such as power, religion, and health which relate to the curriculum moving forward, and to GCSE.

Curriculum Overview – Year 8

The Year 8 course continues the chronological theme from Year 7, but begins to introduce some of the topics which will be studied at GCSE.

We begin by looking at the Tudor and Stuart periods, with a focus on Elizabeth and her reign. As this is a topic covered at GCSE in Year 10, the introduction of this time period, which is so different to students’ own experiences, is a good building block for future learning.

We then move on to look at Britain’s role in the world, moving from the Industrial Revolution to the British Empire, including slavery. We look to put this in context, encouraging students to to develop their own understanding of a complex time. We also spend time looking at Native Americans, giving students the chance to view a period of history very different to our own.

Finally we look at the modern world, including the two world wars and the Holocaust. This is a powerful unit, which not only prepares students for modern world modules at GCSE, but allows us to see the terrible damage done by hatred of many kinds and allows us to point out how this manifests itself in the present day.

Curriculum Overview – Year 9

At GCSE we study the AQA course. Our first module is World War 1. This deals with complex causation, followed by the actual war which is a popular topic. During this we focus on pushing the skills of source analysis and historical communication

We then move on to look at America between 1918 and 1973. This enables us to bring in a wide range of social topics which are relevant to the present day and engage students in politics and the present day. This is the module which requires the greatest focus on using interpretations, thus furthering students’ skills in this area.

Curriculum Overview – Year 10

In Year 10 we begin by finishing the America topic by looking at post-war America. We look at civil rights, and how attempts to achieve equality had mixed effects.

We then look at Elizabethan England, attempting to immerse students in this fascinating but complex period and the intrigue and skulduggery it provides. Having provided the context, the compulsory site study is a focus here, looking at whichever site has been selected by AQA for this examination series.

Finally we start looking at Britain, Health and the People. This thematic module contrasts in method to the previous units of study, and gives students the chance to examine change and continuity across time periods. At the end of Year 10 we look at medieval medicine. With a mix of genius and stupidity, and a good amount of gore, this module is an engaging end to the year

Curriculum Overview – Year 11

In Year 11 we begin the year completing the Britain, Health and the People module, continuing through to the present day. We then spend time reviewing the topic from a thematic point of view, looking at the main drivers for change, and putting students’ learning into the appropriate historical context.

We then look again at the site study for the Elizabethan module and ensure students can answer the 16 mark questions which are so key to success in History.

We then have a chance to work more generally on exam technique and correcting any errors in the style of students’ answers. This gives us good opportunity to revisit the rest of the topics taught for GCSE, preparing students for their final examinations.

Curriculum Leader

Mr N Lovell – nlovell@sbch.org.uk

Teacher of History

Mr M Clement – mclement@sbch.org.uk

Mrs M Vallance – mvalance@sbch.org.uk