Key Stage 3

In line with Statutory Guidance for Key Stage 3 History, we have developed a curriculum that challenges all pupils to:

  • deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
  • identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time.
  • use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways.
  • pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response.
  • understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

In planning to ensure the progression described above through teaching the British, local and world history outlined below, we combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is developed over three years with three hours of taught content per fortnight. In year 7, students are taught in form groups, moving to mixed ability classes in years 8 and 9. Each year is broken down into topics as detailed below.

Year 7                                                  

  • What is the story of Saffron Walden?
  • Was the Norman Conquest really so significant?
  • Why was Becket murdered?
  • Who was the most successful medieval king?
  • Did rats and rebels change people’s lives completely?
  • Why are medieval wars worth remembering?
  • What was life like for different people during the Middle Ages?
  • What were Martin Luther’s ideas and how did they ‘go viral’?
  • How far and how fast did religion change under the Tudors?
  • What was so remarkable about the Renaissance?
  • Why was there a civil war in England?
  • How did the government change after 1688?
  • How united was the United Kingdom in 1745?

Meanwhile, elsewhere…comparisons to the Chinese and Islamic empires

Year 8

  • How did the early industrialists embody the spirit of the age?
  • Did the Industrial Revolution have a positive impact on people’s lives?
  • How far was William Wilberforce responsible for the abolition of the slave trade?
  • How significant was the French Revolution?
  • When did Great Britain become a democracy?
  • What was WWI like?
  • Why did the First World War break out in 1914? 
  • What was the impact of the British Empire on India c1800 - 1948?
  • Did Britain win the Second World War?
  • How did anti-Semitism change over time?
  • What makes a typical migrant story?
  • Why was 9/11 so important? 

Year 9

Bridging Unit– Communist China under Mao Zedong, 1949-1976

In this bridging unit, students will study developments in China in the period 1949-1976.  Students will learn about Chinese Communism and the impact of Mao’s regime on the Chinese people. They will also look at China’s relationship with the rest of the world in the context of the Cold War. This unit provides an effective taster for GCSE-style study as it builds student’s conceptual understanding of key ideas and developments. It also provides an opportunity for students to further develop the skills, techniques and dispositions they may be required to use throughout the GCSE. This unit has two parts:

  • Part one: the transformation of life in China 1949-62
  • Part two: the Cultural Revolution and power struggles 1966-1976

Bridging Unit – Independent Research Project on the Vietnam War

In this bridging unit, students will study developments in Vietnam leading up to and during the Vietnam War.  Students will learn about the causes of conflict in Vietnam in after 1945. They will also analyse why the USA were ultimately unable to win the Vietnam War. This unit provides an effective taster for GCSE-style study as it builds student’s conceptual understanding of key ideas and developments. It also provides an opportunity for students to further develop the skills, techniques and dispositions they may be required to use throughout the GCSE. This unit has two parts:

Part one: What were the causes of conflict in Vietnam in the period 1945-1975?

Part two: Why did the USA ‘lose’ the Vietnam War?

 

Bridging Unit: Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them. The unit is split into three parts:

  • Part one: Germany and the growth of democracy (1890-1929)
  • Part two: Germany and the depression (1929-1933)
  • Part three: The experiences of Germans under the Nazis (1933-45)

*From September 2020 ‘Germany’ unit will not be studied until the beginning of Year 10.