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                                                  

  • How can we tell the story of the making of 'England' before 1066?
  • Why did William win the Battle of Hastings and what did this mean for England? 
  • Case-study: Why was Becket murdered and what does this reveal about the relationship between the Crown and the Church?
  • What was life like for different people during the Middle Ages?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere…the Ming Dynasty took power in China.
  • Did rats and rebels change people’s lives completely?
  • Who was the most successful medieval king and why?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere…the Mali Empire was expanding in Africa
  • Why are medieval wars worth remembering?
  • Case study: What can Anne Herbert tell us about life during the Wars of the Roses?
  • What were Martin Luther’s ideas and how did they ‘go viral’?
  • How far and how fast did religion change under the Tudors?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere… ‘Ivan the Terrible’ ruled in Russia.
  • What was so remarkable about the Renaissance?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere… ‘Suleiman the Magnificent’ enjoyed his reign over the Islamic Empire.
  • Why was there a civil war in England? 
  • How did the government change after 1649?
  • How united was the United Kingdom in 1745?
  • Big timeline: What is the story up to c.1700?


Year 8

  • Why did the British empire grow in the 18th Century?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere…women in America fought against British rule.
  • Why was Britain at the centre of the slave trade and why did it take so long to abolish slavery in Britain?
  • Who were the people of 1745-1901?
  • Did the Industrial Revolution have a positive impact on people’s lives?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere…the Irish Potato Famine changed Ireland forever.
  • How significant was the French Revolution?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere… American pioneers travelled the Wild West.
  • What was life and warfare like during WWI? Independent projects with a focus on colonial service.
  • Was Max Hastings right to blame Germany for the outbreak of WWI?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere… Russia broke out in revolution.
  • The reading of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.
  • Meanwhile, nearby…the people of Saffron Walden go off to fight in WWI.
  • What was the impact of the British Empire in India c1800 - 1920?

Year 9

  • Why was the world heading for war again by 1939?
  • Meanwhile, elsewhere…Spanish civil war (1936) and steps towards Indian independence and decolonisation 1920-1948.
  • Did Britain win the Second World War?
  • How did anti-Semitism change over time? Focus on the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance. 
  • Why did the Second World War give way so quickly to the Cold War?
  • China under Mao Zedong 1949-1972:
    (a) How was China transformed by Communism?
    (b) Why did the first decade of Communist rule in China culminate in the Great Chinese Famine?        (c) What were the consequences of the Cultural Revolution;
    * [Reading and Listening of Wild Swans by Jung Chang  throughout]
  • 'The Arab-Israeli conflict' :
    (a) How did tension and conflict change in the period c.1918 - 1949?
    (b) Why has it been so challenging to achieve peace 1848-Present Day? 
  • ​​​​​​​Black and British: a forgotten history: How can we tell the story of the experience and contribution of black people in Britain from the Roman period to the present? 
    *[Reading and watching Black and British: a forgotten history by David Olusoga throughout]
  • ​​​​​​​Why did the British Empire decline in the Twentieth Century?
  • Focus on decolonisation in Zambia, India, Malaya and Kenya.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Meanwhile, elsewhere…Civil Rights Movement (USA).
  • What was the significance of 9/11/2001? 
  • ​​​​​​​How united was the United Kingdom over time? Revisiting the events of 1745 and the implications for modern-day affairs.
  • ​​​​​​​What is the big story of migration and the migrant contribution to the UK up to the present day?
  • Big timeline: What is the story up the present day?

GCSE History 

Examination Board – AQA  

The course comprises two written exams.