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History

Why we teach History

“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it”, Sir Winston Churchill.

At Melbourn Village College the History Department teaches an interesting, broad, diverse and exciting curriculum that engages and challenges pupils through a chronology of British, European and global history. We want our historians to be enquiring, open to a range of ideas, learning new concepts and building the skills to understand the past and how this has shaped the modern world.

We expect our historians to be able to:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘peasantry’ and ‘parliament’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims
  • understand a diverse range of vocabulary, historical sources and perspectives
  • reach valid conclusions on a variety of historical settings including a pre 1066 study, local history, Britain’s place in the wider world, the reformation, industrial changes in the nineteenth century and the role of religion

We have constructed the curriculum with the aim of meeting these criteria, whilst allowing for a development of the skills both throughout the year and across the key stages. As well as this, the curriculum has been crafted to make sure that students have an engaging range of topics that helps them to develop an historical awareness on a local, a national and global scale. The history curriculum is there not only to develop students with a good historical awareness, but contribute to a conscious development of students as thoughtful and engaged citizens.

Pupils are asked why did medieval peasants believe God caused the Black Death? Why did England wage war for a hundred years against the French? Did Bloody Mary really deserve her nickname? Is it really fair to just blame Germany for the start of the First World War? Was Field Marshal Haig the Butcher of the Somme? How justified were both the bombing of Dresden and the use of atomic weapons in 1945?

KS3 History

Overview of content

In Year 7 pupils will undertake units of study taking them from a pre 1066 study, the death of Edward the Confessor on 6th January 1066 to the death of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. These extraordinary years in English History see conflicts between Church and state, the horrors of the Black Death and the chaos of the Peasants’ Revolt. Skills such as chronology understanding, significance, diversity of experience as well as change and continuity will be introduced. We also include a local study on the Melbourn area as well as Cambridge.

In Year 8 pupils will undertake units of study taking them from the start of the Tudor dynasty in 1485 to the end of the nineteenth century. This course builds on the Year 7 curriculum but is very different, whilst starting with Tudors and Stuarts we expand our reach to the History of Great Britain becoming a nation, then onto French, American, Haitian Revolutions and the significant developments of the move from country to towns and the treatment of the poor and children in nineteenth century as the world moves towards a century of conflict. Skills such as chronology understanding, significance, diversity of experience as well as change and continuity will be consolidated.

In Year 9 students will undertake units of study taking them from the conditions in Whitechapel in 1888 to the election of Barack Obama in 2008. This course covers the Twentieth Century and has a global outlook. Topics of interest include the First and Second World Wars, life in Germany under the Nazis, America and Russia in the 1930s, domestic terrorism in the United States, the Vietnam and Falklands Wars and a look at the start of the Cold War. Skills such as chronology understanding, significance, diversity of experience as well as change and continuity will be embedded.

Yr 7 Programme of Study

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

(Bold text links to the National Curriculum)

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

A Pre 1066 study and an Introduction to History Skills, this includes a study of the of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066 by looking at the impact through time of the migration of people to, from and within the British Isles,

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding are continually assessed throughout the course both in class and through online assessment via homework assignments. 

We test factual recall, understanding of concepts and chronology as well as formal assessments at the start of the year and on the leadership of William I, the Hundred Years’ War and the importance of the Church.

 

Autumn - 2

The Reign of William of Normandy, this includes studies of the Norman Conquest, society, economy and culture, feudalism, farming, trade and towns.

Spring - 1

Medieval Monarchs 1087-1381, this long term study includes the struggle between Church and crown, Magna Carta and the emergence of Parliament as well as the English campaign to conquer Wales.

Spring - 2

Continuing this long term study by deepening and embedding knowledge of the period includes studies of the Black Death and its social and economic impact, the Peasants’ Revolt, the Hundred Years War.

Summer - 1

Ordinary People, Religion and local history, this includes studies of religion in daily life (parishes, monasteries, abbeys), and the importance of religion. Also included is a local history study of religion in the Melbourn area in co-operation with All Saints’ Church, Melbourn.

Summer - 2

A New England and local history, this includes studies of Richard III, explorers, Henry VII and attempts to restore stability, as well as a local history on the importance of Cambridge University, the changes to Cambridge since 1950s.

Yr 8 Programme of Study

Pupils will use their existing knowledge and skills from Year 7 history to continue their chronological study of British history, now including a greater breadth of European history and case studies from around the world. Skills will be consolidated, knowledge and understanding will be deepened. The themes and studies in Year 8 include more complex and challenging periods of history.

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Early Tudors 1485-1547 and Mid Tudor Reigns 1547-1558

These topics includes the studies of the English Reformation and Counter Reformation (Henry VIII to Mary I).

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding are continually assessed throughout the course both in class and through online assessment via homework assignments. We test factual recall, understanding of concepts and chronology as well as formal assessments on Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and the American Revolution.

Autumn - 2

Elizabeth I 1558-1601, this includes studies of gender, marriage, the leadership of Elizabeth I, the conflict caused by religious differences in England, the image projected by Elizabeth I.

Spring - 1

The English Civil War 1603-1660 includes studies of the causes and events of the civil wars throughout Britain, the Interregnum (including Cromwell in Ireland), the Restoration.

Spring - 2

Constitutional Change 1685-1707 includes studies of the ‘Glorious Revolution’ and power of Parliament, the Act of Union of 1707, the Hanoverian succession. Society, economy and culture across the period: religion and superstition in daily life.

Summer - 1

Revolutions: 1776-1791, this includes studies of the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and Haiti.

Summer - 2

The Nineteenth Century this includes a study of Britain as the first industrial nation and the impact on society. Poverty, the growth of towns, hygiene in towns and cities and the workhouse

Yr 9 Programme of Study

Building on two years of chronological understanding on British and European history, in Year 9 pupils tackle the most complex and thought-provoking aspect of the curriculum, the events of the twentieth century. Causation, social and political history, the role of economics and race are key factors in understanding the challenging topics of this century, this includes discussions on racial discrimination, the Great Depression’s impact on the wider world and the destruction of millions of people in the Holocaust. In the post war world pupils examine the rise of ideological battles, Genocide in Rwanda and domestic terrorism in the United States.

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

Autumn - 1

Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, this includes studies of the development of the British Empire with a depth study of India or the American colonies, women’s suffrage, the First World War and the Peace Settlement.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding are continually assessed throughout the course both in class and through online assessment via homework assignments. We test factual recall, understanding of concepts and chronology as well as formal assessments on the leadership of Sir Douglas Haig, life in Hitler’s Germany, and the causes of the Second World War.

Autumn - 2

Hitler’s Germany 1920-1939, includes the topics the inter-war years, the Great Depression and the rise of dictators.

Spring - 1

USA in the 20th Century, this is a study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments and includes a comparison between the American capitalist system and the Soviet Communism system, a study of the changing styles and freedoms of women, the flapper trend, a study of the United States prohibition era, the inter-war years: the Great Depression and the rise of dictators.

Spring - 2

The Second World War 1939-1945, this includes studies of the Second World War and the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill as well as key events in the Second World War.

Summer - 1

The Holocaust 1942-1945, this includes studies of the role of Oscar Schindler in employing workers in Poland, experiences of Auschwitz concentration camp, the memories of Holocaust survivors.

Summer - 2

Post 1945: Post War World, this includes studies of Britain’s place in the world since 1945, a case study on Ghana, the Vietnam War, the Genocide in Rwanda and the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

For more information on the National Curriculum for History is available from this link. 

Homework

Monthly assignments will be set online via our home study website Seneca Learning, it is important for pupils to sign up to Seneca Learning at the start of September and their teacher will then assign them a class code. Seneca Learning recaps prior learning, revises topics already studied in class to prepare for examinations and covers new areas, not taught in the classroom. There will be reading, mini tests, revision and work on historical skills and embedding understanding.

Learning outside the classroom

The CAM Academy Trust runs a series of monthly Historical lectures which pupils are very welcome to join online. This will enhance both subject knowledge and interest in History.

Parental support and extension

The key to success in History is threefold; practicing your P.E.E. paragraphs at home, reading around the subject and taking an interest in the History around you at weekends. Recommended visits include: the Imperial War Museum at both Duxford and London, the Cabinet War Rooms, areas of historic interest such as the battlefields of Marston Moor, Edgehill, Hastings as well as the dockyards at Portsmouth.

More information

Core texts for Year 7 will be:

Presenting the Past 1 by Tony McAleavy, History in Progress 1 by Martin Collier and Think History 2 by Caroline Beechner.

Core texts for Year 8 will be:

Think History 2 by Caroline Beechner, History in Progress 2 by Nicola Boughey, Think History 3 by Caroline Beechener, Peace and War by Colin Shepard and History in Progress 3 by Martin Collier.

Core texts for Year 9 will be:

‘Think History 3, Modern Times 1750 - 1990' by Caroline Beechever published by Heinemann, and ‘Discovering the Past Year 9, Peace and War', by Colin Shepherd published by John Murray.

Essential equipment includes a pencil case, two black pens, two lead pencils, a ruler, colouring pencils, an eraser, highlighters and a glue stick.

KS4 History

Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in History (1HI0)

Overview of content

In History pupils will study a British thematic study covering a thousand year history of Crime and Punishment, a period study covering the making of the American West, a British depth study covering early part of Elizabeth I’s reign, as well as a modern depth study which is a study of Weimar and Nazi Germany.

Programme of Study

Year

Half term

Topics studied; skills and knowledge

How this will be assessed

10

Autumn - 1

This course includes studies of:

The Virgin Queen: the problem of her legitimacy, gender, marriage. Her character and strengths.

Challenges at home and from abroad: the French threat, financial weaknesses.

Religious divisions in England in 1558.

Elizabeth’s religious Settlement (1559): its features and impact.

The Church of England: its role in society.

The nature and extent of the Puritan challenge.

The nature and extent of the Catholic challenge, including the role of the nobility, Papacy and foreign powers.

Mary, Queen of Scots: her claim to the English throne, her arrival in England in 1568.

Relations between Elizabeth and Mary, 1568–69.

The reasons for, and significance of, the Revolt of the Northern Earls, 1569–70.

The features and significance of the Ridolfi, Throckmorton and Babington Plots. Walsingham and the use of spies.

The reasons for, and significance of, Mary Queen of Scots’ execution in 1587.

The reasons for the increase in poverty and vagabondage during these years.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding is continually assessed throughout the four GCSE topics with a variety of informal and formal assessments in class and at home.

These include:

4, 12 and 16 mark exam questions

Factual recall tests, past papers taken under exam conditions as well as through online assessment

Paper 2 – 50 minute exam on Early Elizabethan England

Autumn - 2

Spring - 1

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1919-1939

This course includes studies of:

 The setting up of the Weimar Republic. The strengths and weaknesses of the new Constitution.

Analysis of interpretations on Germany and the legacy of the First World War

Challenges to the Republic Left and Right: Spartacists, Freikorps, the Kapp Putsch.

The challenges of 1923: hyperinflation; the reasons for, and effects of, the French occupation of the Ruhr.

Changes in the standard of living, including wages, housing, unemployment insurance.

Changes in the position of women in work, politics and leisure.

Making inferences from a source

The reasons for, events and  consequences of the Munich Putsch.

Reasons for limited support for the Nazi Party, 1924–28. Party reorganisation and Mein Kampf. The Bamberg Conference of 1926.

The Reichstag Fire. The Enabling Act and the banning of other parties and trade unions.

The threat from Röhm and the SA, the Night of the Long Knives and the death of von Hindenburg. Hitler becomes Führer, the army and oath of allegiance.

The role of the Gestapo, the SS, the SD and concentration camps.

Nazi control of the legal system, judges and law courts.

Nazi policies towards the Catholic and Protestant Churches, including the Reich Church and the Concordat

Goebbels and the Ministry of Propaganda: censorship. Nazi use of media, rallies and sport, including the Berlin Olympics of 1936.

Nazi control of culture and the arts, including art, architecture, literature and film.

Nazi views on women and the family.

Nazi policies towards women, including marriage and family, employment and appearance.

Nazi aims and policies towards the young. The Hitler Youth and the League of Maidens.

Nazi control of the young through education, including the curriculum and teachers.

Nazi racial beliefs and policies and the treatment of minorities: Slavs, ‘gypsies’, homosexuals and those with disabilities.

The persecution of the Jews, including the boycott of Jewish shops and businesses (1933), the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding is continually assessed throughout the four GCSE topics with a variety of informal and formal assessments in class and at home.

These include:

4, 12 and 16 mark exam questions, source and interpretation based questions

Factual recall tests, past papers taken under exam conditions as well through online assessments

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany source paper, 80 minutes.

Spring - 2

Summer - 1

The American West 1835-1895

This course includes studies of:

Social and tribal structures, ways of life and means of survival on the Plains.

Beliefs about land and nature and attitudes to war and property.

The development and problems of white settlement farming.

Reasons for tension between settlers and Plains Indians.

The significance of the Fort Laramie Treaty 1851.

The problems of lawlessness in early towns and settlements. Attempts by government and local communities to tackle lawlessness.

The significance of the Civil War and post war reconstruction, including the impact of the Homestead Act 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act 1862, and the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, 1869.

Attempts at solutions to problems faced by homesteaders: the use of new methods and new technology; the impact of the Timber Culture Act 1873 and of the spread of the railroad network.

Continued problems of law and order in settlements, and attempted solutions, including the roles of law officers and increases in federal government influence.

The cattle industry and factors in its growth, including the roles of Iliff, McCoy and Goodnight and the use of the railroad network.

The impact of changes in ranching on the work of the cowboy.

Rivalry between ranchers and homesteaders.

The impact of railroads, the cattle industry and gold prospecting on the Plains Indians.

The impact of US government policy towards the Plains Indians, including the continued use of reservations. President Grant’s ‘Peace Policy’, 1868.

Conflict with the Plains Indians: Little Crow’s War (1862) and the Sand Creek Massacre (1864), the significance of Red Cloud’s War (1866–68) and the Fort Laramie Treaty (1868).

The Plains Indians’ life on the reservations.

The significance of changing government attitudes to the Plains Indians, including the Dawes Act 1887 and the closure of the Indian Frontier.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding is continually assessed throughout the four GCSE topics with a variety of informal and formal assessments in class and at home.

These include:

4, 12 and 16 mark exam questions, source and interpretation based questions as well as writing a narrative account

Factual recall tests, past papers taken under exam conditions as well as through online assessments

Paper 2 – The American West, including sources, 55 minutes.

Summer - 2

11

Autumn - 1

Crime and Punishment Through Time c1000-Present Day

This course includes studies of:

Crimes against the person, property and authority, including poaching as an example of ‘social’ crime.

Changing definitions of crime as a result of the Norman Conquest, including William I’s Forest Laws.

The role of the authorities and local communities in law enforcement in Anglo-Saxon, Norman and later medieval England, including tithings, the hue and cry, and the parish constable.

The emphasis on deterrence and retribution, the use of fines, corporal and capital punishment. The use and end of the Saxon Wergild.

The influence of the Church on crime and punishment in the early thirteenth century: the significance of Sanctuary and Benefit of Clergy; the use of trial by ordeal and reasons for its ending.

Continuity and change in the nature of crimes against the person, property and authority, including heresy and treason.

New definitions of crime in the sixteenth century: vagabondage and witchcraft.

The role of the authorities and local communities in law enforcement, including town watchmen.

The continued use of corporal and capital punishment; the introduction of transportation and the start of the Bloody Code.

The Gunpowder Plotters, 1605: their crimes and punishment.

Key individual: Matthew Hopkins and the witch-hunts of 1645–47. The reasons for their intensity; the punishment of those convicted.

The role of the authorities and local communities in law enforcement, including the work of the Fielding brothers. The development of police forces and the beginning of CID.

Changing views on the purpose of punishment. The use and ending of transportation, public execution and the Bloody Code. Prison reform, including the influence of John Howard and Elizabeth Fry.

The role of the authorities and local communities in law enforcement, including the development of Neighbourhood Watch.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding is continually assessed throughout the four GCSE topics with a variety of informal and formal assessments in class and at home.

These include:

4, 12 and 16 mark exam questions, source based questions as well as examining continuity and change over time

Factual recall tests, past papers taken under exam conditions as well as through online assessments

Paper 1 – Crime Section B, general Crime and Punishment focus (not Whitechapel), 50 minutes.

Autumn - 2

Spring - 1

Whitechapel, c.1870-c.1900: crime, policing and the inner city.

This course includes studies of:

The local context of Whitechapel. The problems of housing and overcrowding. Attempts to improve housing: the Peabody Estate. Provision for the poor in the Whitechapel workhouses. The lack of employment opportunities and level of poverty. Links between the environment and crime: the significance of Whitechapel as an inner city area of poverty, discontent and crime.

The prevalence of lodging houses and pubs creating a fluctuating population without ties to the community. The tensions arising from the settlement of immigrants from Ireland and Eastern Europe. Pressures caused by the increase in Jewish immigration during the 1880s and the tendency towards segregation. The growth of socialism and anarchism in Whitechapel.

Paper 1 – Crime Section A, focus on Whitechapel with sources, 25 minutes.

Spring - 2

Revision for Papers 1, 2 & 3

 

Summer - 1

Revision for Papers 1, 2 & 3

 

Summer - 2

Period of Formal Examinations

 

Homework

Each month pupils will be set an assignment on Seneca Learning, pupils will complete this over the course of the month and will also be required to revise fully for each examination as they come up. Pupils will be required to join the appropriate Seneca Learning class at the start of each academic year. https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/

How it is assessed

History is assessed via three external examinations as follows at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment through Time, c1000-Present, including a study of Whitechapel 1870-1900, 75 minutes. 30% of the course.

Paper 2 – Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588 and the American West 1835-95, 105 minutes. 40% of the course.

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939, 80 minutes. 30% of the course.

For more information about the Edexcel GCSE History course we teach follow this link.

Learning outside the classroom

A full and comprehensive range of revision resources will be made available to every pupil including student friendly PowerPoints on each topic, two Udemy courses on content and exam questions, access to electronic copies of the core texts, topic videos, past papers, model answers as well as fifty eight revision sessions in the run up to the summer examinations.

Parental support and extension

History involves good use of memory, using data and constructing coherent arguments under timed conditions, good note taking, organisation, routinely revising key aspects of the course and completing the online Seneca Learning assignments are all central to gaining a good grade. Parents are best placed to ensure homework is fully completed on time and to a high standard. Instant feedback is provided on all assignments including areas to focus on and areas of particular success.

More information

GCSE History links to the GCSE English and Language course as core skills are related to those subjects, including essay writing, analysis, creating and sustaining a coherent argument, use of evidence.

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