Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust
Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust


Intention of our Curriculum

The History Curriculum promotes the understanding of our shared past and prepares students for entry into modern Britain. We intend to develop students understanding of the wider world and situations that have led to our current political, cultural and economic climate. We want to give students a broad understanding of History through ancient time to the 20th century so that all students leave us with a deep understanding of who we are and how we got to where we are today. Key to this will be giving our students a meaningful understanding of how historians form opinions of the past and giving them all the necessary tools to create their own.

In History we want to broaden the horizons of our students and look at a range of other cultures and their impact on societies. We aim to tackle complex issues such as the role of race and gender and topics such as migration and war. We intend to deliver topics that are appropriate for each key stage and for students across all stages of their History education to develop an understanding of how to contribute to society today. We intend for students to gain a good understanding of a range of issues that will allow them to become active and engaged members of modern Britain. We wish to introduce them to key British ideas such as democracy, tolerance and empathy.

We will do this through the study of a range of governments from Norman and Roman England through to Hitler's Germany. In addition, we also wish to impart to our students a range of skills that will help them in the wider world and the transition to the next key stage of their education. These include being able to study multiple viewpoints, from eminent historians, before making a considered judgement and being able think critically about the information they are presented with. In a world where learners are gaining more and more information from unreliable sources we believe this is a vital skill for their active engagement with British Society. We also wish to create learners who are able to apply these skills independently and with confidence both in the classroom and ultimately when leaving us at the end of KS4.

The History department consistently aims to reinforce the ethos and values of Somercotes Academy through high expectations, mutual support, passion for the curriculum area and the constant drive to improve both as historians and as individuals.

Knowledge and Skills

'There is no history of mankind; there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life.' - Karl Popper

History is uniquely placed to offer knowledge and skills that can be applied to the wider world and can be linked to almost all areas of study and personal development. History allows us to:

  • Develop and improve upon a knowledge and understanding of key events, individuals and ideas of the past, evaluating and linking them to the present day.
  • Explore, investigate and evaluate historical sources, learning how to critically evaluate and analyse them.
  • Develop the skills of self-reflection, team work and organisation, and further develop skills that utilise the usage of the English language.
  • Develop the ability to understand the world in which we live, together with developing the skills which are essential in many subjects.
  • Understand what motivates people and understand what they think and feel.
  • Gather and read different kinds of information.
  • Investigate information and can check it for bias or propaganda and comment on what the purpose and validity of it is.
  • Read maps, graphs and other diagrams.
  • To communicate effectively.

We are proud to offer our students the chance to develop and prosper in a way that benefits them for the rest of their lives.

Courses and Qualifications

Broader Themes

Belief systems - Religious and ideological beliefs and how they drive change, conflict and underpin history

Local Significance - Knowledge and understanding of the history of our local area (Lincolnshire and Northern England).

Power and Conflict - How revolution, war and social conflict has driven change in Britain and the wider world.

Ordinary lives - The impact that events have had on people as well as how people have forced change.

The growth and decline of Empires - Growth and decline of empires around the world and consequences on people including migration.

Monarchy and Power - How the role of those in power has changed, the causation and consequence of decisions made by rulers.

Key Stage 3

Students follow a carefully structured curriculum allowing the development of historical skills and knowledge across significant eras and themes. Students study aspects of history on different scales; from local to international and changes over long periods of time to depth studies.

Content has been carefully selected to reflect out local context with the aim of ensuring that students of all abilities study a broad and balanced curriculum regardless of ability or background. We strongly believe that our students complete our Key Stage 3 curriculum with fully prepared with the skills and knowledge required for GCSE study. This is reflected in our consistently high GCSE cohort numbers.

Students study the following units in our Key Stage Three curriculum:

Year 7 - Who Are the British? The Roman Empire, Viking Invasion, Norman Conquests and Tudor England, Monarchy and Power.

  • In Year 7 our curriculum establishes a key foundation for students as they progress through their study of History. Our very first topic will give students an insight into how Historians work and these skills will be practiced and embedded as they move through the year.
  • Year 7 will also explore a number of key 'themes' such as 'Who are the British? and the relationship between the monarchy and their people across British History. Students will learn how the work of significant individuals has the potential to dramatically alter the past through in-depth studies of peoples Julius Caesar, William the Conqueror, Henry VIII.
  • Our locality is very important to our History curriculum in all key stages. In Year 7 learners will explore the foundation of Grimsby as a Viking longphort and how medieval rulers changed Lincolnshire. We give our students a sense of the importance of their local community both in the past and present.
  • The curriculum introduces students to a range of historical interpretations from eminent historians and gives the students the tools to effectively evaluate their views.
  • Year 7 explores a number of interesting and engaging questions. Students will engage with these complex issues throughout the curriculum, building to a synoptic focus on monarchy and power throughout British History which will push learners to reflect upon and revisit the curriculum as a whole.

Year 8 - The early British Empire, Enslavement and the Slave Trade, The Industrial Revolution, Women's Suffrage, Liberal Reforms, World War One.

  • Our Year 8 curriculum builds upon the key concepts established throughout Year 7 and students will continue to explore and analyse these as they approach a new range of enquiry questions.
  • Year 8 will explore both Britain and the wider world as students are exposed to new cultures and identities as they follow a number of narratives throughout History. From the beginning looking at the early British Empire through to Slavery, Empire and the events of World War One.
  • Our locality remains highly important throughout Year 8. Studies of the First World War will focus on the famous Grimsby Chums and impacts on Grimsby and Lincolnshire will be analysed across topics.
  • By the end of Year 8 our students will have explored The British Empire, Transatlantic Slave Trade, Industrial Revolution and Reforms, The Suffrage movement, The First World War and They will have seen how revolutions have brought about change, how 'ordinary' people have challenged governments and ideological beliefs have developed as a result of Britain's relationship with the world.

Year 9 - Europe after World War One, The Interwar Years, World War Two, The Holocaust, The World Post 1945.

  • Year 9 is designed to continue students progression in their study of History and prepare them for the next key stages in their education. Driving Year 9 are questions on the rise of extremism and what happens if this remains unchecked through a study of Nazi Germany, building to Holocaust survivor talks for the students at the end of Year 9.
  • Belief systems will give students a depth knowledge of extremist ideology of both the far right and far left to give our learners the faculty to challenge the growth of dangerous thought in their modern lives.
  • Local significance remains at the forefront of what we cover, Grimsby during the Second World War is covered as is the impact of government policies on the town post 1945.
  • Conflict as a driving force of change will be evaluated through studies ranging from the legacies of World War One, the changing politics of Europe in the interwar period, World War Two, events of the Cold War, terrorism and extremism.
  • Students leaving us in Year 9 will have left with a chronological understanding from pre-1066 Britain through to the 21st century, those choosing to continue History into key stage 4 will have a strong foundation in historical knowledge and skills which they can apply to GCSE without having to repeat significant amounts of content.

Key Stage 4

In GCSE History, students follow an approved GCSE examination syllabus, leading to a full GCSE qualification at the end of the course in Year 11. Students are assessed wholly via written examination, based on two examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World
  • Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

As part of their course, students will complete a depth study on Germany (1890-1945), a wider world depth study on Conflict and Tension (1918-1939), a thematic study of the Britain: Health and the People, and a British depth study on Norman England (c1066-1100), including the study of a specified historical site.

Whilst the historical eras and events studied can vary, our History GCSE courses enable all students to do the following:

  • Develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods, and societies in local, British, and wider world history - and of the wide diversity of human experience.
  • Engage in historical enquiry to develop as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers.
  • Develop the ability to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources in their historical context.
  • Develop an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed about them.
  • Organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways and reach substantiated conclusions.

Learning Outside the Classroom

During Key Stage 3, all students have the opportunity to attend the National Holocaust Memorial Centre during Year 9. This involves a tour of the museum and a question and answer session with a Holocaust survivor. Additionally, students take part in our Academy Alan Turing Week in combination with our mathematics department. Furthermore, wider development opportunities are available through entries in competitions run by the Historical Association.

At Key Stage 4, our students have frequent opportunities to attend additional revision and support sessions, both at the end of the teaching day and during holiday time. This is a vital aspect of their preparation for their final GCSE examinations.

Where Does It Take Me in The Future?

The study of History enables students to develop skills which are relevant to many different educational and career paths. History is widely regarded as a rigorous and challenging qualification by employers and education providers, and this excellent academic reputation means that students are well equipped for entry into whichever profession they aspire to. As well as developing a broad range of historical and contemporary contextual knowledge, history develops skills of interpretation and analysis useful in all jobs, including high-flying professional careers like politics, law and the media.

History links well with all subjects, but particularly the other Humanities including Religious Education and Geography.

Some examples of careers that the study of history can lead to are:

Accountancy, Archaeology, Architecture, Broadcasting, Civil Service, Diplomatic Service, Drama, Theatre and the Performing Arts, Media, Teaching, Public Relations, Journalism, Law, Police, Politics, Publishing, Sales and Marketing, Tourism, Town Planning and many more…

History learning journey diagram