Skip to main content
Student completing coursework


Curriculum Intent:

The study of History- to understand, analyse and interpret the past- is important both because of its own inherent value and also to help understand, analyse and interpret the present. To elaborate, we aim to encourage a love of History in our students though the study of the stories, controversies and events of the past, because the development of such rich and entertaining knowledge is valuable in itself. Such study also allows students to place themselves and the UK in the rich tapestry of global human history. Moreover, History develops skills that are vital in the modern world, such as the ability to create and deliver logical arguments, view information with academic scepticism and to debate and evaluate issues in depth.

History is offered as

  • Core subject Years 7, 8 & 9
  • GCSE Option Years 10 & 11
  • IB History Year 12 & 13

Key Stage 3 History

Curriculum Overview

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
7 Britain 1066-1500:

Battle of Hastings and Norman Conquest

Britain 1066-1500:

Life in middle ages

Peasants’ Revolt

Meanwhile, elsewhere: Development of the Ottoman Empire

Britain 1500-1750:

Henry VIII and the break with Rome

Elizabeth I and the Armada

Britain 1500-1750:

Gunpowder Plot

Civil War and Interregnum


Meanwhile, elsewhere: Mughal India and West Africa

Britain 1750-1900:

Agricultural and industrial change- factories and transport


Evolution of castles and Dover Trip

8 Britain 1750-1900:

Social changes- Poor Law, franchise and the  abolition of the slave trade

First World War:

Causes of WWI

Life in the Trenches



Women in the C19th :

Rich v poor women

Match Girls Strike

Votes for Women:

Suffragists and suffragettes

Impact of WWI

Women’s rights in the C20th

History of Medway:

Early settlers, Romans, Middle Ages Shipbuilding,

World Wars

History of Medway:

Medway today

Native Americans

Lives of different groups of Native Americans

9 Migration to Britain:

Earliest “Britons”


Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Huguenots

Migration to Britain:

Empire, Commonwealth

World War II:

Outbreak of War

Miracle of Dunkirk?

Battle of Britain

World War II:

The Blitz



Bombing of cities

Was Britain ever “alone?”


The Holocaust:

Persecution of Jews over time

Events of the Holocaust

Later genocides- Srebrenica and Rwanda

The USA and the World 1850s-1950s:

American Civil War (causes and outcomes)

The Roaring 20s

The USA and the World 1850s-1950s:

The Great Depression

The birth of the Teenager

Enquiry Questions When did Britain become a global society? Britain’s finest hour? Why study the Holocaust? Do we live in an American Dream?
Implication of enquiry question Looking at diversity and the idea that “Britain” has been created through migration throughout its history. Focusing on interpretation of events. Each of the WWII aspects has an element of mythology about it- examining if this mythology has any basis in fact. Study of the Holocaust because of its own importance. Also because it repeats itself. Each of the four segments will have a “rest of the world” aspect to it. Essentially, how much impact has the USA had economically and socially on the rest of the world. Links to globalisation too.


Year 7

Students study 3 hours of History every fortnight and focus on a programme of study dedicated to the history and development of Britain- thus giving them an overview of the history of their country of residence, and enabling a greater understanding of its culture and place in the world. They begin with an examination of the Norman Conquest, followed by a chronological study of the Tudors, Stuarts and the Industrial Revolution. Year 7 concludes with a development study of castles- showing how and why they have developed, including a site visit to Dover Castle- a site with 2000 years of history. In order to ensure that the focus is not solely on British history, there are opportunities to look at the wider world by way of comparison, with the “meanwhile, elsewhere” topics that focus on Ottoman Turkey, 15th Century West Africa and Mughal India.

Year 8

Students study 3 hours of History every fortnight and the course has a more varied focus than in year 7. Students examine social history in the 19th Century, looking at such notorious issues as the workhouses and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. There is also a focus on the changes to women’s lives over the past 200 years- allowing our students to understand their place in the drive for gender equality. Year 8 historians also examine the First World War, with particular focus on Britain and the Western Front-enhanced by an optional trip to the battlefields at Ypres, taking in the different experiences of soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth. Students will also look at the lives of Native Americans before the arrival of Europeans to the continent- a fascinating opportunity to look at a lifestyle far removed from those yet studied. They finish the year with a development study of Medway- after all, what sort of historian fails to examine the history at their own front door? Students examine its history from prehistoric times, through Roman invasion, medieval intrigues, the development of Medway as a naval base to its changing social, economic and cultural status in the past century.

Year 9

Students study 3 hours of History every fortnight in a programme of study based around four key questions- each relating to a distinct reason to study History. They examine the concept of cause and consequence by looking at migration and asking the question as to when Britain became a “global society”. This is followed by an examination of the Second World War- so prominent in modern descriptions of Britain. These oft-repeated stories of the War are examined in the light of evidence, introducing students to the concept of interpretation. Through this method they will study the Dunkirk evacuation, the role of non-European soldiers and the Battle of Britain, amongst other topics. Students then study the Holocaust- along with other genocides- and through this consider what makes a topic worthy of study. Finally, they finish their compulsory History study with a look at the global impact of the USA between the 1850s and 1950s- thus preparing them for the global study that they will experience in whichever humanities subject they choose at GCSE.


History is generally assessed through written pieces of work (although there are also assessed presentations) that examine the following skills

  • The ability to describe historical events
  • The ability to explain causes, consequences and narratives
  • The ability to interpret historical sources
  • The ability to interrogate interpretations of the past
  • The ability to construct supported arguments

Further reading/resources

  • Horrible Histories series by Terry Deary (also a BBC TV series available on iPlayer)
  • Crash Course History an educational YouTube channel

Key Stage 4 History

Curriculum Overview

Students study Edexcel GCSE History

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
10 Medicine Through Time- 1000-1750 Medicine Through Time- 1750-present day Historic environment- medicine on the Western Front Germany 1918-1929 Germany 1923-39 Richard and John- medieval society
11 Richard and the Crusades- and John and the loss of Normandy Richard and John- the demise of King John

Middle East 1945-56

Middle East


Middle East 1979-95



Year 10

Students complete three units of study. They begin with Medicine Through Time- a development study showing the changes in ideas about disease and its treatment and prevention from the Medieval period to the present day. It takes in key ideas such as the Greek idea of the four humours and Pasteur’s germ theory, key individuals such as Snow, Kent’s own William Harvey and Nightingale, and the impact of key events such as the Renaissance and the Plague. The second unit is a depth study focusing on treatment of the sick and wounded on the Western Front in the First World War- covering key developments such as blood transfusions and brain surgery. Students then study Germany from 1918-39. This encompasses the chaotic years of the early Weimar Republic up to 1923, its recovery from 1924-9 and then its collapse and the rise of the Nazis by 1933. They then look at life inside Nazi Germany, including the police state and concentration camps. Finally, they lay the foundations for the study of the reigns of King Richard I and King John by studying the key structures of feudal society in Medieval England.

Year 11

Students complete their study of Richard and John by following Richard’s experiences in the Crusades and his victories against Philip II in France. They then look at how John lost Normandy, argued with the Pope and eventually lost power. Finally, they study the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East between 1945 and 1995- including the creation of the state of Israel, military conflict, terrorism, protest and attempts at finding peace.


Students are assessed in three examinations. The styles of question are indicated below

Paper 1 (worth 30% of the total)

  • Medicine Through Time (20%)
    • Questions focus on change/continuity, causation and evaluation of a statement
  • Historic environment (10%)
    • Questions focus on description of key features and the use of sources

Paper 2 (worth 40% of the total)

  • Richard and John (20%)
    • Questions focus on description of key features, causation and evaluation of a statement
  • Middle East (20%)
    • Questions focus on consequence, narrative and importance

Paper 3 (worth 30% of the total)

  • Germany 1918-39 (30%)
    • Questions focus on causation, the use of sources and the analysis and evaluation of historical interpretations

Further reading/resources

  • BBC Bitesize
  • BBC History Magazine
  • ‘The Crusades- a Very Short Introduction by Christopher Tyerman
  • The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict- a Very Short Introduction’ by Martin Bunton

Key Stage 5 History

Curriculum Overview

Students study the IB History course as part of the IB Diploma. All History students study the standard topics, those opting for higher level also study the higher topics.

Year Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
12S The rise of Hitler


The rise of Castro

Hitler in power

Hitler in power

Mao in power


Mao in power


Cold War- origins

and the IA

Cold War-crises
12H Alexander II and III of Russia Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 Lenin’s rule of the USSR and the rise of Stalin Stalin’s rule of the USSR Khrushchev’s rule of the USSR Brezhnev’s rule of the USSR
13S Cold War-impact

Civil Rights in the USA

Civil Rights in the USA

Apartheid in South Africa

Revision Revision
13H Gorbachev and the collapse of the USSR Yeltsin’s rule of Russia Revision Revision


Year 12

At standard level, students study three dictators. They examine the rise and rule of Hitler in Germany, the rise of Castro in Cuba and the rule of Mao in China. This allows students to compare and contrast single-party states from both the political left and political right in three regions of the world- Europe, the Americas and Asia. Students also study the Cold War, the period of ideological, political, economic and military struggle that dominated the second half of the Twentieth Century. In Year 12, they study its origins and escalation. Students also start their internal assessment. The topic for the IA is a personal choice where they must pick any topic from History (so long as it is not covered in their IB studies) and then research it to produce an essay and a piece of sourcework.

In addition to their standard level studies, those students who choose higher level History focus on Russia and the USSR. In year 12, this entails an examination of late Tsarist Russia under the rule of Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. This is followed by a study of the fall of Tsarism in the revolutions of 1917. They then study the rule of the four main leaders of the Soviet Union- Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev.

Year 13

Students complete their standard level studies by examining the end of the Cold War. This is then followed by the study of civil rights movements in two continents. The first being the civil rights movement in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s and the second being the campaign against Apartheid in South Africa.

In addition to their standard level studies, higher level students complete their study of the USSR by looking at its collapse under the rule of Gorbachev. Finally, they look at the leadership of Yeltsin of Russia in the decade that followed the collapse.


Paper Description Standard Level Higher Level
IA An individual study into a topic of the student’s choice encompassing an essay and source evaluation. 25% 20%

60 mins

US Civil Rights and Apartheid. The exam will be on one of these two topics. The questions are source based. 30% 20%

90 mins

Single-party states (Hitler’s Germany, Castro’s Cuba and Mao’s China) and the Cold War. Students write two essays, one on each topic. 45% 25%

150 mins

Russia and the USSR from 1850-2000

Students write three essays from a choice of four.


N/A 35%

Further reading/resources


  • In Defence of History’ by Richard Evans
  • ‘History Hit‘ a podcast channel run by Dan Snow
  • History Today’ Magazine
  • ‘She-Wolves’ by Helen Castor
  • ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History’ by David Olusoga (also a BBC TV series)
  • ‘The Plantagenets’ by Dan Jones
  • ‘The Origins of the Second World War’ by AJP Taylor
  • ‘Citizens’ by Simon Schama


  • Mao- A Very Short Introduction’ by Delia Davin
  • ‘The Cold War’ by John Lewis Gaddis
  • Penguin History of Modern China’ by Jonathan Fenby
  • ‘The Nazis: A Warning From History’ by Laurence Rees (also a documentary series)
  • ‘Cuba: A New History’ by Richard Gott


  • The Court of the Red Tsar’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Penguin History of Modern Russia’ by Robert Service
  • The Russian Revolution- A Very Short Introduction’ by S A Smith


British Values:

British Values in History and Politics

Democracy: The basis for the evolution of UK democracy is taught in KS3 with issues such as suffragettes and the extension of the franchise. Abuses of democracy are examined at GCSE and sixth form- examining single party states and their impact. Politics AL unit 1 explicitly examines the nature of democracy. The nature of democracy and liberal values is used as a perspective in Global Politics at IB.

Rule of law: The developing idea of rule of law is looked at in History through Magna Carta- both in KS3 and GCSE. International law and human rights law is explored in Global Politics. The role of the Supreme Court in the USA and UK is explored in AL Politics.

Individual Liberty: Growth of individual liberty is explored in the KS3 History curriculum- such as increasing rights for women and the ending of the slave trade. Liberty as a concept is explored in ideologies and perspectives in Politics and Global Politics. The idea of individual rights is fundamental to the study of Global Politics.

Mutual respect: Respect for other cultures is encouraged through the study of these from Y8 onwards- examining Germany, Mughal India, China, Russia and the USA amongst others. Immigration through time unit looks at the development of the UK’s diverse cultures (which links to the 5th strand too).

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs: Different ideological perspectives are explored in Politics and Global Politics- including concepts such as relativism that explicitly deal with equality of belief systems. The catastrophic consequences of intolerance are looked at in units on genocide and Nazi Germany.