History Curriculum Overview

The grid below gives an overview of the curriculum for this academic year:


Year 7

Students begin with looking at life before 1066, the battle of Hastings, the causes and consequences in Norman England. This is followed by investigations into key aspects of medieval life, problems faced by medieval kings such as John and Henry II, life in town and country, the role of the Church. Students finish the year looking at the impact of Henry VIII on politics and religion, and how Elizabeth solved the problems of her reign.

Year 8

The Autumn Term involves investigations into the English Civil Wars including the causes, the nature of the military conflict, the death of Charles I and the rule of Cromwell. Spring term begins with the making of America, which investigates the life of Native Americans and the conflict with White America. Students will then study the French Revolution. The second half of the year looks at the rise of Industrial Britain 1750-1900. It focuses on the nature and impact of agrarian and industrial changes and Britain’s Empire.

Year 9

In Year 9 students investigate the major conflicts of the Twentieth Century. In the Autumn Term students focus on the First World War and the growth of the Suffragette movement and women’s rights. Attention then moves to the rise of dictatorships in the inter-war years, examining the popularity and dangers of leaders such as Hitler. Students will also look at the impact of war on civilians, including a case study of the Holocaust. Key Stage Three ends with the tensions created after 1945.


Course Title:  GCSE History

Awarding Body:  OCR

Why study History?

GCSE History provides pupils with an extensive range of transferrable skills built up through study of a diverse range of topics. History allows you to build and develop:

  • excellent communication and writing skills;
  • how to construct an argument;
  • research and problem skills;
  • investigation and problem-solving skills;
  • analytical and interpretation skills.

Learning about past events and the people who have influenced history will allow you to understand how the world got to the point it’s at now, and how it will continue to develop in the future.

Course Outline

History at GCSE builds on the knowledge, skills and understanding developed in Lower School.

Year 10:             

The People’s Health 1250-today: Study the changes in lifestyle, understanding of disease and responses.

The Norman Conquest: Study impact of the Norman Conquest upon England.

Hedingham Castle: Study History around us by visiting one of the best preserved Norman Keeps in England.

Year 11:

The Making of America: Study the changing lives of white Americans, black Americans and Native Americans.

Living under Nazi rule: Study the impact of the Nazi regime on those who lived in Nazi Germany and under Nazi occupation in Europe.

More information and the full syllabus can be found at:


Assessment Format

OCR Schools History Project B

Students all follow a linear course which is assessed by three terminal examinations at the end of Year 11; two papers are one hour and forty five minutes long and one is one hour long. Each unit is worth 20% of the overall qualification.

The People’s Health and The Norman Conquest in one exam.

History Around Us: Hedingham Castle in one exam.

The Making of America and Living under Nazi rule in one exam.

What skills will I need to be successful in this subject?

There is a strong emphasis on written communication and the ability to form supported judgements based on a wide range of evidence. Lessons are demanding in terms of pupils’ literacy skills due to the wide range of content. Pupils must be prepared to answer long essay questions which will show their opinion and analytical skills.

Possible Careers and Future Education

Studying History can lead on to some exciting career options, including:

  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Business
  • Politics
  • Archaeology
  • Marketing
  • Teaching
  • Civil Service
  • Management
  • Armed Forces