The history curriculum at Corpus Christi is designed to match, fulfil and exceed the aims of the broader National Curriculum whilst also allowing for teachers to reflect their individual expertise. It is our belief that the KS3 curriculum should be structured chronologically and be interleaved with reoccurring themes that allow pupils to build upon and apply prior learning in order to progress in their studies. The curriculum will enthuse and inspire pupils of all abilities and backgrounds particularly as we continue the development of the curriculum to reflect a greater range of histories. A thread a black history begins in year 7 with the enquiry into the Ivory Bangle Lady and this thread can be found to continue throughout the KS3 curriculum. In short, this should be a curriculum in which every pupil can find their place.
All pupils will become proficient in using second order concepts in their study of history, becoming skilled in explaining causation, identifying change and continuity, constructing narratives and reaching judgements. With teaching adapted to provide the support necessary for every pupil regardless of ability or background. In addition to this they will have used a wide range of historical source material with skills of analysis being developed throughout the key stage to enable pupils to reach supported and considered judgements using a range of historical evidence. The key stage 3 scheme of work will embed a wide range of substantive concepts that all pupils will be able to apply to their studies throughout KS3 and beyond. These concepts will enable pupils to make meaning of the wider world around them both during their time in school and in the adult world. Our curriculum is a constantly evolving process that will adapt and change as new scholarship emerges and will always reflect themes that become pertinent to our pupils.
At the centre of history teaching is the extensive subject knowledge of the individual teacher. This is an area that must constantly be developed, improved and shared through departmental development and wider CPD. However, as a caveat to this, all teachers are aware of the negative impact created by cognitive overload. There is always a balance between delivering the content to the pupils whilst also allowing knowledge to be practised and retained in the long-term memory. New content will always be introduced in small steps whilst regularly revisiting previous content.
The national curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Corpus Christi we believe that pupils should be exposed to examples of local history throughout the curriculum and not as a discrete unit. At times, the local perspective will be used as a window to the wider history of world whereas, at other times we will come from a national or wider world perspective and return to the local area.
In year 7, pupils will gain an understanding of the local area following the Norman Conquest and the establishment of Fulwood as a Royal Forest and local references in the Domesday Book. Later enquiries in year 7 will refer to the Catholic opposition to the Reformation with opportunities to consider the role of Lancashire Martyrs.
During year 8 pupils will, again, consider the local perspective when studying the English Civil Wars and the 1648 battle of Preston before citing the example of the Pendle witches when explaining the 17th century witch craze. Our study of the Transatlantic Slave Trade will also introduce pupils to source material that reveals slave trading voyages left from both Preston and Poulton. This allows pupils to make meaning of the topic much closer to home. The wider connection of the North West with slavery is enhanced with a visit to Liverpool in the summer. Finally, having studied the changing face of Britain during the industrial revolution, pupils will use images and source material that allows them to assess the extent of change on Preston and the local area.
As pupils move into year 9 and study the 20th Century, they will have the opportunity to consider the experiences of men from Preston who enlisted as “Pals” in the First World War before analysing the impact of war on the town and, in particular, the experience of women in the Dick Kerr factory. Following this enquiry, pupils will study the suffrage movement and this will include detailed of analysis of the role of Edith Rigby, Preston’s very own Suffragette.
“A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.”National Curriculum.
In history all pupils should be equipped with and supported in developing a high level of reading and literacy capability. History is a subject that requires a great deal reading, some of which can contain difficult and challenging language. The department will adopt the key principles of the Corpus Christi Reading Strategy- in particular, the principle of being read to and reading with. Colleagues should take time to model effective reading by, for example, reading a passage aloud prior to the class reading. There should be opportunities in nearly every lesson to engage in reading via this method. Additionally, colleagues must be aware of when difficult vocabulary needs to be pre-taught and this should be highlighted within the scheme. Colleagues will consider this when selecting historical sources with approaches changing depending upon the ability of the class. For example, a higher ability group with higher reading ages may be able to read a source before asking about certain words, whereas a lower ability group will need explanation of certain vocabulary first. As the history curriculum develops to include a greater degree of scholarship, pupils will be expected to read extracts from historical writers. Again, colleagues will consider factors such as pupil reading ages before choosing or adapting extracts. History lessons will also take every opportunity to celebrate and promote reading.
Assessment in history is a continuous process utilising both formative and summative approaches to enable accurate judgements to be made in relation to pupil progress against our planned curriculum. Whilst the KS3 curriculum provides the essential foundations for the study of history at KS4, it is our belief that pupils should not be shackled to the narrow demands of GCSE questions throughout KS3. Assessment will, however, ensure that all pupils are proficient in the key skills and concepts essential for the continued study of this subject by developing pupils skills in the art of historical writing. Assessment of second order concepts will take place through written work throughout the year. Questions will be driven by the key learning objectives from the scheme and will allow pupils to demonstrate their progress. Questions will be chosen by colleagues at appropriate times with moderation taking place to ensure consistency. As pupils progress through key stage 3, the depth of historical writing will increase. Assessment is not “shoe-horned” in order to meet assessment deadlines, rather, assessment will take place when particular parts of the curriculum have been studied in depth. In addition to this, regular knowledge-based testing will take place throughout the year.Assessment of source and interpretation skills will be ongoing throughout each year and will allow for a progression of skill whereby pupils become highly proficient in evaluating evidence in order reach and support judgments. All pupils will sit a summative end of year test in the summer term that will test knowledge from across the year, second order concepts and source analysis skills. This will contain no repetition of prior questions. Overall judgements on progress will consider the full range of evidence highlighted above and will be supported by internal moderation
The impact of our curriculum is witnessed in the depth of secure knowledge acquired by our pupils. This is demonstrated by the very strong examination results received by our most recent cohort. These results were above the national average. Our Subject Progress Index (SPI) score was positive and indicates that our pupils performed better than similar pupils in other schools.
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We are consistently amongst the most popular option choices for year 9 pupils and have two large option groups in both year 10 and year 11. This is a result of the impact of our well planned, sequenced and stimulating curriculum that serves to inspire pupils to study our subject at GCSE.
The impact of our curriculum is also seen in the number of pupils who choose to study history at A Level; a number that has increased in recent years with a number going on to study history at university and pursue a career in education.
The department is a also at the forefront of providing excellent opportunities for trainee teachers from the local Catholic Teaching Alliance whilst also providing excellent opportunities for aspiring teachers to gain experience whilst studying for A Level or undergraduate qualifications.
For further information regarding our History curriculum please contact:
Mr Veevers, email: email@example.com or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.