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Curriculum Intent

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:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological
    narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped
    this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of
    ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features
    of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

Local History at Key Stage 3

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.

KS3 Overview

Year 7

What can the Ivory Bangle Lady reveal to us about 4th century Britain?
  • Be able to use a range of evidence to explain who the Ivory Bangle Lady was
  • Be able to explain what the discovery of the Ivory Bangle Lady reveals to us about 4th Century Britain
How did the Silk Roads change the World?
  • Be able to explain the locations and structures of the silk roads.
  • Be able to explain the importance of the Silk Roads
The Norman Conquest.
  • Be able to accurately explain the key developments in English history from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the end of the Saxon period
  • Understand why the death of Edward the Confessor created problems in England
  • Be able to accurately explain the reasons why William Duke of Normandy secured the throne of England in 1066
  • Accurately explain how William the Conqueror established control of England through:
  • Feudalism
  • Harrying of the North
  • Domesday Survey
  • Changes to Crime and Punishment
  • Castle building
  • Assess and reach a judgement about the extent of change between Saxon and Norman England
Challenges to the Crown and Church in Medieval England
  • Be able to explain the causes and consequences of the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket.
  • Be able to explain why King John has been interpreted in different ways.
Everyday life in Medieval England
  • Understand the key features of life in the town and countryside in medieval England
  • Understand the changing nature of crime, punishment and law enforcement
  • Understand causes and consequences of the Black Death for the people of England
  • Understand the cause and significance of the 1381 revolt
Empire of Mali. Where did Medieval Mali keep its success?
  • Understand the development of Empire of Mali (where did Medieval Mali keep its success?)
  • Understand the legacy and impact of Mansa Musa
What can the lives of black Tudors reveal to us about Tudor England?
  • Understand who the “Tudors” were and what England was like in the 16th C
  • Use the stories of 4 black Tudors to develop and understanding of life in Tudor England
  • Examine the importance of learning about black Tudors
  • Evaluate sources for their importance in learning about life in Tudor England.
Why has the 16th Century been described as a “religious rollercoaster”?
  • Understand the reasons for dissatisfaction with the RC Church and the development of the Reformation.
  •  Understand the reasons for Henry VIII’s break with Rome and the process of this.
  • Understand the short and long term consequences of the creation of the Church of England.
  • Explain why 16th Century England has been described as a “religious rollercoaster”

Year 8

Treason, War and Witchcraft.
  • Be able to accurately explain the causes and consequences of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot
  • Identify and explain the long and short term causes of the English Civil War
  • Identify, explain and prioritise reasons for the victory of Parliament in the Civil War
  • Analyse and explain why there are different interpretations of Cromwell’s rule
  • Be able to explain the reasons for an increase in Witch Trials after 1600
When and why did Britain become involved in the Slave Trade?
  • Understand why Britain established colonies in the Caribbean
  • Understand how Britain became involved in the Transatlantic Slave trade including the horrors of the Middle Passage
  • Understand the impact of the slave trade upon enslaved people in the Caribbean 
  • Evaluate the impact of the TAST on Britain
  • Explain how far abolition actually ended Britain’s links with slavery
How did Britain gain influence in India?
  • Understand the nature of pre-colonial India (Mughal Empire)
  • Explain how the East India Company established influence and asserted cultural supremacy in India
  • Explain why the Indian Rebellion took place             
  • Understand differing interpretations of the Indian Rebellion
What was the impact of the Industrial Revolution?
  • Understand how Britain changed during the period 1750-1900
  • Challenge widely held ideas about the industrial revolution
  • Understand the growth of political power and popular protest

Year 9

Victorian Whitechapel
  • Be able to explain the living and working conditions in Victorian Whitechapel
  • Be able to explain patterns of crime and the difficulties faced in policing this are of London
  • Use modern scholarship to challenge historical misconceptions about the victims of Jack the Ripper
  • Understand why the police experienced difficulties in catching Jack the Ripper
  • Reach a judgement on the validity of the interpretation that “Whitechapel was an apocalypse of evil”
Why did the lamps go out all over Europe in August 1914?
  • Understand the long term causes of World War 1
  • Understand the short term causes of World War 1
  • Be able to explain how a combination of causes brought Europe to war in 1914
The experience of war at home and abroad
  • Understand and explain why men from Britain and across the empire went to war
  • Understand and explain the conditions faced by soldiers from all parts of the world during WW1
  • Examine and explain the impact of war on our local area
Interpretations of World War One- The Somme: bloodbath or tactical necessity?
  • Understand the events of the Battle of the Somme
  • Be able to reach a judgement on the validity of historical interpretations
The impact of WW1 at home and abroad
  • Understand the consequences of World War one on the countries involved
  • Understand wartime and post-war experience of the Empire Troops
Suffragists vs Suffragettes. How did women win the vote?
  • Understand and explain reasons why the women’s suffrage movement developed
  • Understand the methods used by the Suffragists
  • Explain why there was a change in the approach in the Suffrage movement
  • Understand differing historical interpretations of the Suffrage movement
  • Reach a judgement explaining how women won the vote
  • Explain the historical significance of Edith Rigby
“Future peace and cannon fodder”. Did the post war settlement bring peace or just press pause….?
  • Understand the political and economic condition of post-war Europe
  •  Explain the decisions made at the Versailles conference
  •  Analyse the impact of Versailles on Germany
  • Evaluate a range of interpretations about the post war peace settlement
  • Understand the foreign policy aims of Adolf Hitler After 1933
  • Reach a judgment about the policy of Appeasement
Holocaust- Exploring the Holocaust
  • Be able to define the holocaust and explain who the victims were
  • Explain how and why were Jews persecuted in Germany before 1939
  • Understand how persecution increased during the using individual stories from the ghettos
  • Explain when and how the holocaust was perpetrated with reference to the Final Solution and survivor testimonies
  • Consider the impact of Jewish and non-Jewish resistance to the Holocaust
  • Explore the legacy of the Holocaust from liberation to remembrance.
Britain after 1945
  • How has Imperialism shaped modern Britain?

KS4 Overview

Year 10

Modern Depth Study. Germany 1918-1938
  • Understand the origins of the Weimar Republic
  • Understand why the Weimar Government faced challenges between 1918-1923
  • Understand reasons for the recovery of the Weimar Republic between and the nature of change within German society 1924-29
  • Understand the early development of the Nazi Party up to 1923
  • Understand the causes and consequences of the Munich Putsch and the development of the party during the ‘lean years’
  • Understand reasons for the growth in support of the Nazis after 1929
  • Understand how and why Hitler became Chancellor in 1933
  • Understand how the Nazis established a dictatorship in Germany
  • Understand the various methods of control used by the Nazis
  • Understand the nature and extent of opposition to the Nazis with Germany
  • Understand Nazi Policies towards women and young people
  • Understand the extent to which employment and living standards improved in Nazi Germany
  • Understand how the treatment of minorities intensified within Nazi Germany.
Crime and Punishment in Britain c1000ad-present & Whitechapel 1870-1900 crime, policing and the inner city (historical environment)
  • Understand the nature and changing definitions of crime and criminal activity in medieval England
  • Understand the nature of law enforcement and punishment in medieval England
  • Understand the nature and changing definitions of crime and criminal activity in Early Modern England
  • Understand the influence of the Church on Crime, punishment and law enforcement in the Middle Ages (Case Study)
  • Understand the nature of crime, law enforcement and punishment in Early Modern England
  • Case Study- Gunpowder Plotters
  • Case Study- Witchcraft
  • Understand the nature and changing definitions of crime, punishment and law enforcement in 18th/19th century Britain (incl Pentonville Prison and Peel case studies)
  • Understand the changing nature of crime, law enforcement and punishment in 19th/20th Century Britain
  • Understand features of crime, policing and the inner city in the historical environment of Whitechapel

Year 11

Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588
  • Understand the situation in England on Elizabeth’s accession
  • Understand the Elizabethan religious settlement
  • Understand challenges to the religious settlement
  • Understand the threat posed by Mary Queen of Scots
  • Understand the reasons for and the consequences of the plots/revolts faced at home
  • Understand the changing relationship between England and Spain
  • Understand the causes of war with Spain 1555-58
  • Understand why Phillip II sent the Armada and the reasons for the English Victory
  • Understand the nature of education and leisure in Elizabethan England
  • Understand reasons for the increase in poverty and actions taken to deal with the poor
  • Understand reasons for and consequences of the voyages of discovery
  • The significance of Raleigh and the attempted colonisation of Virginia.
Superpower Relations & the Cold War 1941-1991
  • Understand why tensions developed between East and West between 1941and 1946
  • Understand how the Cold War developed between 1947 and 1949
  • Understand why the Cold War intensified between 1949 & 1956
  • Understand the causes and significance of the 3 Cold War “Flash Points” 1958-1970
  • Understand how and why tension between East and West was reduced during the 1970’s (Détente)
  • Understand the causes, consequences and significance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
  • Understand the significance of Ronald Reagan and the 2nd Cold War
  • Understand reasons for the collapse of Soviet control in Eastern Europe


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

Curriculum Impact

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.

9 – 49 – 5

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: or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912. 

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: