History Curriculum Intent

1. To gain knowledge and understanding of the past, both within and without the UK, in order to appreciate cultural differences over time and place and to understand Britain’s place in the wider context.

2. To learn skills of critical thinking to question narratives that are put before us and to formulate arguments based on evidence that are presented in a fluid manner with good levels of literacy.

3. To promote a love of learning and active citizenship where pupils see history as an engaging, important and interesting subject.


Why is History important?

History provides us with an insight into our own culture as well as others that we might not be as familiar with, thereby increasing cross-cultural awareness and understanding.   This will develop pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural education as well as underpinning the core British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect for others. 

Studying history is important because we need to know and understand our past in order to understand our present; why things are the way they are today (socially, politically, economically, culturally) both in our own communities and around the world.  There is also the idea that by studying past successes and failures we might learn from those and avoid similar actions in the future despite the notion that, ‘We learn from history that we do not learn from history.

As well as an appreciation for knowledge, History also teaches pupils a range of skills, including crucial literacy skills in preparation for life after school.  The analysis of information and the ability to evaluate its purpose and origin and therefore question its accuracy and authenticity is a much-needed skill in the age of social media and ‘fake news’.

There are many opportunities for students to discuss and develop their political opinions in the KS3 curriculum.  The study of feudalism in Year 7 generates discussion over the nature of power and autocracy, concepts which are developed through the Year 8 scheme of works where students analyse Charles I’s tyranny and the interregnum, as well as the expansion of the franchise in the 1800s.  Pupils are encouraged to debate their own political viewpoints whilst the importance of voting and political engagement is emphasised through the Y9 study of the suffrage movement.  In Year 9 students also go on to study the differences between communist and capitalist ideologies which forms the basis of much of the GCSE curriculum.

Students evaluate the significance of Manchester over time learning about Manchester between the Roman and Medieval era when they study its place in the Domesday book.  In Year 8 students continue to appraise Manchester’s development by studying its expansion during the Industrial Revolution and the impact that that had on people in the local area.  This also helps them to locate the history of Manchester within the wider context of world history as they study its role in the development of empire and the slave trade. 

Key British values such as democracy and liberty are also explored in Year 8 as students look at the development of Chartism and the extension of the vote. Students focus on specific local events such as the Peterloo Massacre and investigate sites of local interest such as Quarry Bank Mill.  They are encouraged to use the websites of local museums such as the Museum of Science and Industry and the People’s History Museum to carry out research in order to foster their interest in local heritage. The teaching of the suffragettes in Year 9 also allows students to further explore Manchester’s role in British values through the study of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Year 9 students are also encouraged to reflect on the sacrifices made by local people in WW1 and WW2 to preserve democracy and liberty through the use of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a project on memorials in their own area. Students may carry out a number of independent research tasks which involve developing resilience such as trench diary projects and family history projects which involve using historical records.

Overall, we seek to foster a love of learning in the History department through engaging lessons and outside the classroom.  The department Instagram page is used to highlight student work and activities, share revision, and to highlight the place of history in the modern world.  The site is used to encourage pupils to complete independent craft projects such as historical cooking and to carry out activities like field walking and mudlarking. Links to current newspaper articles also encourage students to see the value in studying history.  Suggestions for TV programmes, books and films as well as interviews with people in historical careers such as historical make-up artists and the Manchester City football club historian also encourage students to investigate and pursue challenging job opportunities. Lastly, extra-curricular events such as outside speakers and trips to Roman Chester, the People’s History Museum and the International Slavery Museum are annual features of extra-curricular provision.