National Curriculum Aims

Students should:

  • 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 History
  • 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.

KS3 and KS4 History Assessment Progress Map

KS3 History

Overview of Curriculum

History fires pupils’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps pupils develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past.

Pupils find out about the history of their community, Britain, Europe and the world. They develop a chronological overview that enables them to make connections within and across different periods and societies. They investigate Britain’s relationships with the wider world, and relate past events to the present day.

As they develop their understanding of the nature of historical study, pupils ask and answer important questions, evaluate evidence, identify and analyse different interpretations of the past, and learn to substantiate any arguments and judgements they make. They appreciate why they are learning what they are learning and can debate its significance.

History prepares pupils for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. It encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps pupils become confident and questioning individuals.

KS3 History Units of Work

GCSE History

People who study history are explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more, look at how things have developed over time and connect the dots to understand how we got where we are today.  Studying history helps us understand and grapple with complex questions and dilemmas by examining how the past has shaped (and continues to shape) global, national, and local relationships between societies and people. If we apply this knowledge to the present, governments, businesses and individuals can learn lessons from past mistakes or successes and make informed choices about their futures. 

Exam Board: OCR

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.


The GCSE in History B – School History Project – inspires students’ enthusiasm for history. They develop their understanding of the present by studying significant periods and themes from the past at a local, national and global level, engaging with a range of contemporary sources and later interpretations.

Content Overview 

Component 1: British History

  • A thematic study, ‘The People’s Health,’ requires students to understand change and continuity across a long sweep of history, from c. 1250 to the present. 
  • A depth study, ‘The Norman Conquest, 1065—1087’ focuses on a particular period in British history during which the country faced severe pressure due to possible or actual invasion. 

Component 2: History Around Us

  • Students study the history of a selected local site: Norwich Castle. They discover how physical features and other sources inform an understanding of historical events both locally and in a wider historical context. Studying the history around them provides a valuable approach to studying history, and helps students find a connection with the lives of people from the past. 

Component group 3: World history

  • A period study, ‘The making of America, 1789—1900,’ focuses on a wider world society during a particularly interesting period in its history.  
  • A world depth study, ‘Living under Nazi rule, 1933—1945,’ focuses on a traumatic short period in world history when different cultures or ideologies were in conflict.

GCSE History Units of Work and Examinations