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History is an ever-developing and popular subject at Goodwin Academy.  Over half of our year 11s study History GCSE, with improving results over recent years, including success at  A level.  This popularity and success is due to our specialist and committed team of teachers who have a real enthusiasm for History and its importance within the wider life of the Academy.  As a department, we love our subject and endeavour to guide our students to develop their love of this great and relevant subject!

Curriculum Intent 

The History department aims to empower young people to be curious and question the world around them.  Using the lens of History and its associated skills, we teach students to reach their own justifiable answers to the questions that are important to them as young adults about the nature of the society  they will inherit.  It is our ambition, as a History department, to strike a balance between understanding Historical chronology and  guiding young adults in the development of skills to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners.  We have structured our curriculum by historical periods whilst still offering a focus on theme at specific points in the year.

The History curriculum is underpinned by a set of skills which the department believe will best support our young people to engage with History and develop as Historians.  These skills, combined with topics,  form the basis of our assessment programme with each skill developing in complexity and challenge over time.  Students of all abilities and needs demonstrate success and progress.

The History department have accounted for the context and challenge of our school community in considering the topics for study.  We offer a broad, diverse and progressive curriculum which allows students to challenge their own mind-sets and pre-conceptions of the world, offering them powerful knowledge to face society.  We create a learning environment where students find enjoyment of their History studies, feel respected and safe enough to develop their voices, and become their BEST selves.

KS3, Years 7, 8 & 9 History

Throughout Key Stage Three, students will attend four History lessons over the two week timetable.  Students will build an understanding of History through a chronological approach starting with the Roman occupation of Britain in Year 7 to modern political themes in Year 9.  However, we also begin and end each year with a thematic study to broaden students’ cultural capital.  You can view our Key Stage Three journey below.

Our Key Stage Three curriculum has been designed to develop our students’ sense of enquiry and investigation through the selected topics and the skills chosen to complement each topic. These skills have been colour coded on the Keys Stage Three journey below.

The History curriculum at Key Stage Three will support our learners whether or not they choose to study History at GCSE or beyond.  However, the curriculum has been created as a journey to prepare our students in their GCSE studies through our selection of topics and skills.  These topics and skills reflect the Key Stage Four curriculum so students will be well equipped for success when selecting History as a GCSE option.

The History department practises the Thinking principles of the school, using them to support our students to develop critical thinking.  We employ debate, source work, role play and written work. As a department, we use metacognitive strategies, including recall and review, to ensure students can build on prior learning and develop a deep understanding of the skills employed in History.  This creates confident learners, able to explore and explain historical and thematic links.

To further support all students, including SEND, as a department we focus on effective teaching principles that includes sequencing History topics logically, building on prior knowledge through themes and chronology, our sequencing model is made explicit to all students. All students will experience a high quality curriculum and all students will be expected to complete the same learning journey, but support and challenge will be provided where necessary to allow all students to access the curriculum appropriately for their needs.

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KS4, Year 10 & 11 GCSE History

In Key Stage Four, students follow the Pearson Edexcel course, culminating in three examination papers.

The topics covered are:

Paper 1:  Thematic study & Historic environment

Medicine in Britain, c1250–present

The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches

Paper 2:  Period study & British depth study

The American West, c1835–c1895

Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88

Paper 3:  Modern depth Study

Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

In Year 10,  students study Medicine, Elizabeth and begin the American areas of the course.

In Year 11 students complete the American West and begin Weimar and Nazi Germany with time for supported revision before the exams.

To help all learners, including SEND, to access GCSE content we focus on high quality teaching, alongside the use of a wide range of supportive resources for example flow mapping the question which allows our students to be confident of the structure required and gives them an easily replicable planning method, visualisers to decode exam questions and model expected answers in real time. Literacy is a constant focus for the History department, as such we have introduced a homework rota where Vocabulary and literacy is a focus for 2 weeks of our 4 week homework rota. Through carefully planned & interleaved retrieval practice in all lessons, we hope to build student confidence over time and develop meaningful memory connections, building on student Schema. Where exam arrangements are required, including readers, scribes and word processing, we work closely with relevant departments to ensure this provision is provided.

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The History curriculum at Goodwin Academy has been deliberately selected and developed at both KS3 & KS4 to support our students in their next steps, be that in Further education or on their chosen Career.

The skills that our curriculum has been built around are explicitly taught and easily transferable to a range of careers, in addition the historical knowledge that History students at Goodwin are entitled to, aims to develop cultural capital giving our young people the powerful knowledge required to move to their next steps:

  • Journalist
  • Lawyer/solicitor
  • Media Researcher
  • Genealogist
  • Computer Game Developer/Researcher
  • Museum Curator
  • Museum Education Officer
  • Heritage Industry
  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist/Records Manager



The History department Twitter page is a great source of topical and relevant links and information for all year groups. Goodwin

Access the entire History today archive to challenge your understanding of historical events with a contemporary twist. See your history teacher for log in and password.  The History department Twitter page is a great source of topical and relevant links and information for all year groups.nt is a great source of relevant and topical links and info on the his

A wealth of resources are available at BBC Bitsize for students in all year groups.

Meanwhile else where gives students the opportunity to broaden their historical knowledge by looking at histories from across the world.

History Extra provide History Podcasts on a wide range of topics and time periods.

Home School History is a podcast which was produced during lockdown by one of the makers of Horrible Histories.

All students will have access to GCSE pod and the History recourses.

Fundamental British Values

FBV is at the very core of History at Goodwin Academy. During students’ time studying History, they will be given the opportunity to understand why Britain is the way it is for them. Through out our curriculum we look explicitly at all of the Fundamental British Values.

  • Democracy is revisited from its earliest moments in British history with the Saxons all the way to the making of modern democracy in Britain today.
  • Rule of Law is considered across a number of topics including, Protest: The Power of the Church, the Five and The End of Slavery.
  • Tolerance of different Cultures and Religions is an area which the History department has given particular attention to, and can be seen in topics such as immigration through time, Reformation and Counter Reformation, Black Tudors and The East India Company.
  • Mutual Respect has a light shone on it through topics such as Edith Swann Neck, The Five, Protest (where we look at the growth of Women’s and LGBT+ rights as well as an important focus on Genocide).
  • Individual Liberty is considered not only through the topics we teach but also through the way we talk about the past and its relationship to the present.

Further Reading

All of the following books will be available to Borrow from the History library located in room 121.

Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufmann

The Five by Halle Rubenhold

Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

The Story of Art by E. H. Gombrich

Elizabeth I by Helen Castor

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

by William Byrum

The Shortest History of Germany by James Hawes