History Curriculum

Click on the links below to jump to a particular Year Group:



Year 9

Autumn Term
The first topic, the assassination of JFK, allows students to develop further their historical evaluation skills and the use of evidence to support their arguments. The second topic focuses on social and cultural developments in post-war British society and involves students studying in depth the murder of Stephen Lawrence and its impact upon British society. This topic allows students to develop their historical explanation through the use of evidence.

External Assessment/Controlled Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes; both in class assessments and homework assignments.
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

Spring Term
Students will study the USA in the 20th century – focusing on the experience of African Americans and comparing this with the experience of minority groups in Britain. This will allow students to focus on their use of sources and evidence to support their arguments. Students will then study the Holocaust and Genocide in the 20th century. This topic will allow students to gain a greater understanding of one of the key events of modern history and what lessons have been learnt from this event.

External Assessment/Controlled Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes; both in class assessments and homework assignments.
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

Summer Term
Students will study the impact of the Second World War on Britain’s world status by exploring varying interpretations from contemporary accounts and historians who have studied the period. Students will use a variety of historical sources in order to further develop their historical interpretations skills which will be key to success at GCSE. This topic will also give those students who go on to study GCSE History an excellent contextual understanding for their first GCSE topic on the Cold War.

External Assessment/Controlled Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes; in class assessment.
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

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Year 10

Autumn/Spring Term

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

Section A: Russia 1894-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

This period study focuses on the development of Russia during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of autocracy and communism – the fall of the Tsardom and the rise and consolidation of communism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. Students will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Part One: The End of Tsardom

  • Russia's economy and society: industrialisation; living and working conditions in cities and villages.
  • Nicholas II's autocracy and the court: growth of revolutionary opposition; the 1905 Revolution and October Manifesto; the impact of, and reactions to, attempts to reform Russia up to 1914; the Dumas and political stalemate; Stolypin's policies - land reform, industry and use of oppression.
  • The First World War: the impact of military defeats on Tsarist government; social and economic effects of war on cities and the countryside; unpopularity of the Romanovs, including the role of Rasputin; the Tsar's abdication.

Part Two: Lenin's New Society

  • The Provisional Government: its failure to deal with Russia's social, economic and military problems; Lenin and Trotsky; the growth of Bolshevik organisation; the October/November Revolution.
  • The impact of Lenin's dictatorship: the end of the First World War; the Cheka; the Red Army; causes, nature and consequences of the Civil War and Bolshevik success; propaganda.
  • Social and economic developments: War Communism; the Kronstadt Rising; the New Economic Policy (NEP); the achievements of Lenin and Trotsky.

Part Three: Stalin's USSR

  • Stalin the dictator: the power struggle to succeed Lenin; the control of the Communist part over government; the Terror and the Purges; the army; secret police; labour camps; censorship; the cult of personality; propaganda.
  • Stalin's modernisation of the USSR: collectivisation; the Five Year Plans; social and economic consequences for Kulaks, city dwellers, women, professional and industrial workers; the extent of modernisation.
  • Impact of the Second World War: Stalin's wartime leadership; political, economic and social problems caused by the Great Patriotic War up to 1945.


Spring/Summer Term

Section B: Conflict and Tension between East and West, 1945-1972

This wider world depth study enables you to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It considers revolutionary movements during this time. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

Part One: The Origins of the Cold War

  • The end of the Second World War: Yalta and Potsdam Conferences; the division of Germany; contrasting attitudes and ideologies of the USA and the USSR, including the aims of Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Attlee and Truman; effect of the dropping of the atom bomb on post-war superpower relations.
  • The Iron Curtain and the evolution of East-West rivalry: Soviet expansion in East Europe; US policies; the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, their purpose and Stalin's reaction; Cominform; Comecon; Yugoslavia; the Berlin Blockade and Airlift.

Part Two: The Development of the Cold War

  • The significance of events in Asia for superpower relations: USSR's support for Mao Tse-tung and Communist revolution in China, and the military campaigns waged by North Korea against the UN and by the Vietcong against France and the USA.
  • Military rivalries: the arms race; membership and purposes of NATO and the Warsaw Pact; the space race, including Sputnik, ICBMs, Polaris, Gagarin, Apollo.
  • The ‘Thaw’: Hungary, the protest movement and the reforms of Nagy; Soviet fears, how they reacted and the effects on the Cold War; the U2 Crisis and its effects on the Paris Peace Summit and the peace process.

Part Three: Transformation of the Cold War

  • Berlin Wall: reasons for its construction and Kennedy’s response.
  • Tensions over Cuba: Castro’s revolution, the Bay of Pigs and the missile crisis: the roles of Castro, Khrushchev, Kennedy; fears of the USA and reaction to missiles on Cuba; dangers and results of crisis.
  • Czechoslovakia: Dubeck and the Prague Spring movement; USSR’s response to the reforms; the effects the Prague Spring had on East-West relations, including the Warsaw Pact; the Brezhnev Doctrine.
  • Easing of tension: sources of tension, including the Soviets' record on human rights; the reasons for Détente and for SALT 1; the part played by key individuals Brezhnev and Nixon.

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Year 11

Autumn/Spring Term

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

Section A: Britain: Power and the People c1170 to the Present Day

This thematic study will enable you to gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of protest to that relationship. By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responds to challenges to its authority and their impact. It allows students to construct an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen. Students will have the opportunity to see how ideas, events or developments in the wider world affected the course of Britain's political development and will promote the idea that ideas of authority, challenge and rights did not develop in isolation, but these developments should be seen in terms of how they affected Britain and British people.

Part One: Challenging Authority and Feudalism

  • Constraints on kingship: the barons' dissatisfaction with King John's rule and its resolution; Magna Carta, its terms and its short and long term impact.
  • The origins of parliament: issues between King Henry III and his barons; the role of Simon de Montfort; the Provisions of Oxford and the Parliament of 1265 and their short and long term impact.
  • Medieval revolt and royal authority: the social, economic and political causes of the Peasants' Revolt; actions by rebels and government; impact of the Peasants' Revolt.

Part Two: Challenging Royal Authority

  • Popular uprisings against the Crown: the social, economic, religious and political causes of the Pilgrimage of Grace; the implications for royal authority; Henry VIII and his government's reaction and the impact of the uprising.
  • Divine Right and parliamentary authority: the causes of the English Revolution; the New Model Army and the development of political radicalism during the Civil War era; the short and long term impact of the English Revolution, including significance of trial and execution of Charles I, and Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth.
  • Royal authority and the right to representation: the causes of the American Revolution including the relationship between the government and people; impact and significance of the American Revolution.

Part Three: Reform and Reformers

  • The extension of the franchise: radical protest; the Great Reform Act, causes and impact, including further reform; Chartism, causes, actions and impact. 
  • Protest and change: campaigning groups and their methods and impact, including the Anti-Slavery movement; the Anti-Corn Law League; factory reformers; social reformers.
  • Workers movements: the development of trade unionism and its impact, including Grand National Consolidation Trades Union (GNCTU), Tolpuddle Martyrs, New Model Unions and new unionism, including the match girls' and dockers' strikes.

Part Four: Equality and Rights

  • Women's rights: the campaign for women's suffrage, reasons, methods and responses; role of individuals, including the Pankhursts; the reasons for the extension of the franchise and its impact; progress towards equality in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Minority rights: the development of multi-racial society since the Second World War; discrimination, protest and reform; the Brixton Riots, their impact, including the Scarman Report.


Spring Term

Section B: Restoration England 1660–1685

This option allows you to study in depth the restoration of the monarchy. The study will focus on the major aspects of Charles II’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies. This unit will give you an excellent insight into the crown and court life, what life was like for the general public and finally examine warfare from the period.

Part One: Crown, Parliament, Plots and Court Life

  • Crown and Parliament: the legacy of the English Civil War and Commonwealth; the restoration of the monarchy; the succession issue; relations and issues with Parliament, finance and religion; the Cabal and 'Party Politics'; rule without Parliament from 1681.
  • The Catholic question: plots, including Titus Oates and the Popish Plot anf the Rye House Plot; the Exclusion Bill, 1979; James, Duke of York.
  • Charles II's court: Charles II's character; court life, fashions and the role of the court.

Part Two: Life in Restoration England

  • Crisis: Great Plague of 1665; causes and contemporary views; measures to combat; records; results; Fire of London of 1666; causes and contemporary views; results and reconstruction.
  • Restoration culture: Restoration comedy, theatres and playwrights; the role and status of women; coffee houses; Charles II's patronage of the arts and sciences, including the Royal Society; Samuel Pepys; architecture and design, including Christopher Wren.

Part Three: Land, Trade and War

  • Land: the powers of the East India Company; Bombay; Hudson Bay; Tangier; Captain Henry Morgan and Jamaica.
  • Trade: mercantilism; the Navigation Acts and their impact; slave trade.
  • War: English sea power; naval warfare, including tactics and technology;conflict with the Dutch, including the Second and Third Dutch Wars; relations with Spain and France.

Part Four: The Historic Environment of Restoration England

Revision of the topics studied and overviews completed in class. Students will also undertake examination questions in class as part of their practice prior to their summer examinations.

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Year 12 (AQA, studied over two years and examined at the end of Year 13)

There are two areas examined for this course. The first deals with the emergence and development of the United States of America as a superpower between 1865 and 1975. The second requires a depth study of modern Britain from 1951-2007. Both papers carry equal weighting at the end of Year 13.

Suggested Course reading list:
The Making of a Superpower: The USA 1865-1975, published by Oxford University Press.
The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007, published by Oxford University Press.
Further reading guidance can be found in the A Level History student study guide.

Autumn Term

The Making of a Superpower: the USA, 1865-1975 (HIS1K)

An Overview of the America Civil War

  • America before the Civil War
  • Why did the American Civil War break out?
  • Why did the Northerners win the Civil War?
  • What happened in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War?

The Era of Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1890

  • The weaknesses of Federal Government: Johnson, Grant and the failure of Radical Reconstruction.
  • The politics of the Gilded Age and the era of weak presidents; political corruption.
  • Social, regional and ethnic divisions: divisions within and between North, South and West; the position of African-Americans.
  • Economic growth and the rise of corporations: railways; oil; developments in agriculture; urbanisation.

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007 (HIS2S)

The Affluent Society, 1951-1964

  • Political and economic change – 13 wasted years?
  • Conservative governments and political dominance: Churchill, Eden, MacMillan and Home as political leaders.
  • Internal labour divisions.
  • Why the Conservatives fall from power.
  • Economic developments: post-war boom; balance of payments issues and ‘stop-go’ policies.

Social Change – You’ve never had it so good?

  • Social developments: rising living standards; the impact of affluence and consumerism; changing social attitudes and tensions; class and 'the Establishment'; the position of women; attitudes to immigration; racial violence; the emergence of the 'teenager' and youth culture.

End of Empire, Suez Crisis and the EEC

  • Foreign relations: EFTA and attempts to join the EEC; relations with the USA and USSR; debates over the nuclear deterrent; Korean War; Suez; the ‘Winds of Change' and decolonisation.

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A

Spring Term

The Making of a Superpower: the USA, 1865-1975 (HIS1K)

The Era of Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1890

  • Laissez-faire dominance and consequences; the impact of the ending of the frontier.
  • The limits of foreign engagement and continuation of isolationism: the continuation of the Monroe Doctrine; territorial consolidation (Alaska) and tensions over Canada.

Populism, Progressivism and Imperialism, 1890–1920

  • Political tensions and divisions: the reaction against Big Business at national and state level.
  • The ideas and influence of Bryan, Roosevelt and Taft; Populism, Progressivism and Wilson’s New Freedom.
  • Economic change and developments: the rise of US dominance as an economic and industrial power and the consequences of this.
  • Social developments: mass immigration and urbanisation and their consequences; the position of African-Americans.

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007 (HIS2S)

The Swinging Sixties, 1964–1970
The Wilson years

  • Wilson and the Labour governments: Wilson's ideology and leadership; economic policies and problems; devaluation; industrial relations; the trade unions; other domestic policies; Labour divisions; the beginning of the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland; the end of post-war consensus; loss of 1970 election. Relations with and policies towards USA, particularly issue of Vietnam; response to world affairs and relations with Europe; decolonisation, 'withdrawal East of Suez' and Rhodesia.

The Swinging Sixties

  • Wilson and liberal reforming legislation: private members' bills and the end of capital punishment; divorce reform; the legalisation of abortion; the legalisation of homosexual relations; educational reform.
  • Social and cultural change: the expansion of the mass media; growth in leisure activities; the impact of scientific developments; the reduction in censorship; progress towards female equality; changes in moral attitudes; youth culture and the 'permissive society'; anti-Vietnam war riots; issues of immigration and race

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

Summer Term

The Making of a Superpower: the USA, 1865-1975 (HIS1K)

Populism, Progressivism and Imperialism, 1890–1920

  • Foreign affairs: imperialism; engagement in international affairs; Spain and the Philippines; the Panama Canal; the First World War, neutrality and entry.
  • The USA by 1920: economic power; social and ethnic divisions; political reaction and renewed isolationism.

Introduction of NEA unit (coursework unit)

  • Students will study an overview of seventeenth century Britain before beginning their coursework.

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007 (HIS2S)

The end of Post-War Consensus, 1970–1979
U-turns, the Troubles and the ‘Winter of Discontent

  • Heath’s government: Heath as leader; political and economic policies; industrial relations and the miners' strikes; the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland, including the Sunningdale Agreement.
  • Labour governments of Wilson and Callaghan: political, economic and industrial problems and policies; problems of Northern Ireland

Gender Politics, Race Relations and into Europe

  • Society in the 1970s: progress of feminism; the Sex Discrimination Act; race and immigration; youth; environmentalism. Britain's entry into and relations with Europe; the state of the 'special relationship' with USA; attitudes to USSR and China

External Assessment: No
Internal Common Assessment: Yes
Coursework Deadline this H/T: N/A
Field Trips/Visits: No

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Year 13 

Autumn Term

The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975

Crisis of Identity, 1920-1945

  • Domestic politics: Harding, Coolidge and Republican conservatism; Hoover and the Depression.
  • FD Roosevelt and the New Deals: conflict of ideas over the role of the Federal Government
  • The economy: boom to bust and recovery; structural weaknesses and the impact of the New Deals and the Second World War on economic recovery.
  • Social and cultural developments: ‘the Jazz Age’ in the 1920s; new social values and the role of women; the failure of prohibition and its significance; social impact of the Depression and the Second World War.
  • Social, regional and ethnic divisions: countryside versus city; divisions between North, West and South; African-Americans and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • The USA and international relations: the extent of isolationism; FDR and the end of isolationism and the Second World War.

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007

The Impact of Thatcherism, 1979–1987

  • The Thatcher governments: Thatcher as leader, character and ideology; ministers; support and opposition; electoral success; internal Labour divisions and the formation of the SDP; Northern Ireland and the troubles.
  • Thatcher's economic policies and their impact: monetarism; privatisation; deregulation; issues of inflation, unemployment and economic realignment.
  • Impact of Thatcherism on society: sale of council houses; miners' strike and other industrial disputes; poll tax; extra-parliamentary opposition.
  • Foreign Affairs: the Falklands; the 'special relationship' with USA; moves to end the Cold War; Thatcher as an international figure; attitudes to Europe, including Thatcher's policies; divisions within the Conservative Party over Europe.

Towards a New Consensus, 1987–1997

  • Fall of Thatcher and her legacy; Major as leader; economic developments, including 'Black Wednesday' and its impact; political sleaze, scandals and satire; political policies; approach to Northern Ireland; Conservative divisions.
  • Realignment of the Labour Party under Kinnock, Smith and Blair; reasons for Labour victory in 1997.
  • Social issues: the extent of 'social liberalism'; anti-establishment culture; the position of women and race-relations.
  • Foreign affairs: relations with Europe, including the impact of the Single European Act and Maastricht Treaty; interventions in the Balkans; contribution and attitude to the end of the Cold War.

Spring Term

The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975

The Superpower, 1945-1975

  • Domestic politics: Truman, Eisenhower and post-war reconstruction.
  • Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon; New Frontier; the Great Society; Nixon and Republican revival.
  • Economic change and developments: the rise of the consumer society and economic boom.
  • Ideological, social, regional and ethnic divisions: McCarthyism; civil rights; youth culture; protest and the mass media.
  • The USA and international relations: the Cold War and relations with the USSR and China; the Vietnam War.
  • The USA by 1975: its place as a Superpower; the limits of social cohesion; new cultural developments, including the role of women and the position of African-Americans.

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007

The Era of New Labour, 1997–2007

  • The Labour governments: Blair as leader, character and ideology; constitutional change; domestic policies; Brown and economic policy; Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement.
  • The Conservative Party: leaders and reason for divisions; reason for electoral failures in 2001 and 2005.
  • Social issues: workers, women and youth; the extent to which Britain had become a multicultural society.
  • Foreign affairs: attitudes to Europe; the 'special relationship' with USA; military interventions and the 'war on terror'; Britain's position in the world by 2007.

Summer Term

The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975

Overviews of the course will be undertaken by students in class covering the following key questions.

  • How did government, political authority and political parties change and develop?
  • In what ways did the economy and society of the USA change and develop?
  • How did the role of the USA in world affairs change?
  • How important were ideas and ideology?
  • How united was the USA during this period?
  • How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?

This will form part of their in class revision programme until the students leave for their study leave.

The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007

Overviews of the course will be undertaken by students covering the following key areas:

  • Key political, economic, social and international changes which combined to mould Britain in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Concepts such as government and opposition, class, social division and cultural change.
  • Britain’s changing place in the world as well as the interrelationship between political policies, economic developments and political survival.

This will form part of their in claass revision programme until the students leave for their study leave.

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