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History Department

Subject Outline / Aim

Theodore Roosevelt wrote ‘I believe the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future’

It is the aim of the History department at Holy Family Catholic High School to enthuse students in their study of History and instil in them a better understanding of the world in which we live. Throughout the key stages overview and in depth studies are delivered to enable a diverse History to be taught which aims to empower students and promote reflection. Students are given the opportunity to build knowledge and understanding of historical events and trends, especially over the past century, enabling them to develop a much greater appreciation for current events today. By the end of KS3, students have an understanding of all the second order concepts necessary for success at G.C.S.E.

Holy Family Catholic School History Curriculum

'Together we step out in faith, knowing Christ is with us and united as a holy family.'


‘History is full of some of the most interesting and fascinating stories ever told, new stories from the past keep emerging into the mainstream. It provides an opportunity to explore politics, economics, social history, religious differences, make links and connections with the past.’

Students will learn a coherent and chronological understanding of the past which will enable them to understand and appreciate their own local identity plus national and international developments through time that have shaped the world in which they live, e.g., universal suffrage and the beginnings of democracy. The pillars of British society are taught in a diverse curriculum which is informative and inspiring.


I believe that the National Curriculum for history provides a coherent, demanding and well-framed vision for what a high-quality History curriculum should be.

There is logical content and sequencing of the curriculum; taught chronologically using recurring themes, allowing to build the different narratives so pupils gain a real historical sense of each period covered. These big stories are the threads that weave through the curriculum. So, the monarch’s power is taught in Medieval Ages and dropped in once again in the Early Modern Period power unit, then again in the Industrial period. This allows links back to the prior knowledge before introducing each new unit. ‘Remember when we looked at power in the Medieval Period? Who was in charge? What criteria did we use to judge how successful monarchs were? History is divided into two types of knowledge:

Substantive – the story.

Disciplinary – the conceptual.

  • Teachers have, and will develop, excellent subject knowledge.
  • Teachers embed key concepts and explore connections to deepen understanding.
  • Reading is a priority for all students, the use of high challenge texts for all is expected.

·         Retrieval practice and interleaving - Knowledge Organisers are provided for each period.  These ensure that pupils are clear on the substantive knowledge I am intending to deliver. This is the knowledge I want students to remember and take away from the curriculum.

·         Modelling is another key to success.

  • Home Learning, is used to reinforce learning.
  • Students can and do effectively use Knowledge Organisers through practice.
  • All students are continually developing their cultural capital needed to succeed in life.
  • Use assessment effectively to check understanding and inform teaching.
  • Formative and summative assessments are used to check and further student understanding, through teacher guidance and feedback. Knowledge tests and half termly assessments provide these clear opportunities. Assessment indicates students’ strengths and areas which require improvement.  Teachers’ planning is adjusted according to student response and assessment outcomes.
  • Consider the best assessment methods, in different cases.
  • Review how we know that students are making progress, checking that the curriculum is meeting the needs of all students, and is progressively more challenging.
  • Consider how effectively students are responding to, and acting upon, the feedback they receive and how common misconceptions are addressed.
  • Guide students to make educated choices for their next steps and beyond, gaining qualifications that will allow them to access future employment.
  • Be regularly reviewed, including through student voice.


Students will be able to analyse and interrogate the accuracy and reliability of sources, they will develop their historical memory, be able to judge what is true and what is not; to make informed opinions. History at Holy Family will promote literacy, enable students to formulate convincing arguments and justify opinions, these are transferable skills for the future and other written subjects. Most of all, the History curriculum hopes to instill within our students an intellectual curiosity, generating questions and a love of the subject. In History we see ourselves as we strive to learn from the successes and failures of the past.


Topics Covered

Homework is set once a week.

Learning Journey Please follow the links below to see a detailed overview of History at KS3.

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


Assessment Information / Exams

At G.C.S.E the department follows Edexcel History 9-1, students are required to sit 3 papers. There are no coursework elements it is 100% exam. The papers are:

Paper 1  1 hr 15 mins

History Medicine in Britain c1250-Present  

Paper 2 1 hr 45 mins

Anglo Saxon and Norman England c1060-1088

Superpower Relations and the Cold War

Paper 3  1 hr 20 mins

History Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

Learning Journey Please see for a detailed overview of History at KS4

Year 10

Year 11

Subject Support Materials / Equipment


Revision Guides


Year 9 & 10 Paper 1 CGP Edexcel GCSE History Medicine in Britain c1250-Present

Year 10 Paper 3 CGP Edexcel GCSE History Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

Year 10 & 11 Paper 2 CGP Edexcel GCSE History Superpower Relations and the Cold War

Year 11 Paper 2 CGP Edexcel GCSE History Anglo Saxon and Norman England c1060-108


KS4 Revision classes

Trips Thackray Museum of Medicine