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Sixth Form



The intent of the History Curriculum

History helps young people to understand the complexity of life, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. It also helps them to gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background.

How is the History Curriculum implemented?

At Sir John Leman High School, students study a broad range of historical settings, some of which are studied in more depth later.

Curriculum Road Map - History

Curriculum Sequencing Plan - History

The impact of the History Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 3

The KS3 History curriculum gives students the skills, knowledge and experience to make an informed decision about pursuing their History studies at GCSE. By the end of Year 9, our students will have developed a range of skills concerning how we analyse past events. This includes being able to comment on the usefulness of sources, and evaluating opinions about historical events and characters. Our curriculum allows students to maximise their potential so that they have every opportunity to study similar subjects later in life. Many of our History students go on the study at A Level and Degree; and from there have embarked on a range of exciting careers.

How is it assessed? 

There will be a formal assessment, usually at the end of a unit of work. History is taught in mixed ability groups within bands set by Modern Languages, with 100 minutes per fortnight in year 7 and 200 minutes in years 8 and 9.

How can I help my child?

Some useful and interesting websites include:-

Parents/carers can support their children by discussing topics with them to enhance debating skills, visiting places of historical interest and most importantly encouraging them to read.


The intent of the History Curriculum

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world
Section A
 - America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation (Period study)

This period study focuses on the development of America during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of expansion and consolidation – the expansion to the west and consolidation of the United States as a nation.

  • Expansion: opportunities and challenges
  • Conflict between the culture of the native Indians and the Americans
  • Consolidation: forging the nation

Section B  - Conflict and tension, 1894–1918 (Wider world depth study)

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of nations and states. It focuses on the causes, nature and conclusion of the First World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred, and why it proved difficult to bring the war to a conclusion. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

  • The causes of the First World War, The First World War: stalemate and Ending the war

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

Section A: Britain: Health and the people: C1000 to the present day (Thematic Study)

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place.

  • Medicine stands still, The beginnings of change, A revolution in medicine and Modern medicine

Section B: Norman England C1066 – C1100 (British depth studies including the historic environment)

This option allows students to study in depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

  • The Normans: conquest and control
  • Life under the Normans
  • The Norman church and monasticism
  • The historic environment of Norman England


Section B: Elizabethan England C 1568-1603

This option allows students to study in depth the last 35 years of Elizabeth l's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I's reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

  • Life in Elizabethan time
  • Troubles at home and school
  • The historic environment of Elizabethan England

The decision on which Section B option will be based on the nature of the historic environment.

The impact of the History Curriculum at the end of Key Stage 4

How it is examined?

Papers 1 and 2 are examined in the same way and are worth 50% each:
Written exams: Two papers. Two hours long worth 84 marks (including 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar).

What qualification will I get? What could it lead to?

  • AQA Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in History

From this you might go on to study A level History. A study of History shows employers and higher education institutions that you can understand the views of others, argue a point convincingly and evaluate an argument.

Career directions might include:

Working in media, law or politics industries, becoming a teacher or more specially a museums service, working for the national trust, or a career in archaeology.


History – A-Level Qualification

Examining Body:


Entry Criteria:

A previous qualification in History is desirable plus ideally grade 5 GCSE English Language

Course Leader:

Mr J Hoyle

Why? :

A History qualification is highly regarded by universities and employers. A study of History gives you transferable skills including essay writing, research and reaching sustained judgement. Students will like this course if they are interested in how the past allows us to understand the present. Students will need to be willing to debate and revise their thinking in view of the uncovering of more evidence.

Course Structure:

Component 1: Challenge and transformation: Britain, 1851-1964 This component has five themes running throughout the period; political developments, economic developments, social movements and policies, societal changes and Britain’s relationship with Ireland. In Year One students focus on the period 1851 - 1914. In Year Two the same themes are followed from 1914 - 1964, considering the impact of the both World Wars. At the end of Year 2 there is a 2 ½ hour exam. Students study three unseen written interpretations of the past and decide how convincing they are. They also write two essays from a choice of three. (40% of A Level) Component 2: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945 This component focuses on how a new democracy made way for the Nazis.

In Year One students focus on the establishment and early years of Weimar, 1918–1924; the ‘Golden Age’ of the Weimar Republic, 1924–1928 and the Collapse of Democracy, 1928–1933. In Year Two students focus on the Nazi dictatorship, 1933-1939; the Racial State, 1933-1941, and the impact of war, 1939-1945. At the end of Year 2 there is a 2 ½ hour exam. Students study three unseen primary sources and decide how valuable they are for a given enquiry. They also write two essays from a choice of three. (40% of A Level) Component 3: NEA (Coursework) This is personal study. It should take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years. It can be on almost anything before 1764. Past examples include ‘To what extent was the barbarian invasion the main cause of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the years 376-476?’ or ‘In the context of the Hundred Years’ War (1340-1453) to what extent was technology the most significant factor in determining victory on the battlefield?’ The school has plenty of resources for the Tudor rebellions for students who have a particular interest in this area, or who need a little more help accessing resources. 3,500 - 4,500 (max) word essay (20% of A Level)

Extended Learning:

This will include research and essay writing. Students will be expected to read widely around topic and sometimes present what they have discovered to others in the class.

Established in ~ 1632 ~