Course Explorer | Highcliffe School

Course Explorer


Subject Mission Statement

The History department intends to deliver a broad and diverse History curriculum that encourages students to investigate the past through the study of competing narratives. Students develop historical skills through a rigorous and challenging curriculum that equips them to explore the past.


The aims of the KS3 curriculum are;
To cover the substantive knowledge that will best help students understand the Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History topics they will encounter at KS4.
To build up skills towards those required by GCSE questions, especially providing support for new elements like writing analytical narrative.
To give students the opportunity to look at history across a range of timescales, preparing them for depth, breadth and thematic units at GCSE.


KS3 Intent Statement

At Key Stage 3, students are given the opportunity to study a broad and diverse curriculum, consisting of a range of topics in British, European and world History over a 1000 year period. Students are introduced to core narrative threads that underpin political, ideological, religious, economic and social themes. In Year Seven, students will focus on Conquest, Christianity and Crisis. In Year Eight, the students focus around the age of Power and Revolution, and finally in Year Nine, students will engage with 20th Century conflict, turning points and its impact on everyday people. The curriculum also provides students with a component of cultural capital with links to elements in local society, and an understanding of the wider world.
Many of the topics taught at Key stage three, allow for enquiries into the diverse experiences of women, the indigenous people of America, those implicated in the slave trade and working class people. This enables students to appreciate the diversity of peoples experiences in the past.
Students will be introduced, in Year Seven, to a range of historical skills, through rigorous and challenging activities, which both engage and inspire students. The Key Stage 3 curriculum at Highcliffe School, equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to continue their journey to both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

KS3 Learning Journey


Period/geographical links: British early modern history
Thematic links: the nature of international rivalry
Thematic/period links: the role of the USA internationally in the twentieth century

KS4 Intent Statement

At Key Stage 4, students follow the Edexcel 9-1 History Curriculum which allows for a broad and diverse study. Students explore Medicine Through Time and the Western Front, Early Elizabethan England, The Cold War, and USA: Conflict at Home and Abroad. The enquires taught allow students to embed and recall key knowledge and skills that are required for students to successfully achieve. The units taught at Key Stage 4 enable students to explore complexities within social, political, and economic History.
Medicine Through Time provides students with an understanding of the invisible forces of History over a broad period where they are able to develop clear comparisons between time periods and identify where continuities and changes occur throughout the past. Early Elizabethan England offers students a focused, in-depth enquiry into a transformative era of British History, with clear conceptual links to both the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 5 curriculum. The Cold War enables students to gain a well-rounded, secure understanding of the context of contemporary international relations and the consequences of political decisions. Finally, USA: Conflict at Home and Abroad provides students with an in-depth enquiry into the forces of social and political change, from individual and collective activism to high-level policymaking and international relations.
All units at Key Stage 4 challenge and inspire students to engage with competing narratives and analysis of evidence. Through a range of rigorous assessment points, students will develop the skills to study History with confidence and understand the significance of events from the past and explain how they have shaped Britain and the world. The History Department aims to inspire students further in their learning beyond the taught curriculum with a programme of outside of the classroom opportunities, guest speakers, and academic engagement.

Qualification Details

Exam Board: Edexcel
Qualification Title: History
Qualification Specification Code: H7
Qualification Webpage: Click here to visit the Edexcel webpage for the specification.

Why should I study this course?

History is a very valuable and well respected subject and involves:
Learning about people - how they interact, the motives and emotions that can tear people apart into rival factions or help them to work together for a common cause (useful knowledge for team-building at work!)
Learning about countries, societies and cultures - so many of today's conflicts and alliances have their roots in the past; how can you negotiate with, trade successfully with, or report on a country if you know nothing of its history?
Learning to locate and sift facts - to identify truth and recognise myth, propaganda and downright lies (useful in every aspect of life!)
Presenting what you've learned in a way that makes sense to others - whether in graphs, essays or illustrated reports - and having the confidence to defend your findings.

What knowledge and/or skills will I need?

Background knowledge for many of the topics is covered at KS3, an understanding of the importance of religion to British Society before 1700 is important. You need to be able to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the periods studied. Explain and analyse historical events and periods and be able to analyse, evaluate and use sources to make substantiated judgements. And analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied.

What will I study in this qualification?

How will I be assessed?

Three written exam papers at the end of Year 11.
Paper One – Medicine through time 1 hour 15 mins (30%)
Paper Two – Superpower Relations and the Cold War AND Early Elizabethan England 1 hour 45 minutes (40%)
Paper Three - America: Conflict at Home and Abroad (Civil Rights and Vietnam) 1 hour 20 minutes (30%)

Possible Career Paths

Law, Museums and Galleries, Historic Houses, Heritage Sites and Organisations, Record Offices, Archives, Libraries and Universities, Archaeology and Architecture, Conservation and Horticulture, National and Local Government, the Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service, The Media, The Police and Armed Forces, Teaching in Schools,


A Level History lends itself to detailed discussion and the sharing of ideas and interpretations. It builds on key skills of logic and reasoning as well as studying the views of different Historians. Unit 1 focuses on the Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War 1603-1660 and includes a source enquiry study on the execution of Charles I and the Interregnum 1646-1660. Unit 2 examines the impact of WW1 on Germany, the rise of Hitler, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, the impact of WW2 and the defeat of Germany and the Federal Republic and the GDR 1949–1963. Unit 3 covers the study study of different groups in US society and how their civil rights change. These groups are African Americans, woman, trade unions and Native Americans in the period 1865-1992. In Unit 4 students will produce an in-depth study of between 3000-4000 words about a historical controversy of their choice: developing planning, organisational and research skills in extended writing.

KS5 Intent Statement

The Key Stage 5 curriculum offers students the
opportunity to explore a broad and diverse curriculum through the OCR exam
board. Students in Year 12 study two pivotal moments in British and European
History through the exploration of the Causes of the English Civil War and the
Rise of Nazi Germany. Students in Year 13 investigate a diverse history of
different marginalised groups in American society and their competing
narratives through an in-depth study of Civil Rights in the USA. These topics
encourage students to study in greater depth the topics that they have been
introduced to at Key stage 3 and 4, allowing students to pick up core narrative
threads that underpin political, ideological, religious, economic and social

Furthermore, the History department aims to
inspire students further in their learning, beyond the taught curriculum with a
programme of outside of the classroom opportunities, guest speakers, Top
University event; which are carefully targeted to encourage vulnerable student
groups’ to participate.

Students can further develop their historical
skills of analysis of contemporary documents, evaluation of a range of academic
interpretations, and engagement with contemporary historical debate and are
able to communicate their ideas clearly and convincingly. Ultimately
culminating in the 4000 word essay based independent enquiry, of their choice,
which allows students to utilise the skills set that they have mastered
throughout their study of History at Highcliffe School. This rigorous and
challenging project is a culmination of seven years of historical study which
ultimately prepares students for further academic study.

Qualification Details

Exam Board: OCR
Qualification Title: History
Qualification Specification Code: H505
Qualification Webpage: Click here to visit the OCR webpage for the specification.

Entry Requirements

Standard Sixth Form entry requirements

What will I study in this qualification?

Possible Career Paths

History lends itself to a variety of degree courses including Law, International Relations, Politics, Economics Journalism, Business and Finance and of course History. History is also a popular choice for joint honours degrees with subjects such as: English Literature, International Relations, Languages, Politics, Economics and American Studies. History supports careers and Higher Education courses in Legal professions, Journalism, Diplomacy, Social Work, Teaching, Heritage Organisations and the Security Services. Our aim is to create independent learners, critical thinkers and decision-makers – all personal assets that can make them stand out as they progress to higher education and/or the workplace.

Who should I speak to if I need further information?

Mrs Roberts

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