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Curriculum Intent Statement for History

Intent Statement 

The History curriculum at GM school is designed to meet the requirements of Key Stage 3 national curriculum and Key Stage 4 History GCSEs. This is provided through a relevant, imaginative, challenging curriculum which is both broad and in-depth. This curriculum allows our students to understand about and reflect on their place in the world through rigorous historical knowledge.

We cover key events and eras of relevance from the history of the UK as well as a curriculum which strives to acknowledge the significance of key events and eras in wider world history. We aim to deliver a rigorous History curriculum which is inclusive and with relevance to the diverse student population at George Mitchell.

The history curriculum is delivered using a range of teaching methods and aims to develop strong historical skills and knowledge. These include wide ranging knowledge, historical source analysis, understanding of historical interpretations and opportunities for independent learning projects. Development of good literacy, oral, listening and written skills are a key focus for the History department at George Mitchell School.

This leads to acquisition of historical knowledge and an understanding of and ability to apply the skills used by historians. The aim is for students to appreciate and be able to apply the type of analytical and critical thinking required to make historically grounded and informed judgements.  We hope students will develop high academic expectations of themselves and a love of History, recognising the importance of this subject for an understanding of the past and the world we live in today.

KS3 Curriculum Overview

   Term 1 ContentTerm 2 Content Term 3 Content
Year 7Mystery of the Skeletons – Maiden CastleBlack History Month: Ibn Battuta 1066 – Norman Invasion of EnglandWilliam the Conquerors EnglandChange and continuity in Medieval EnglandThe significance of the Black Death and Peasants Revolt  Medieval Islamic Societies and Medieval Baghdad Renaissance and Reformation – from Medieval to Early Modern
Year 8English Civil War 1642-1649Medieval African Civilizations  Transatlantic Slave Trade Abolition of the Slave Trade Industrial RevolutionThe British Empire The Indian Uprising 1857  
Year 9Causes of World War IWorld War I– Trench WarfareKey Events of WWI – The Battle of the Somme –The SuffragettesRussian Revolution and the Rise of Stalin 1917-1925Rise of Hitler and The HolocaustKey events of the Second World War Hiroshima and NagasakiMigration across time and the Windrush Generation.

GCSE Information

The GCSE in History offers to opportunity to build on the Key Stage 3 curriculum.

At George Mitchell we study the Edexcel Exam Board with the following unit choices:

  • Thematic Study: Migrants in Britain c800-present day with Historic Environment: Notting Hill c1948–c1970. Migration has shaped the UK. Migration is part of the UK’s History, why and which groups have forged the modern UK?
  • Period Study – Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91. The world today is still shaped by the legacy of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, why had how did this happen.
  • British Depth Study: Early Elizabethan England 1558-88 Elizabeth I was one of the most powerful Monarchs in History –  what made her so powerful and what were the challenges of her reign.
  • Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany,1918-39. The rise to power of Hitler’s Nazi Party in Germany and life in Nazi Germany.
  • More information about the specification can be found here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/history-2016.html

Why should I take the subject?

History is an academic subject which is highly valued by colleges, universities and employers for the skills it develops – investigation, analysis and critical thinking, as well as structured argument and effective communication and written skills. Students learn and demonstrate an increasing effectiveness in articulating complex ideas, using sophisticated complex historical terminology and concepts. They demonstrate confidence in asking questions and how to maintain a dialogue about historical topics. Historians become teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers, lecturers, campaigners, business people, managers and more.

Learning about the past is enjoyable and intrinsically worthwhile but History also has the added benefit of potentially providing a key to unlocking a better future.


At KS3, students are assessed regularly with end of unit assessments to ensure that progress is being made.  Success criteria is used to ensure students understand what knowledge and skill are being assessed and what progression looks like in this subject.

At KS4, practise exam questions and mock exams, are used to track progress. Students use the mark schemes to understand how to address each different style of question. Support material are used to ensure students are clear about what they need to do to achieve good grades.

The GCSE assessment for their final GCSE exams takes place at the end of the course in the summer of Y11.  In History students sit four exams.

Supporting your Child

  • Encourage your child to read especially history books and historical novels.
  • Take a look at your own family History
  • Watch History documentaries on BBC or You Tube
  • BBC bite size covers key parts of the curriculum https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zk26n39
  • Visit the Museums of London – there are many to suit all kinds of interests and periods of History.


The History department actively seeks opportunities for students to engage with visits and events outside of the classroom. This has included involvement with the Beit project – engaging with local urban environments to stimulate interest in the traces and stories of the past. Taking part in the centenary visits to the cemeteries of WWI battlefields in Belgium. Visits to Hampden School in West London for events on Holocaust Memorial Day. As part of our GCSE course visiting the historic environments of Brick Lane and Notting Hill to support and deepen the understanding of the Historic environment unit of work. Collaborating with other providers and departments for example in our Green Schools group.

Supporting Wider Literacy

Development of good literacy, oral, listening and written skills are a key focus for the History department at George Mitchell School.

Equality and Diversity in History

Students develop an awareness of the connection of the past with contemporary events and the questions this raises for us as citizens and society. In this context they develop respect for and knowledge and understanding of different cultures and societies represented in the community and world. This wider understanding informs an appreciation of the way that art and science have their origins in a range of societies including from non-western and global majority societies. History at George Mitchell aims to lead to an understanding of the role of active citizens in creating change historically and the need for young people to be active participants in the community and globally in improving society.

Further Resources

Would you like to learn about a topic yourself out of interest or help your child? Visit the History blogs to access resources and follow links to the best websites and video clips. You will find previous topics by clicking on past years and months.