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The history curriculum at Ribblesdale aims to engage pupils in developing their natural curiosity about the past and the world they live in through the delivery of well-resourced lessons and current historical thinking. Schemes of learning have been methodically planned so that they are carefully sequenced and crafted to demonstrate the relevance of history and how it has shaped society, culture and the politics of the 21st century.

Pupils develop their historical knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills so that they are able to form strong arguments of their own, supported with evidence. Studying history, pupils develop their disciplinary thinking, exploring the past from multiple perspectives and viewpoints so that their understanding of the past is rich, broad and intertwined with previous learning and cross-curricular knowledge.

The subject-specialist history department has over 80 years of teaching experience combined, with each member of the department specialising in a different period of history. All are members of the Historical Association and continue to develop their historical knowledge through engaging with current Historians’ research and work, as well as research-based teaching techniques. We want our pupils to understand that history is not fixed – it does not stand still!

KS3 - History

Pupils approach their learning in history with a chronological framework so that they can identify how substantive concepts like parliament, democracy, the monarchy and the role of the Church has changed over time. Disciplinary knowledge is taught over time, so pupils develop these key skills to become confident Historians by the end of KS3.

Year 7 begin their learning by examining the Vikings and looking at their impact in the north west, before moving on to studying the Battle of Hastings and the impact of the Normans on England. Knowledge of key monarchs from the Medieval period and into the Early Modern era is continued; pupils examine the changing relationship between the monarch and parliament and the monarch and Church over these periods of time.

Different peoples’ experiences are explored throughout KS3, so pupils can identify the diversity which has existed in Britain since before the Tudors and what impact the slave trade and the British Empire has had on 21st century Britain. Pupils study key historical events such as the two World Wars, the Holocaust and the Cold War.

The study of Nazi Germany, USA and the Vietnam war allows pupils to develop knowledge of life for people outside Britain, as well as making links between similar experiences people shared on different continents, such as the Civil Rights movement and the fear of Communism.

Independent Learning Opportunities at KS3 include project work and enable pupils to broaden their knowledge by exploring what else was happening around the world (Meanwhile Elsewhere) and to enrich their understanding of historical scholarship, through exposure to Historians’ articles or excerpts from their books.

KS4 - History

Pupils follow the AQA GCSE History syllabus, focusing on understanding the modern world in Year 10 and how Britain was shaped as a nation in Year 11.

Pupils continue to develop the disciplinary knowledge established during KS3. This also forms the assessment objectives set by the Exam Board and includes; cause and consequence, similarity and difference, change and continuity, significance, source utility, critical evaluation of interpretations, as well as understanding a sense of time and place and coherent written communication.

During Year 10, pupils focus on understanding the causes of the First World War, how this war was fought and the reasons for the German surrender in 1918. They then explore life in America from 1920-1973, examining how society, culture, the economy and politics changed in the USA during the 20th century.

In Year 11, pupils examine how the knowledge and understanding of health has changed in Britain from c.1000AD to present day, examining individual roles in surgery, medicine and public health. Year 11 ends with the study of Elizabeth I, the key individuals in her court and society, culture and politics during her reign. In addition to this, pupils learn how to apply this knowledge to explain the relevance of a specific place in Britain linked to the Elizabethan period (known as the Historical Environment study, which changes annually).

Personal Development Opportunities

In Year 7, pupils visit Clitheroe Castle as part of their research into the impact the Normans had on changing the face of England. Pupils in Years 8 and 9 have the opportunity to go to Ypres and the Somme in France to visit the battlefields of the First World War and the various memorials and museums.

This popular trip is run every year to two years, depending on availability. Each year, a local historian visits Year 8 to run a First World War workshop, where pupils learn about the real life experiences of local men and women in the war, as well as handling artefacts from the time and having the opportunity to wear uniforms and research their own family’s experiences in the war (with the assistance of the historian).

GCSE pupils have had the opportunity to visit London to attend lectures on Tudor history with eminent Historians from Cambridge University and City, University of London, in addition to visiting the Tower of London. This trip will be run when lectures are available at times which correlate with the Elizabethan unit of study. History Ambassadors from Years 9 and 10 are currently creating a newspaper archive, which dates back to the early 1900s. In future years, pupils will be able to access this archive as part of their learning about how Britain changed during the 20th century.

Details of the following content for the subject of History can be viewed below: