For further information about History at St John's please contact A Scorer (ascorer@stjohnsrc.org.uk)

Curriculum information pages:

Year 7 History

Year 8 History

Year 9 History

Year 10 History

Year 11 History

Key Stage Three Curriculum

Year 7

In line with the National Curriculum, St John’s History Department aims to provide a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of British and World history, and inspire them to be enthusiastic and curious about the study of the past.

Pupils will be expected to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Through the study of History, pupils at St John’s will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to help them to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

In year 7, students will attend 2 lessons per week, and will study the following topics:




Key Questions

National Curriculum


History Skills

What is History and why do we study it?

What is Chronology?

How do Historians use Primary sources and Contemporary Interpretations?

How do Historians use evidence?

How can Historians tell if a source is reliable?

Why do different interpretations develop in History?


The study of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066


The Norman Conquest


Who ruled England in 1066?

Who were the contenders for the throne of England, and who had the best claim?



Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?




How did William break English Resistance?



How did the Domesday Book help William to rule England?




What was the Feudal System?



The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509


The Middle Ages


What was life like for rich and poor during the Middle Ages?


What religious beliefs did people have in Medieval times?


Why was Thomas Becket murdered?


Why was the Magna Carta so important?


How did the Black Death affect England?


Why was there a Peasant’s Revolt?



The development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509


Henry and the Reformation


How did the Tudors gain the English throne?



Why and how did Henry VIII reform the Church in England?



Why did Henry marry six times?



Was Henry VIII a Tyrant?


How far did Edward VI reform religion in England?



Why was Jane Grey Queen for only nine days?



Does Mary I deserve to be called ‘Bloody’?




The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745



The Elizabethan Age


How did Elizabeth I become Queen?



Did Elizabeth I succeed in reaching a compromise on religion?



Why did Elizabeth I never marry?


How much of a threat to Elizabeth was Mary Queen of Scots?



Why did the Spanish Armada fail?



Was Elizabeth I’s reign a ‘Golden Age’? http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/history/​tudors_stuarts/elizabeth_i/revision/5/



The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745


The Stuarts


Why did the Gunpowder plot fail?



Who was to blame for the English Civil War?



Why did Parliament win the English Civil War?

Why was Charles I executed?





The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745



Key Stage Three Curriculum

Year 8



Key Questions

National Curriculum


The Industrial Revolution, Empire and Slavery


Why was Britain so successful in building an Empire?



How did technology develop during the Industrial Revolution? https://www.ducksters.com/history/us_1800s/inventions_technology_industrial_revolution.php


How did the industrial revolution transform Britain?



Did the people of Britain benefit from the Industrial Revolution?



Why did the Slave Trade develop?



What was life like for slaves?



Why did Britain abolish slavery?





Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901

At least one study of a significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments


The struggle for Women’s Rights

What were the Victorian’s attitudes towards women?

What actions did the Suffragist’s and Suffragettes take to win the vote?



Did Emily Davison help the Suffragette’s cause?



What role did women take during WW1?


Why were most women given the vote in 1918?




Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901

challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, including the Holocaust



The First World War


Why did war break out in 1914?



Why did so many men volunteer to fight?


Why did stalemate develop on the Western front?



What were the experiences of the men who fought in the trenches?



Was General Haig ‘the Butcher of the Somme’?



How did WW1 end?



Why do we commemorate WW1?




Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, including the Holocaust


The Second World War


Why did Hitler threaten the peace of Europe?



How did Britain survive in 1940?




What were the experiences of people on the Home Front?



How were the Allies able to defeat Nazi Germany?



Should the USA have used the Atomic bomb on Japan?



Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, including the Holocaust



The Holocaust


Why was Hitler anti-Semitic?



How were Jews persecuted in Nazi Germany?



How did the Nazis try to murder Jews during the ‘Final Solution’?



What do the stories of survivors tell us about the Holocaust?



Were those responsible for the Holocaust brought to justice?


Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day, including the Holocaust

Key Stage Four Curriculum

GCSE History will appeal to those students who are enthusiastic and curious about the study of the past, and who wish to continue to develop their abilities as young Historians.

Students will be expected to take an active role in lessons, engaging with the subject matter and offering their own opinions and analysis. History is a literary subject which involves scrutinising and examining a wide variety of primary and secondary source material, so the course is best suited to individuals who enjoy reading and who are willing to take responsibility for their own research and revision.

History is an ‘EBacc’ subject, and is therefore recognised as one of the subjects which best develops the skills and knowledge that all students will require in later life. As well as suiting students who might wish to go onto to study History at ‘A’ level and University, the study of History provides students with skills that are applicable to wide variety of other subjects, and a broad spectrum of future careers.



Edexcel GCSE History

Year 9

Medicine through time

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment

· Paper 1: Medicine through time, c.1250-present

· Revision Guide Medicine

· Paper 1: The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.

· Revision Guide Western Front

How it's assessed:

Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes 30%* of the qualification

Course specification

· GCSE History

Example paper

· Year 9 Paper 1 Medicine through time

Year 10

Elizabethan England and the Cold War, 1941–91


Paper 2: Period study and British depth study

· Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.

· Elizabeth revision guide

· Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

· Revision guide Cold War

How it's assessed:

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 40%* of the qualification

Example paper

· Year 10 Paper 2 Superpowers and Early Elizabethan England

Year 11

The USA, 1954-75

Paper 3: Modern depth study

· The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad.

How it's assessed:

Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 30%* of the qualification

Example paper

· Year 11 Paper 3 The USA 1954-75

Key Stage Five Curriculum

OCR A Level History

Unit 1- Year 12

British Period Study and Enquiry

Unit 1: Unit Y113: Britain 1930-97


Enquiry Topic: Churchill 1930–1951

Churchill’s view of events 1929–1934

Churchill as wartime Prime Minister

Churchill and international diplomacy 1939–1951


British Period Study: Britain 1951–1997

Conservative domination 1951–1964

Labour and Conservative governments 1964–1979

Thatcher and the end of consensus 1979–1997

Britain’s position in the world 1951–1997


·         How it's assessed:

·         These units are assessed in two parts: the enquiry and the period study, and thus the question paper has two sections.

·         Section A is the enquiry. Learners will answer one compulsory question, requiring them to analyse and evaluate four primary sources in their historical context in order to test a hypothesis. This part of the paper is worth 30 marks.

·         Section B is the period study. Learners will answer one essay question from a choice of two. This part of the paper is worth 20 marks.

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 20%* of the qualification

Unit 2 – Year 12

Non-British study

Unit 2: Y221 Democracy and Dictatorships 1919-63

·       The establishment and development of the Weimar Republic: 1919–Jan 1933


·       The establishment of the Nazi Dictatorship and its domestic policies Feb 1933–1939


·       The impact of war and defeat on Germany: 1939–1949


·       Divided Germany: The Federal Republic and the DDR 1949–1963


How it's assessed:

Learners will answer one two–part question from a choice of two. The first part of the question will require learners to compare two factors and to make a judgment about their relative importance. There are 10 marks available. For the second part of the question learners will write an essay on a different part of the period. As with the British period study essay in unit group 1, this question is worth 20 marks.


Written examination: 1 hour  15%* of the qualification


Unit 3 – Year 13

Thematic study and historical interpretations


Unit 3: The Origins of the British Empire, 1558-1783

This theme focuses on the changing nature of the emerging British Empire over this period. Learners should understand the factors which encouraged and discouraged change during this period. Learners should study developments across the whole of the Empire, including the Americas (North America and the Caribbean), India and the wider ‘Indies’, ports and naval bases such as Gibraltar, Africa and the Pacific. Study should not be limited to areas of direct political control; learners should have an appreciation of how spheres of influence and formal and informal economic, social and political ties and scientific and geographical exploration contributed to imperial development. The strands identified below are not to be studied in isolation to each other. Learners are not expected to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the specification content, except for the named in-depth studies, but are expected to know the main developments and turning points relevant to the theme.


Drivers of imperial expansion

The nature of colonial rule

The impact of Empire on Britain and its emerging colonies

The British Empire and European Relations


Depth Studies

Elizabethan Privateers 1558–1603

Britain and its American colonies 1660–1713

Clive and the East India Company: India c.1730–1773


How it's assessed:

Assessment of units in this unit group is in two parts: the historical interpretations depth study and the thematic essay, and thus the question paper has two parts.


Section A is the interpretations section. Learners will read two extracts from historians about one of the three depth studies specified for their chosen option, and will write an essay explaining which they think is more convincing. This part of the paper is worth 30 marks. Section B is the themes section. Learners will answer two themes questions from a choice of three, each of which requires an essay covering the whole period studied. This part of the paper is worth 50 marks.


Written examination: 1 hour  15%* of the qualification


Unit 4 – Year 13

Topic based essay

Unit 4: Topic based essay

How far do you agree that the night of the Long Knives / Reichstag Fire was the most significant factor in Hitler’s rise to power 1929-34?


How it's assessed

Internally assessed   20% of the qualification


Further guidance available in Google Classroom (ppt)