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Learning Journey & Sequencing Rationale

As teachers of History at Harrow High, we want our learners to generate an interest and passion in the past that will remain with them for life. We wish to transmit knowledge and understanding of the past, both within the United Kingdom and of the wider world and aim that our learners continuously develop life skills such as thinking, evaluating, analysing, empathising and communicating. It is also part of our responsibility, to instil the gift of developing written skills and critically assessing events. Therefore, learners can formulate their own views on which explanations they think seem most convincing. In this way, they develop their own ability to argue both logically and lucidly and have every opportunity to do the best they can.


History at KS3 & KS4 is taught by a combination of different historical concepts and skills. At KS3 we touch upon both the main skills and concepts: The curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils: know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. Bearing all this in mind, we teach a variety of different skills and historical concepts: such as chronology, continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference, significance and historical enquiry and evaluation at KS3 & KS4 in order to fulfil the requirements of the curriculum and exam boards.

Time – 2021 -2022


Yr 7, Term 1

Black people of Americas / Medieval

Yr 7, Term 2

Medieval / Tudors

Yr 7, Term 3

Stuarts / British Empire




Yr 8, Term 1

Industrial Rev / Early Modern

Yr 8, Term 2

Early Modern / WW1

Yr 8, Term 3

WW1 / Interwar years




Yr 9, Term 1

WW2 / WW2

Yr 9, Term 2

Cold War / Cold War

Yr 9, Term 3

Mysteries in History




Yr 10, Term 1


Yr 10, Term 2


Yr 10, Term 3





Yr 11, Term 1

Cold war

Yr 11, Term 2


Yr 11, Term 3


Rationale for Sequencing

Year 7

Year 7 begins with a study of the module ‘Black People of the America’s’. The reason why we begin with this unit is due to the fact that it is a different period of History compared to what students would have studied at primary school, a fresh start and an engaging topic. It also provides a study of a significant society and issue in world history and shows how it interconnects with other modern day world developments, for example ; Black History Month in October. We move onto teaching the British Empire as this will provide students a broader understanding of Britain’s role in the world and not just as an isolated Island. This unit also will embed some of the key ideas taught later on in Yr 7 and at KS4 in the Elizabethan unit. It also provides links to the Black people of America's module showing a vivid link to the empire and some of its reasons for existing. The second term in Yr 7 introduces students to the Medieval module as the curriculum requires us to teach a certain amount of British History and based on the concept of chronology, the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 is taught. Leading to term 3 and the next module: Elizabeth 1509 -1603, where the development of Church, state and society in Britain is established and uprooted at times by the last module of the year the ‘Stuarts’ and the significant impact the English Civil war had on all aspects of society between 1603-1745.

 Year 8

With a sound base of British and world History established, year 8 sees the introduction of the beginning of more modern and changing times. The ‘Industrial Revolution’ is the first module taught in year 8 because of the key concepts it explores when Britain was the first industrial nation and had a significant impact on society and the world. Furthermore, the influence Britain had on developing and spreading technology across the globe is an idea which will allow students to relate to today. It also introduces the role of urbanisation, migration and diversity played in our History and the changing place of Britain around the globe. These ideas underpin the next module ‘Changing Societies 1700 -1900’. At this point, students develop a deeper understanding of revolutions, political power and nationalism in Britain and abroad. It gives them the chance to explore how different countries dealt with such huge changes and how they can be traced back to their links with Britain. This sound foundation prepares them for the last two modules in year 8; ‘World War One’ and the ‘interwar years’ enabling students to gain a secure understanding of the beginning of the challenges the twentieth century faced. It will also allow those who go on to choose GCSE History to gain a basic level of knowledge required for later on at KS4.

Year 9 

The start of year 9 links and further embeds the key concepts that were taught at the end of year 8 in its last two modules; The first module in year 9; ‘World War Two’ will allow students to learn about the challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world from 1901 to the present day. New concepts have been introduced in this unit to give students a well-rounded version of different aspects of the war. Topics such as: the Japanese invasion of China, British & Japanese POW camps, The Enigma code and what type of justice there was after WW2 will foster student’s engagement and curiosity about how and why the world is what it is today. Term 2 sees the introduction of the module ‘Cold War.’ This is a natural development from what happened after WW2 and students will learn about the political ideologies that have shaped our world today and the global consequences of various decisions made by key world leaders. It will also give the opportunity for students who wish to study History at KS4 to have a basic level of understanding needed for KS4. We finally finish year 9 with a skills-based module called ‘Mysteries in History’, which allows students to explore unsolved historical mysteries and use their skills that they have built up over the last three years in order to unpack and come to their own conclusions on the various topics taught.

Year 10

At KS4, the beginning of their GCSE exam course we have chosen to begin with the unit Germany. The reason being that students will have a basic knowledge of this unit from KS3 in year 9. This will allow them the opportunity to build confidence in themselves at the start of the GCSE course with some knowledge that they are familiar with and then use it as a stepping stone to acquire new knowledge that the exam board will require and propel themselves to do well. The next topic we study in year 10 GCSE, Medicine through time. This is a brand new topic but has some similarity to some elements of the Medieval module studied in Yr 7. As this is a rather long topic we prefer to teach it in year 10 as we have more time compared to yr 11 where some of the year has to be dedicated to revision.

Year 11

The last two modules studied in year 11 are ‘Elizabeth’ and the ‘Cold War.’ We begin by teaching the ‘Elizabeth’ module as it is a shorter module and the exam skills needed for it are the same as the Medicine module from year 10. Therefore, the focus is more on the content. Lastly, we finish off the syllabus by teaching ‘Cold War’. This module has had its basic ideas laid down in year 9 so it is not new knowledge for the students, however the style of exam questions is slightly different from the previous module and thus needs to be the main focus of the module. The time that is left in year 11 before their final exams is dedicated to revision and exam skills preparation. In regards to revision in Year 11, we will use a variety of revision techniques such as quizzes, analysing and breaking down how to do exam questions, interleaving, revising the knowledge and content of the course through questioning, matching exercises, diagrams and learning how to make useful and concise notes as well using the school's knowledge organisers and revision booklets we have prepared for students.



unit overview - autumn term 

Topic: The Cold War


  • Using a range of chronology to understand the key events in the topic.
  • Showing and using a range and depth of historical knowledge to analyse understanding.
  • Developing skills to examine various interpretations of history and what they mean.
  • Organisation of work via learning essay writing skills focusing on analysis.
  • Developing communication skills via presentations, speeches, news reports and projects.
  • Developing a range of vocabulary using knowledge organisers.
  • Making connections between different events and time periods.
  • Developing exam skills to answer the exam questions.


  • To examine the origins of the Cold War and why there was tension between the East and West.
  • Analyse the factors that led the allies during WW2 to form plans for the future government of Europe.
  • Evaluate how the USA & USSR came close to open conflict during the Berlin crisis.
  • Examine the events of the Hungarian uprising and how the arms race increased international tension.
  • Analyse why Cuba became a threat to the USA and how Kennedy dealt with the crisis?
  • Examine the impact of the Prague Springs on international relations and how USSR reacted?
  • Evaluate the reasons why the USA and USSR followed a policy of détente in the 1970’s and why it was later abandoned?
  • Examine the significance of the invasion of Afghanistan, how it affected international relations and the role Ronald Reagan played in the ‘Second Cold War.’
  • Evaluate the factors that led to the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union. 


  • This unit is vital in demonstrating and further helping learners gain a broader understanding and contextual knowledge of the history of the twentieth century and the development of the modern world. It also crosses many political and ideological borders and shows how people of the past dealt with them. 
  • The unit is part of the GCSE syllabus therefore it is necessary to teach it and it is a balance between short and long exam questions. It is interesting for our learners as there is opportunity to explore how history is not limited to just one country and that it is a global subject with different events happening all across the world at the same time. It also provides scope for learners to gain a deeper understanding into the lives of everyday people and how they found themselves so helpless against a new powerful, albeit tyrannical government.
  • Learners are expected to acquire knowledge and exam skills as specified in the specification for this unit and to apply it progressively throughout the course across the topics and across the skills in order to understand the importance and relevance of transferring skills and knowledge. The diverse range of activities offered in this unit enables learners to broaden the range or reading, writing and thinking activities that they will use.

knowledge Organiser

A knowledge organiser is an important document that lists the important facts that learners should know by the end of a unit of work. It is important that learners can recall these facts easily, so that when they are answering challenging questions in their assessments and GCSE and A-Level exams, they are not wasting precious time in exams focusing on remembering simple facts, but making complex arguments, and calculations.

We encourage all pupils to use them by doing the following:

  • Quiz themselves at home, using the read, write, cover, check method.
  • Practise spelling key vocabulary
  • Further researching people, events and processes most relevant to the unit.