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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.

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.