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History

 

subject overview

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 1

Skills

Black People of America

  • 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.

Knowledge

In this topic learners will start by examining the causes of the slave trade as well as gaining an understanding of the concept of slavery and its definition. They will understand that there were many causes of the transatlantic slave trade and that these are often linked to one another and linked to wider topics and aspects of history, such as the development of the British Empire.
Learners will then go on to analyse the impact of the Slave Trade on the growth of both the British Empire and the continent of North America. They will understand how the rapid growth of both was largely reliant on slave labour and the ways in which the suffering and degradation of black slaves was used to support the growth of wealth and power for white Europeans. They will look at examples from plantations and other areas in which slaves were forced to work in order to understand this.

The living conditions of slaves in North America will be evaluated by learners through the use of historical sources and documents to understand the ways in which they were treated and the conditions in which they were forced to live and work. This will also incorporate stories of resistance such as the experiences of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad, in order to ensure that pupils understand that those affected by slavery did resist those who aimed to keep them enslaved.
Finally, learners will be able to explain the development of both the abolition and civil rights movements. They will learn the stories of abolitionists such as William Wilberforce who campaigned in Britain to end slavery. This will cover both the steps taken to abolish slavery and will act as an opportunity for learners to analyse these reasons for the resistance to the abolitionist movement.
Throughout this topic learners will have covered:

  • Analyse the impact of the slave trade on both the British Empire and the growth of America.
  • Evaluate the living conditions of enslaved people and the treatment to which they were subject.
  • Explain the development of the civil rights movement and the campaign for abolition. –
  • Examine the causes of the slave trade.

Rationale

This topic will allow pupils to gain a broader understanding and give contextual knowledge of how the slave trade has impact the development of the world and how it still impacts people in the world today. The legacy and impact of slavery did not stop at the point of abolition and has influenced events for the last 200 years. It is especially important that learners are able to understand the causes and events of the Slave Trade in order to contextualise both later and modern day events and attitudes.

The study of the slave trade and abolition movement provides endless opportunities to incorporate sources enquiry activities, analyses the key concepts of continuity and change, cause and effect, complexity, unity, and diversity over time which are all key KS4 exam skills. As this is a relatively recent historical topic, there exists a range of documents, photograph, diary’s and other primary sources with which pupils can engage. These resources help pupils to contextualise and understand the past in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Within this topic there are also a great deal of misconceptions which need to be addressed within learners own knowledge to ensure they are fully understanding of the impact of this topic on the wider world.

 

unit overview - autumn term 2

Skills

The British Empire

  • 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.

Knowledge

  • To examine the development of the slave trade and the way in which this lead to the expansion and development of the British Empire. Learners will be able to argue how far the success of the British Empire was reliant upon the slave trade.
  • Analyse the impact of the British Empire on other countries, in particular India. This will include looking at how far the British Empire can be blamed for the famine and poverty experienced in India during British colonial rule.
  • Evaluate the methods used by the British to expand and control the Empire, both in the earlier periods of the empire (the use of Pirates such as Morgan) and later use of political control.
  • Explain the development of the resistance to the British Empire using contrasting examples of resistance from India and Ireland.

Rationale

This topic will allow learners to build upon the knowledge gained in the earlier topic on slavery and give them the contextual knowledge to study the Industrial revolution in Year 8 – to create a bigger historical picture for pupils. This will also allow learners to develop a sense of history as a continuous and interlinked series of events as oppose to as separate topics.

The study of the British Empire encompasses the study of a range of countries and societies and the planned scheme of work aims to allow pupils to study the history of a wider range of people. This topic will include the histories of India and Ireland in particular, alongside the history of Britain itself.

The British Empire created the foundations on which modern Britain is built – the legacy of the British Empire affects the way in which Britain works and interacts with the rest of the world today and this knowledge is important for understanding contemporary social and political issues. As many of the learners at Harrow High School have links to former British Empire countries, it is a topic that can engage learners with their own backgrounds and own knowledge of the world.

unit overview - spring term 

Skills

Medieval

  • 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.

Knowledge

This topic begins by introducing learners to the contest for the English Crown in 1066, after the death of the childless monarch, Edward the Confessor. They study the three main claimants to the throne, Harald Hardrada, Harold Godwinson and William, Duke of Normandy along with the two major battles, Stamford Bridge and Hastings. They will then study and evaluate the changes brought about by William I including the Domesday book, violence towards the North of England and the building of Motte and Bailey castles. This will allow learners to develop a sense of the change and continuity that in evident across all historical period and is a key skill in history.

After exploring the battle of Hastings and its impact on England, learners will go on to lean about the major events of the Medieval period including the peasant’s revolt, King John and the Magna Carta, the plague and Thomas Beckett. These will help learners to develop an understanding of some of the major ‘stories’ from British history which are often considered to be culturally significant.

Finally, learners will analyse the everyday lives of Medieval people. Although this is a difficult topic to cover as the lives of people at the start of the Medieval period would have experienced life in a very different way to those at the end of the Medieval period, learners will cover an average, mid-period experience, focusing on elements consistent across the period such as food, where people lived and what jobs they did and importantly, their relationship to religion.

The relationship between Medieval people and the church will be covered in some depth looking at the role of the church and the reasons people were so heavily influenced by it. Learners will also look at elements such as doom paintings to enhance their understanding of this period.

Learners will cover the following in this topic:

  • To examine the change and continuity of the Medieval period
  • Analyse the impact of William I on the people of England
  • Evaluate the living conditions of people in the Medieval period.
  • Explain the development of the Medieval church and the impact of religion

Rationale

  • To understand the development of England and the UK as countries from the Norman Conquest onwards helps learners to contextualise historical information they may encounter later.
  • To understand the later issues of religious conflict and persecution in the UK, it is important to understand the development of Christianity as a major and influential force in people’s lives that began in the medieval period.

1066 and the Battle of Hastings is often considered to be the point at which England as a country takes on its current form, as William I creates a unified kingdom which would be recognisable today. The Medieval period had a significant impact on the language, culture, religion and politics of the UK and medieval ideas, such as those in Magna Carta are still relevant today.

Through studying this topic, learners will start to understand the context of medieval England which will then later support their study of Elizabeth I at KS4. Although the Elizabethan period takes place significantly after the end of the Medieval period, it is useful for learners to know how Elizabethan society, especially the role of the church, developed. This helps to contextualise the importance of the church as therefore the significance of the religious divisions of Elizabethan England

unit overview - summer term 1

The English Civil War

Skills

  • 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

Knowledge

  • To examine the short and long term causes of the English Civil War including conflict with Scotland, religious changes (such as the new prayer book), conflict with parliament and the introduction of new taxes against the will of parliament.
  • Analyse how important each cause was in the initiating of the Civil War.
  • Evaluate the reasons for the execution of Charles I, including looking at the reasons Charles I attempted to re-start the civil war twice after having been defeated by the parliamentarians. This will then look at the level of support for Charles I and how far parliament were really prepared to execute a king.
  • Explain the causes of the restoration including the death of Cromwell and the growing dissatisfaction with parliament.

Rationale

  • To understand the transition from and absolute to a constitutional monarchy, which begins in this period and is crucial in understanding how the monarchy has developed from earlier periods into its current form. This will also build upon learner’s understandings of monarch that have been developed through the medieval and Elizabethan modules.
  • The ability to understand complex historical and political ideas and in particular the precarious positions of monarchs in this part of history will be crucial for those who go on to study history at GCSE as they will need these skills to understand the Early Elizabethan England topic. While the Civil war took place 50 years after Elizabeth’s reign had ended, it is important to be able to understand the nature of the relationship between monarch and parliament which was as much a concern for Elizabeth as for Charles I.
  • To know how the UK regained its monarchy after the Civil war. The restoration allows learners to grasp the importance of monarch within the British political and cultural systems

unit overview-  summer term 2

Eilzabeth

Skills

  • 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.

Knowledge

  • To examine the problems Elizabeth faced as Queen, such as her age, legitimacy, religion and claims of witchcraft.
  • Analyse the impact of religion on Elizabethan England including the influence of puritans, the persecution of Catholics and the Religious Settlement.
  • Evaluate the threats to Elizabeth from Catholics and Mary, Queen of Scots such as the revolt of the Northern Earls and the Babington, Ridolfi and Throckmorton plots.
  • Explain the causes of the invasion by the Spanish Armada and evaluate why it was defeated by Elizabeth, looking at how far it was Elizabeth’s luck or military tactics that allowed her to succeed against the Armada.

Rationale

Through the study of Elizabeth I, pupils are able to encounter a number of examples of women in positions of power and leadership that are often absent from history. In particular Elizabeth I, Mary I and Mary, Queen of Scots. Through the stories of these women learners, especially girls, may become more engaged in historical content.

The Religious conflict between Catholic and Protestant that first began in this period is something that has affected both British and world history ever since and to some extent continues to do so. Understanding the origins of these conflicts is helpful in the study of later historical periods and to understand the consequences of earlier events.

This topic will also prepare learners to study Early Elizabethan England at KS4. The knowledge needed to understand Elizabeth’s policies and actions is very complex and so by giving learners a general knowledge of the Elizabethan period, they will be more able to understand the more complex issues of the period at KS4.

knowledge OrganiserS

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.