History is a popular and thriving subject amongst the students at St Edward’s.

Curriculum Intent

Our history curriculum equips students with skills essential to life beyond school, supporting them to become global citizens able to make a positive contribution to society. Through their study of history at St Edward’s students will:

  • Recognise the rights of all people and be aware of the development of these rights in Britain and the wider world.
  • Be hungry for knowledge to ascertain accuracy and independent in their quest to enrich this knowledge at every opportunity.
  • Be highly reflective, able to identify strengths and skills which require focus.
  • Be critical thinkers: questioning the past, present and future.
  • Be analytical in their review of sources of information and evaluative in their consideration of interpretations.
  • Have a secure knowledge and understanding of key substantive concepts which support an informed understanding of contemporary politics.
  • Have an appreciation of the arts, science and languages, embedded in their study of historical sources and interpretations.
  • Articulate their thinking both verbally and in written responses.
  • Listen and respond in an informed manner anchored in rich knowledge and understanding.
  • Know and understand their local context whilst always looking beyond the confines of these islands and this continent.
  • Be able to synthesise their knowledge across a diverse spectrum of history both chronologically and geographically.

Students will develop their understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, across all key stages. The curriculum is primarily sequenced chronologically to give a clear understanding of the transition to modernity over time. Chronological study is supported by thematic overviews, which support students in making connections between periods in history. Storytelling is central to supporting mastery and competence, and students are introduced to personal stories and oral history whenever possible. Students at all key stages are presented with historical enquiries to support them in deploying skills to discern how interpretations of the past have been constructed.

In history we make use of both formative and summative assessment. Formative assessment is used throughout every lesson and can take the form of teacher questioning, recap and retrieval quizzes, live marking, multiple choice questions and peer and self-assessment. Students and teachers can use the results of this assessment to identify areas of strength and areas that require further attention. This is the main form of assessment that enables us to progress student’s knowledge and understanding of the topics we study and the skills we apply.

All students of history at St Edward’s have membership of the Historical Association and are encouraged to listen to podcasts both here and on other platforms, such as the Imperial War Museum and In Our Time. Regular use is made of historical scholarship and historical fiction to support students wider engagement with the subject. Padlets provide students with access to documentaries, historical debate, art and music.


Key Stage 3

Click here for Key Stage 3 Curriculum Journey Overview

Assessment at KS3 – end of topic assessment involves a written response to the enquiry question and focuses on one of the core disciplinary concepts; knowledge – weekly 10 question knowledge tests from knowledge quizzes for each topic, revision is weekly home learning.


Key Stage 4

Click here for Key Stage 4 Curriculum Journey Overview

Assessment at KS4 – regular, ongoing exam questions in timed conditions. End of topic tests – both substantive and disciplinary knowledge with use of past and sample assessment material from the exam board. Weekly knowledge retrieval quizzes – as with KS3, underpinned by use of knowledge organisers and regular revision. Creative opportunities for sharing knowledge and understanding both orally and in writing.

Exam board AQA: exam structure 2 x 120-minute written examination.


Key Stage 5

Students of A-level history continue to develop their skills of historical enquiry, culminating in their personal study in year 13. Wider reading, viewing and listening is encouraged as an integral part of guided independent learning and students are given opportunities to attend public history lectures and participate in enrichment activities with the Historical Association and collaboration with other schools.

AQA 7042 specification

Course Content

Component 1: Breadth study 1H Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964 assessed in a written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes, three questions (one compulsory), 80 marks, 40% of A-level.

Component 2: Depth study 2S The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007 assessed in a written exam, 2 hours 30 minutes, three questions (one compulsory), 80 marks, 40% of A-level.

Component 3: Historical Investigation (personal study) based on a topic of student’s choice. This is assessed internally and moderated by AQA. 3500-4500 words, 40 marks, 20% of A-level.

Where the study of history leads:

Historians are welcomed into a broad range of jobs requiring an inquisitive mind, self-discipline, creativity, analytical thinking and an understanding of the world. An essay-based subject, History is highly thought of by top universities offering competitive courses such as International Relations, Law, Politics and more. A-Level History prepares students well for higher education, apprenticeship and job interviews by honing their speaking and listening skills. Potential career opportunities are varied from journalism, media, politics and business to the art world, civil service and teaching.


Course Contact

Mrs S Sinaguglia

History Subject Leader