At John O’Gaunt we believe the study of History is more than learning about the past but vital in ensuring our understanding of the world we live in today. History gives students the opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards, to develop their full potential, to foster their sense of self-worth and to raise their academic expectations. It is our vision that each of our students will develop an excellent understanding of the events that have shaped their world and develop a wide range of skills that allow them to become successful adults.
At Key Stage 3, the department teaches mainly in mixed ability classes for 2 hours a week in dedicated classrooms with excellent ICT facilities. Students follow the full National Curriculum which aims to not only provide an overview of History, but rigorously develop skills vital to all historians, yet also relevant to many other aspects of academic achievement. There will also be significant opportunities for pupils to develop personalised learning and thinking skills through the work they produce.
Pupils will be assessed at six stages per year for each of the two years during Key Stage 3. These assessments will test the pupils in line with National Curriculum Attainment Targets, which includes analysis of:
- their knowledge and understanding of history,
- their ability to explain how and why the past has been interpreted differently,
- their historical enquiry skills and critical use of source material,
- and their ability to select, organise and deploy relevant historical information.
After each assessment, pupils will be provided with an Assessment Feedback record that will provide them with an understanding of what National Curriculum Level they are currently working at and, more importantly, what they need to do next in order to make progress in the subject. This information will then be recorded in their books on an Assessment Postcard, on which the pupils will use the specific guidance provided to independently set progress targets for themselves.
Key Stage 3
In line with the requirements of Curriculum 2008, and a continued commitment to raising attainment and enjoyment in the subject, the Key Stage 3 History syllabus at John O’Gaunt has changed considerably in recent years and continues to develop further. We have adopted a very creative and innovative approach to the study of the past where students now approach their study of history through a series of themes. Each theme lasts approximately one half-term and aims to build on students’ knowledge and understanding to the discipline of history whilst developing a wide range of historical skills.
We offer a wide ranging syllabus and cover a significant period of time. Year 7 begins with the Roman Empire and moves through the medieval period and the Tudor and Stuart periods, followed by an investigation into the lives of the Native People of the Americas and finishes with an examination of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Year 8 takes a Modern European theme, looking at the impact of industrialisation on Britain, the causes, events and consequences of both World Wars and their impact on international relations, and culminates in a study of the causes and events of the Cold War.
Key Stage 4
The department follows the OCR Modern World B specification which further develops the knowledge and skills students have acquired throughout Key Stage 3. Several aspects of European History are examined, as well as a study into the Cold War and the developments within the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. There is also a study of British History which examines changes in society between 1890 and 1918. To compliment students learning, the department also offers a trip to the Battlefields of the First World War where students are able to further their knowledge and understanding of this vital part of History.