A chronological enquiry-led approach, with key historical themes and skills woven throughout, helps to frame learning in History at Pate’s. We encourage our students to question interpretations of the past, and provide them with the confidence, independence and historical tools they need in order to achieve this. By being aware of the key themes of religion, diversity, conflict, the role of the individual and ideas, students are encouraged to join up their learning and past experiences to see the ‘Big Picture’ and the common ties that unite and divide people in both the past and present. Students are encouraged to incorporate a ‘meanwhile elsewhere’ approach in their learning to diversify their historical understanding. In doing so, students are encouraged to be solution focused and think about how more positive outcomes can be achieved in the future.  

In Years 7 and 8, students develop their historical skills which we have broken down into three key strands. These strands consist of: Knowledge and Communication, Sources and Interpretations and Concepts and Skills. In Year 7, the journey begins with consolidating and building upon previous historical skills and knowledge acquired in primary school. Students challenge the very concept of history itself, and then build upon primary history skills and knowledge by conducting a local study of the history of Cheltenham from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Students then discover the Medieval Period and analyse the impact of the key turning points that shaped the Middle Ages. In Year 8, students head into the Early Modern period where they connect with the causes and consequences of the English Civil Wars. Students learn about the impact of the British Empire, with specific reference to India. We also frame a regional enquiry around Bristol and the Trade in Enslaved Peoples, and the debate over Edward Colston. Year 8 round off their studies with an in-depth focus on World War One and the ramifications it had for the 20th Century. This provides the opportunity to focus on the role of Empire Soldiers and the Pate’s Grammar School students who fell in the First World War.  

In Year 9, students focus on a global study of America in the 1920s before commencing a comparative study on Weimar Germany and investigating how the American election of 1932 and the German election of 1933 could result in such different outcomes. Students study the key turning points of World War Two. As a recent Holocaust Beacon School, students develop their knowledge and understanding of how and why the Holocaust happened, based on research driven pedagogy by UCL. Students will look at the role of the individual and challenge interpretations of Churchill when they judge how Churchill should be remembered. Students follow on from learning about the 19th Century struggle for political rights in Year 8 by learning about the struggle for equal rights in Post War Britain. Students will hone in on the history of sexism, LGBTQ+ rights, racism, and disability discrimination. They will also learn about the historical relationship England has had with Ireland and how discrimination affected people during the Troubles. 

At Key Stage 4, students follow the AQA GCSE specification, and study Russia 1894-1945: Tsardom and Communism and Conflict and Tension 1918-1939. In Year 11, students then investigate Elizabethan England 1568-1603 and Britain: Health and the People c1000-Present Day.  Field site visits are encouraged wherever possible and students are able to draw upon their prior knowledge and skills gained at Key Stage 3. We follow the four key AQA assessment objectives and we aim to extend student thinking beyond the confines of the exam by challenging them with tasks which require high level thinking skills.  

At Key Stage 5, students are able to choose a Modern or Early Modern route of enquiry. Students follow the OCR A Level course which deepens their skills of causality and consequence, reliability of evidence, change and continuity and historical interpretations. Students are encouraged to be independent learners and carry out much independent research, particularly for the free choice non-examined assessment (coursework) which helps to prepare students for further academic study. In addition to the traditional career paths often associated with History, such as teaching and archivist roles, the transferrable skills set acquired from History A Level is also beneficial for a multitude of careers in the private and public sectors.

Year 7 History Curriculum Year 8 History Curriculum Year 9 History Curriculum Year 10 History Curriculum Year 11 History Curriculum Year 12 Early Modern History Curriculum – Unit 1 Year 12 Early Modern History Curriculum – Unit 2 Year 12 Late Modern History Curriculum – Unit 1 Year 12 Late Modern History Curriculum – Unit 2 Year 13 Early Modern History Curriculum – Coursework Year 13 Modern History Curriculum – Coursework Year 13 Early Modern History Curriculum – Unit 3Year 13 Modern History Curriculum – Unit 3