At Newman, we believe that history can unlock doors to the past and to the future. We strive to allow pupils to discover a love for history as well as the skills to apply their learning to current tasks and their futures. Our vision is to foster this enthusiasm to enable pupils to be inquisitive, thoughtful, discerning historians.
History can allow us to understand the way our world is today and how it has been shaped by people and events in the past. It helps us to ask questions properly and develop our own interpretations, based on evidence. It is a subject filled with fascinating stories, interesting individuals and contentious issues with which our pupils can grapple.
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is planned around the question: “What mattered to people in the past?” When pupils start St John Henry Newman Catholic School, we begin to explore medieval and early modern British history. What mattered to people in this period was primarily where their next meal was coming from. As time progressed, we move into religion becoming more important and finally move into the rise of political interest with the English Civil War. Moving on, we then explore how Britain became part of a global community in the Victorian and modern periods. We look at the rise of politics and protest with a focus on rights for different groups of people. We aim to help pupils to understand a diverse range of history so that they can understand the world around them today. We firmly believe our curriculum should be both a mirror of our school community and a window to other cultures, both past and present.
Pupils will be provided with a knowledge organiser and for each unit to allow pupils to begin to explore history for themselves. Homework each week will be to learn the facts on the knowledge organiser for a weekly knowledge test. Additionally, there will be one written piece of homework per unit, our 'Meanwhile Elsewhere' worksheets, allowing pupils to investigate the history of other countries and diverse populations.
In KS3 pupils will study:
At GCSE, we follow the AQA specification with units on Health and the People; Conflict and Tension during World War One; Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany and Norman England. This will be assessed by two terminal exams at the end of year 11. There is no longer any coursework. Our topics are interleaved, meaning that we split each topic into 3 units and teach them spaced out through the two years rather than in one block for each unit. We find this allows us to revist content much more frequently which supports revision.
This course should give pupils a broad range of knowledge through engaging topics and dynamic teaching. It aims to develop the pupils’ enquiry skills to understand cause and consequence; significance; and change and continuity. Source evaluation and knowledge recall are strengthened components of the exams so pupils will get a lot of practice with these.
There are 3 units to the A-level:
We have chosen a broad range of topics to give pupils experience of multiple time periods which will provide a broad basis if pupils decide to carry on their study of history to degree level. In the past, the NEA may have been called coursework. Pupils select a question from within the assigned topic, covering a 100 year period, and spend time independently researching and writing a 4000 word essay analysing a key issue. This is on par with first year university work and requires dedication and commitment to working independently. Pupils can choose to focus on suffrage protests from 1819 to 1928 bringing in the Peterloo Massacre, protests for working men's suffrage, Chartism, and protests for women's suffrage including the Suffragists and Suffragettes. Alternatively, they can choose to focus on women's rights from 1866 to 1970 beginning with the rise of the suffrage movements, campaigns for marriage and family laws, women's work in World War One and Two, strikes such as the Matchgirls and Dagenham Factory Strike, leading up to the 1970 Equal Pay Act.