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Welcome to our History Department

At Newman, we believe that history can unlock doors to the past and to the future. We strive to allow students 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 students to be the best they can possibly be.
We approach history in a diverse way and use a wide range of teaching styles to accommodate this. 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 also a foreign land filled with amazing stories. At Newman, we take students through over a thousand years of local, British and global history.
Miss E Lowrey
Head of History

Key Stage 3


Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is planned around the question: “What mattered to people in the past?” In year 7, students have one lesson per week of history and we use this 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. In year 8, students have two lessons per week of history and we use this to 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 students to understand a diverse range of history so that they can understand the world around them today.

Students will be provided with a knowledge organiser and an additional optional reading list for each unit to allow students 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.

Year 7

In year 7, students have one lesson per week of history. In this year, we focus on early British history

Students will study:

  • To what extent did the Norman Conquest bring a “truckload of trouble”?
  • How ‘measly’ were the Middle Ages?
  • How extensive was the impact of “eleven years of religious turmoil”? Religious changes under the Tudors
  • Could a Tudor queen succeed as a woman and a ruler? Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots
  • To what extent was “the world turned upside down” by the English Civil War?

Year 8

Students will study:

  • Victorian Britain and the Industrial Revolution
  • Black People of America (Slave Trade to Civil Rights)
  • The British impact on India
  • The fight for women’s rights in Britain and elsewhere
  • World War One
  • World War Two
  • Russia and Communism


This course should give students a broad range of knowledge through engaging topics and dynamic teaching. It aims to develop the students’ enquiry skills to understand cause and consequence; significance; and change and continuity. Source evaluation and knowledge recall are strengthened components of the exams so students will get a lot of practice with these.

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.


There are 3 units to the A-level:

  • The Tudors: England 1485-1603
  • Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918-1945
  • Non-examined assessment (NEA)

We have chosen a broad range of topics to give students experience of multiple time periods which will provide a broad basis if students decide to carry on their study of history to degree level. It also enables us to give students more freedom with the NEA. In the past, the NEA may have been called coursework. Students select a topic, covering a 100 year period that they are interested in 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. As our two examined units meet the exam board’s 200 year rule, students can have greater choice over their NEA.

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St John Henry Newman Catholic School
Scalegate Road, Carlisle, CA2 4NL