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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 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.

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?” 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.


Pupils will be provided with a knowledge organiser and an additional optional reading list 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, allowing pupils to investigate the history of other countries and diverse populations.


In KS3 pupils 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?
  • Victorian Britain and the Industrial Revolution
  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement
  • The British impact on India
  • The fight for women’s rights in Britain and elsewhere
  • World War One
  • World War Two
  • The Rise and Development of Communism in Russia
  • Relations between Russia and America including the Cold War and Space Race


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.

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 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. It also enables us to give pupils more freedom with the NEA. In the past, the NEA may have been called coursework. Pupils 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, pupils can have greater choice over their NEA.

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