At Key Stage 3 all work is based on the National Curriculum and delivered in the form of enquiries that explore key concepts, and answer an over-riding question at the end of the unit of work. History is taught in mixed ability form groups. Students in Years 8 and 9 have two 100 minute lessons per fortnight, whilst students in Year 7 have three 100 minute lessons per fortnight.

The enquiries we undertake cover a wide range of topics, largely following a chronological order but based on Historical concepts such as Change and continuity, significance and source analysis. As we progress through Key Stage Three, enquiries become wider and deeper. Assessments are linked to GCSE style questions, in order to enable rigorous assessment and to prepare the students for further study.

Students have many opportunities to develop their independence and creativity through projects such designing a Medieval theme park, a castle project or a Holocaust memorial centre. Homework projects also allow students to develop these skills.

Students also have opportunities to develop a greater understanding of their local area. For example: The Great War study enables them to research their family or the local war memorial. The study of crime and punishment explores the beliefs and fate of local man, Rowland Taylor and students in Year 9 complete a ‘Hadleigh History Project’.

Key equipment:

Nothing specific – although usual stationary should be brought to all lessons.


Homework is set once a week in years 7, 8 and 9. Students also have the opportunity to complete several homework projects designed to encourage organisation and independent learning; all key skills sought by employers in the workplace!

Year 7:

In Year 7 students study the following units of work – What is History? Which invader made the greatest impact? Why did the Normans win the Battle of Hastings? Was life really all muck, mess and misery in the Middle Ages? Power in the Middle Ages: Who had it, who fought for it? Were the Aztecs really angry?

Year 8:

In Year 8 students study the following units of work –

  • How did crime and punishment change between 1500-1900? Understanding the social and political changes from 1500-1900 by focusing on the development of crime and punishments. This includes a case study of Jack the Ripper.
  • How did ordinary people gain power? Understanding the shift in power from the ruling elite to democratic rule. Within this enquiry students study the English Civil War, Cromwell, the French Revolution, the Suffragettes.
  • Empires and conflict. Why was 1066 the last successful invasion? Which conflicts should we remember? Deciding on the significance to the history of Britain. What was the impact of the British Empire? This includes a study of the Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade.

Year 9

In Year 9 students study the following units of work:

CHANGE AND CONTINUITY: How did these events change the 20th century?

  • 100 years on: How far did the First World War change the 20th Century? Understanding the scale of the impact of WW1 in terms of the political, social, economic effects.
  • How far did the Russian Revolution shape events of the 20th century? The Russian Revolution could be interpreted as defining the 20th Century, influencing conflicts, society and politics across Europe and indeed the world. It is almost impossible to understand the modern world without first understanding the battle between communism and capitalism. This knowledge and understanding will support our pupils’ grasp of the GCSE course.

SIGNIFICANCE: Mystery and controversy: Which significant events should be remembered from the 20th century?

  • Why do people still talk about the death of JFK? This unit develops well from the Russian unit as pupils will now have contextual understanding of the Cold War. It focuses on gathering evidence and checking reliability of sources.
  • Why is the Holocaust significant and how should it be remembered? The significance of this event is unquestioned but how can it be presented in a way that avoids generalisation. Pupils must decide how these generalisations should be challenged and justify what they put into their memorial. In doing so, they are using significance criteria to select and understanding how the past is constructed and reinforced through memorials.

INTERPRETATIONS: How do interpretations of the past affect how we view the present?

  • How do we tell the story of Hadleigh? Enabling pupils to use primary and secondary evidence to generate their own interpretations of their locality. An opportunity for them to research an area of interest to them in more detail.
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