The Highcrest Academy



Our knowledge-rich curriculum will inspire students to become well-rounded and passionate historians who think critically about the world they inhabit. They will develop an understanding of how our history forms our sense of identity and place in the world, and through studying a range of periods and peoples will become more empathetic and open-minded.  Our teaching will ensure students are able to consider a range of perspectives and develop the ability to make balanced arguments and well-sustained judgements. They will gain an in-depth understanding of a range of events and issues throughout history and build their historical literacy and conceptual understanding, ensuring they can positively encounter and understand the dynamics of the modern world.

KS3 – Years 7 & 8

In Years 7 and 8 students will study a variety of topics to introduce them to key historical skills and ideas.

As an academy we do have the option to create our own curriculum rather than follow the national curriculum, however, we do follow this closely and strongly believe in the following aims:

  • Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed History.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short and long-term timescales.

Students will sit an end-of-term assessment towards the end of each half-term. This assessment will help provide further feedback that the students can use constructively to improve their work further. Students are encouraged to reflect on their work so that they can improve further. These assessments will follow content set out below and the skills build towards the skills needed for students to progress at KS4 which follows the AQA specification for History.

Below is a guide of what students will be studying over the course of Year 7 and 8.

Year 7

 What skills are required to study History?

Why was the Roman Army so successful?

Why did William win The Battle of Hastings?

What was Medieval life like?

What made Medieval kings powerful?

What made the Arabic Empire so successful?

Year 8

How did the reformation change   people’s lives?

Why did the English war break out?


What was the life of a slave like?

What caused wars in the 20th Century?


How did warfare change?

Is Mauschwitz a useful source for talking about the Holocaust?

If parents would like to do any extra reading or work around these subjects with their children, that would be fantastic. In particular, we find that those students who visit museums, historical building and castles etc are able to visualise clearly what we are studying.

In addition to this the library has made every effort to provide reading materials and other online resources to support the learning of KS3 History students.

KS4 (Year 9, 10 & 11)

Students who pick GCSE History as an option will be able to study a number of topics designed to give them the wider knowledge that is required for them to better understand the topics that are examined at the end of Year 11.

Year 9

Depth Study: Conflict and Tension 1918-1939

Depth Study: Conflict and Tension 1918-1939

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states including the Great Powers. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

As above, the topic of Conflict and Tension can be broken down into clear sections such as Peacemaking, the League of Nations and International Peace, as well as the origins and outbreak of the Second World War. This will be another topic that will be examined fully in the Year 9 end of year tests as well as regular assessments in lesson.

Year 10

 As part of this course students study the following topics

  • Causes of WWI and WWII.
  • The Russian revolution.
  • USA in the 1920s.
  • Imperialism and Empire (with a specific focus on India as part of the Empire).
  • After February half-term, History Year 10 GCSE students will study the depth study of Germany 1890-1945. Which will study the following: Germany and the growth of democracy, Germany and the depression and the experience of Germans under the Nazis.
  • This is a topic that will be assessed regularly as part of the Scheme of Work during Year 10 however, as this section course is completed by the end of Year 10 it is crucial that students keep their notes and resources safe. This is due to the fact they will need them for the Year 11 mocks as it will form a key part of their GCSE qualification.

Breadth Study: Medicine Through Time

Breadth Study: Medicine Through Time

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider-world developments that impacted on the core themes.

The main piece of advice I can offer for this topic is that students practice categorising their notes from lesson into revision notes which study the impact of the following factors:

  • War
  • Superstition and religion
  • Chance
  • Government
  • Communication
  • Science and Technology
  • The role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

Year 11

The final topic of the year will study the Kingdom of England during its years under Norman rule.

This option allows students to study in-depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies. This includes how William was able to establish his control and to what extent life changed for different sections of society under the Normans.

The main difference with this topic is that students will be examined on a specific site in-depth. This site will be as specified and will be changed annually. The site will relate to the content of the rest of this depth study. It is intended that study of different historic environments will enrich a student's understanding of Norman England.

These topics allow students to study a broad range of historical events and fully prepare them for further historical study.

All information about the new GCSE SOW and example papers can be found at:

KS5 (Year 12 And 13)

The History A Level at Highcrest is very successful with the number of students increasing year after year.

Students who pick the course will be able to study The Crusades circa 1095-1204Modern Britain 1951-2007 and complete a piece of coursework, each year a new coursework title is decided upon by staff and students. All of our A Level History teachers are extremely enthusiastic about their subject and are excited about working with new students and sharing their passion for History.

The skills in History allow students to develop

  • Good oral and written communication
  • Ability to put together a logical argument
  • Critical thinking
  • Objectivity regarding ‘right’ and ‘wrong’
  • Gathering, investigating and assessing material
  • Condensing or expanding facts, ideas and arguments
  • Using different types of sources to cross-reference
  • Basing conclusions on statistical research
  • Organising material in a logical and coherent way
  • Present information literally, orally and visually
  • An interest in culture
  • An ability to spot a train of events.