History Curriculum Intent

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”

[Marcus Garvey]

History is inescapable and the study of it is essential. Our past is inextricably linked to our present and future and the lessons we learn through a study and understanding of history have the power to both shape and transform lives. History is relevant to everyone and everything. It sits at the heart of any school curriculum and is a subject that can unlock the door to any other. It teaches chronology, context, explores connections, exposes injustice and, in doing so, opens minds and broadens horizons. Students are intellectually challenged by their exposure to a high quality history curriculum, and their lives are enriched and enhanced by the experience. We develop inquisitive, life-long learners who are confident reading, writing and conversing knowledgeably about history, whatever the context or medium. As a result of their time with us, they will forever feel empowered to engage intelligently in any conversation, discussion or debate. Our students are confident, articulate, empathetic and tolerant; they will go on to make a positive difference and valuable contribution to their own communities, wider societies and the world.

Our curriculum design not only reflects the demands of the National Curriculum for history but has been informed by educational research. Inspiration was taken from the ‘Curriculum as a Boxset’ analogy, and this is reflected in the manner in which we introduce our students to the key characters, events and developments of the past, focus on historical concepts and skills and then navigate through and across time periods and historical themes. We provide our students with a grand narrative, but balance this with meaningful opportunities to explore individual and local stories in depth. In doing so, the true power of history becomes evident as students make links between and across time periods and peoples, gaining a true appreciation of the legacy and diversity of the past. Students experience skilful instruction by subject experts who simultaneously challenge and support them throughout their learning journey. We have established a trusting learning environment where students embrace the intellectual demands placed on them and are willing to take risks, safe in the knowledge that making mistakes is very much part of our learning process. We reshape and reteach to ensure all our students gain a secure understanding of the past and how it connects to their future.

The Suthers history curriculum therefore empowers students by:

Developing a thirst for learning that continues beyond the classroom; through ‘Read it, Watch it, View it’ we direct and support students in their pursuit of independent enquiries and interests.

Equipping students with a deep and rich knowledge and understanding of the past, as well as a clear appreciation of how past events have impacted on, and shaped, the modern world.

Considering different developments and perspectives; ‘pause points’ allow students to ‘zoom in’ and ‘zoom out’ and explore connections on a local, national and international scale.

Doing history justice by representing the richness and diversity of the past.

Making serious and meaningful attempts to approach difficult stories with compassion and expertise in dialogue with students.

Engaging students through a series of carefully sequenced and historically-valid enquiry questions.

Promoting high levels of oracy and literacy by encouraging students to think, speak and write like a historian.

Developing knowledge and understanding of important historical concepts such as ‘democracy’, ‘empire’ and ‘conflict’.

Developing knowledge and understanding of the skills that underpin history, such as ‘evidence’, ‘causation’ and ‘interpretation’.

Building intricate connections across history content and that of other qualifications and subjects.

To access the curriculum plans for each year group, please use the links at the side of this page.

If a year group link is not available you can contact our History Team at contact@suthersschool.co.uk where they will get back to you with further information.

June 2022

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