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Subject Leaders: Mrs K Pooley (KS3) and Miss K Kaur (KS4 and KS5)

Students at Coppice study a broad and diverse history curriculum in Key Stage 3 through to Key Stage 5, learning a variety of periods from the Middle Ages to twenty-first century exploring political, economic and social changes that have occurred throughout time. Students also have the opportunity to learn different areas of history including aspects of local, British and world history. As the core purpose of our curriculum is to instil and develop curiosity and engagement in our students, to enable them to make sense of our world today. A highly academic subject, studying history provides the skillset needed to progress in several professions, higher education, and encourages all learners to comprehend and question their own world and society.

Key Stage 3

Students have one lesson of history each week at Key Stage 3. In year 7, students begin by developing key historical skills needed when using evidence and understanding chronology. Students then follow a chronological approach: exploring the Silk Roads and world history prior to 1066; to learning about England in the Medieval, Tudor and Stuart periods; finishing with Industrial Revolution, making links to the local sites of Ironbridge and the Black Country to better understand their local communities. Students finish with an enquiry into the Titanic, using the historical skills developed throughout the year to investigate the controversy of its sinking.

In Year 8 students follow a thematic approach, beginning with a study of World War One and Two, with Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s also studied. In January, to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Week, students will learn about the Holocaust. The next unit is slavery and Civil Rights, where students will learn of the Empire and Africa prior to enslavement, before discovering the conditions for enslaved people, abolition and the Civil Rights movement in twentieth century America- and how this in turn influenced British Civil Rights. The final project focused on the Olympics will revisit the key themes explored throughout the year, teaching students the impact of globalisation and allowing them to discern what these events signify about the world around us.

Students are assessed throughout Key Stage 3 and acquire the key skills to excel further in history, understanding concepts such as significance, causation, and developing skills of inference, explanation, analysis of evidence and interpretations- all of which are enhanced at both Key Stage 4 and 5.

Key Stage 4

Students can opt to continue studying History at GCSE level. Students receive two lessons of History per week and follow the Edexcel course, learning the following units:

  • Medicine Through Time c.1250 to present: a thematic study as to how medicine has changed and continued throughout time, providing students with an understanding of how their own society has been shaped by medical progress e.g., why the NHS was created and the significance of its inception.
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39: modern depth study of the changes that occurred within Germany from its defeat after World War I to the outbreak of World War II. Students will learn of the legacy of the wars and the conditions in which extremist ideologies like Nazism thrived.
  • Henry VIII and his Ministers 1509-40: British depth study teaching students the changes made to political governance and religious beliefs during Henry VIII’s reign, as this shaped England’s religious and political climate thereafter.
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91: period study exploring the Cold War, which will build upon students’ knowledge of ideology and allow them comprehend the political systems and regimes which exist today, along with legacy left by this ideological strife in current affairs and events.

Throughout Key Stage 4, students will be regularly assessed and will develop confidence with the historical skills tested in their final exams. At the end of Year 11 students will take 3 exams, which will test their understanding of each of these units and the skills taught.

Post 16

Students can continue studying History at A-level at Coppice, following the OCR course. At Post-16 students have two double lessons and learn the following units:

  • The Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War, 1603-1660: British period study, forming 25% of the A-level. Students learn about the reigns of James I, Charles I, Cromwell’s rule and the Restoration of Charles II providing an insight into a period of significant political, legal, and social change within Britain.
  • The Cold War in Asia, 1945 – 1993: Non-British Period study, forming 15% of the A-level, focused on American policy, Cold War tensions and how this led to war in South East Asia such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
  • NEA Coursework: Students will complete a 3000–4000 word essay focusing on the historiographical debates produced on an issue within history. This is an internally assessed unit and forms 20% of the A-level.
  • Civil Rights in the USA 1865 – 1992: Thematic study, forming 40% of the A-level, focusing on the struggle of four key groups in the US, and how they gained equality and civil rights. Students will consider the economic, social, and political rights granted to these groups and the factors which encouraged change during the period.

Students will complete three final exams for each of their units, and their independent coursework is submitted to form part of their final grade before the end of Year 13.

Extra-curricular activity, trips, events, clubs, community links

Students in Year 7-8, as part of the Excellence Academy, can participate in the ‘Being Human’ club which offers students the ability to engage in projects and research which combine elements of both History and Geography, focused on topics outside of their curriculum. As part of this club students can attend trips to supplement their current projects.

Additionally, a range of visits, trips and residentials will be offered to students across year groups focused on their current studies and curriculum, as well as wider links to historical and cultural topics- for example, more recently, post-16 students went on a residential to New York.