A high quality history education will help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of both Britain’s past and the wider world.  Study in history will inspire students’ curiosity to know more about the past and how it has shaped the world we live in.  Students will learn how to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh and analyse evidence, sift arguments and develop both perspective and judgement.  Furthermore, studying history helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

What is different about KS3 History at Torpoint Community College?

History is now more than just a collection of stories about famous people and significant events.

History assessment is much more than measuring whether students are able to recount facts or call upon knowledge they have acquired.

Teaching History is about teaching skills, which will enable students to access historical events and significant people with more depth and understanding.

Sometimes, students will figure out the story for themselves.

Of course, there are many amazing stories about amazing people and amazing events. These stories should go hand in hand with an understanding of the skills required to inspire and motivate students to become amazing historians.

What are the different skills in History?

There are five distinct skills in History;

Historical Interpretations & Representations

Students are taught to appreciate that there are many different interpretations of the same event or person. We investigate an approach which embraces the idea that students should question what has been written about history and link this to a broad range of evidence. We celebrate the idea that students can build their own historical interpretations as developing historians.

Cause & Consequence

In addition to studying specific events across a broad range of time periods, students are encouraged to look ‘beyond and before’ the event, to investigate what caused an event/person’s actions and what the consequence of the event/person’s actions were.


Students study a wide range of events and significant people across a broad time frame of history. We encourage students to ponder the significance of these people and events, linking short and long term impact of the event/person’s actions on history. We encourage students to decide which event/person is more significant.

Change & Continuity

We encourage students to look at events across different time periods to decide when a change in history is inevitable. This can be due to a person’s actions or an event. When history continues along a certain path, despite actions or events, we encourage students to ponder and discuss the implications of this continuity on certain social factions/areas. We ask students to imagine a future that has not yet and did not exist.


A very important skill as an historian is one of investigation of artefacts from history. We encourage students to be ‘historical detectives’ and to hone their skill of source analysis, whether this source be text, photograph, painting, poem, artefact or otherwise. We celebrate ideas and opinions about what a source might show us; who the audience might be; when and where in history the source originates and ultimately, the purpose; why the source has been published. We encourage students to link source analysis with knowledge of events/people from history.

How are students assessed in History?

On entry to each year in Key Stage 3, students will take a Baseline Assessment. This allows us to ascertain a starting point for each student. It also clearly shows us what each student has achieved for each of the five concepts and where a student may need to focus for the next learning episode.

At regular intervals, at least once per half term, students will undertake a formal assessment. We can then see how much progress a student is making in specific (or all) concept areas.

Whilst the topic/context of the assessment may change, the students are always assessed across all of the key concepts in History.

Assessment in History takes many forms. Teachers are encouraged to consider not just written responses to questions, but also evidence in class books, Progress Pitstops (Student Self-Assessments), Home Learning tasks, classroom tasks (including discussions, presentations etc) and any other valid form of assessment material, when making a decision about a students progress towards their aspirational target grade.

How are students assessed against the Programme of Study?

Each student is assessed against each skill. Teachers will make an informed decision as to whether a student is Emerging, Developing, Secure or demonstrating Mastery of each of the five concepts in History.

What is the Key Stage 3 History Programme of Study?

Year 7 and 8 Programmes of Study consist of three topics each, to allow for the Humanities teaching carousel;

Year 7

Autumn Term: Medieval England: A study of England from 1066

Spring Term: What Makes a Good King?: A study of significant kings and queens through history, focusing on the Tudors, Stuarts, Elizabethans and present monarchy

Summer Term: Changing Minds in Britain c.1500-1605: A study of the changes in thinking, religion, society and culture in England from 1500-1605

Year 8

Autumn Term: Industrial Revolution: an investigation in to life in the 19th century in England, with a particular focus on Liverpool and Cornwall

Spring Term: Herstory: A study of significant women in early and modern history

Summer Term: Segregation: A study of slavery and the slave trade and an investigation in to civil rights in America in the 1950’s

Year 9

The Year 9 Programmes of Study consist of four topics;

Autumn Term 1: World War 1: An investigation in to how WW1 began, with a particular focus on the assassination of Franz Ferdinand

Autumn Term 2: Germany 1930-45: The Depression and the rise of the Nazi Party

Spring Term: The Holocaust: A study and investigation in to the persecution of the Jewish people of Europe and other minority groups during the years 1939-45

Summer Term 2: Crime & Punishment (new for 2016-17): A study of different forms of crime and associated punishments in early and modern history.

Year 10 and 11

Students follow the EDEXCEL GCSE (9-1) History course 1HI0.  There are 3 examination papers:

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment in Britain, c-1000 to the present day, including a depth study on Whitechapel, c1870-c1900: crime, policing and the inner city.  This exam lasts for 1 hour and 15 minutes and is worth 30% of the final grade

Paper 2 – Elizabethan England, 1558-1588; SuperPower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-91.  This exam lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes and is worth 40% of the final grade

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-38.  This exam lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes and is worth 30% of the final grade

Post 16

Students follow the EDEXCEL A level History course 9HI0.  They will focus on Route C – Revolutions in Early Modern and Modern Europe

There are 4 parts to the course:

Paper 1 – Britain, 1625-1701: conflict, revolution and settlement.  This exam lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes and is worth 30% of the final grade

Paper 2 – Russia in Revolution, 1894-1924.  This exam lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes and is worth 20% of the final grade

Paper 3 – The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580-c1750.  This exam lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes and is worth 30% of the final grade

Coursework – an independent investigation into an area of historical debate on Nazi Germany.  This is a 4,000 word essay and is completed by February of year 13.  It is internally assessed and then moderated by the exam board.  Students are taught a short unit on Nazi Germany and given access to a range of historians’ works.  They are given advice on how to construct their essay.  This is worth 20% of the final grade

Useful websites:

All Key Stage 4 and Post-16 students are encouraged to use Edmodo – www.edmodo.com.  Their teacher will supply them with a group code and this will allow them to access all the lesson resources and a host of other weblinks to support and enhance their studies