The stretching Year 7 History curriculum offered at William Perkin will be one that equips the students with a core of historical knowledge which enables them to place themselves and their communities in wider context. It will also impart a number of central skills which are applicable in History and beyond: analysis, interpretation, enquiry and communication.
History is an exciting subject which students have often studied in miniature at primary school, sometimes through project work on topics like ‘The Tudors’ or ‘The Victorians’. However, in Year 7 students will be challenged to study History as an academic discipline in its own right and it will appeal to all students, irrespective of background or ability.
In Year 7 the students will develop their knowledge of History by covering key concepts such as chronology, sources and research. This begins with an exciting study of the ‘Mystery of the Skeletons’ where the students try to find out what really happened at Maiden Castle!
The students will progress on to a research project looking at an aspect of their family history and present their findings back to their classmates.
After the introductory unit of work the students will look at Medieval History in England, moving from the landmark Norman invasion of 1066 right through to the beginning of the Tudor dynasty in 1485. The stories of the ordinary folk of Medieval England are also woven into the picture as topics like the Black Death and the beliefs of the Church are covered in some detail.
In the last half of the Summer term, the students will have the opportunity to study some local history.
The five units studied are:
- Unit 1 – What is History?
- Unit 2 – Who will be King in 1066?
- Unit 3 – Medieval Kings: power and problems
- Unit 4 – The peasant’s world
- Unit 5 – Local history
The students will do regular pieces of assessed homework which will be given an effort grade as well as feedback on what could be improved. Each of the assessments will be marked and given National Curriculum levels.
It is expected that to develop as historians, students will do either a short lesson preparation task or a longer piece of homework in readiness for the following lesson. The lesson preparation and homework tasks have been carefully designed to develop students’ independence and enthusiasm for the subject as well as forming an essential part of their curriculum experience. These habits of independent learning will foster a desire to learn about History more widely and this will produce excellent future GCSE or A-level historians.
Lesson preparation and homework tasks vary but they could include:
- Preparing a list of 5 key dates on a topic
- Learning a list of spellings/definitions
- Completing a quiz in advance of the following lesson
- Writing a paragraph justifying a viewpoint
- Preparing for a debate
- Writing a newspaper article on a topic
Stretching the Able Students
There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with extended learning during the year. The Family History project and Battle of Hastings re-enactments, all prepared outside class, allow students to delve deeply into the topics and many choose, for example, to visit museums and castles as part of their research. We will aim to take some students in Year 7 to the National Archives in Kew to look at some of the real records in William the Conqueror’s famous Domesday Book of 1066.
Students will be pointed in the direction of the range of History books available from the school library as well as the programmes on television that they might want to look out for. There are a number of excellent learning resources provided on the internet for students and there is a Key Stage 3 resource list available but amongst the best are: