“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”– Martin Luther King Jr.
History is the knowledge of and the study of the past. It is essential for all of us in understanding ourselves and the world around us. History gives us a very clear picture of how various aspects of society worked in the past, so we can understand how it works now. It allows us to observe how people and society have behaved in the past so we can effectively create laws and theories about various aspects of society. History can help give us a sense of identity as historians are able to learn about how countries, families and groups were formed, and how they evolved over time. History helps us understand present day issues by asking deeper questions as to why things are the way that they are. History therefore provides us with the essential knowledge to become better informed citizens as knowing who we are as a collective group is a key element of maintaining a democratic society. The study of history also helps us to develop our own values and morals by looking at the consequences of the decisions made by our predecessors.
The skills acquired when learning about history, such as critical thinking, research, assessing information and presenting sustained arguments are all useful skills which are highly sought after by a wide range of employers.
Key Stage 3
By the end of Key Stage 3, Magnus students will have a strong foundation of knowledge of British history that ranges from the fall of the Roman empire through to the 20th Century. By doing so, they should have a basic understanding of medieval, early modern and modern history that would provide them with the knowledge of the most significant changes within Britain.
In order to pinpoint the most important parts of history within this period, students will look at significant people and events that were catalysts for change. This will feed into the key concepts of change, continuity, importance, significance, cause and consequence. I also want students to know how British history impacted upon the wider world. Throughout their study of History, the curriculum will also provide students with an understanding of essential concepts such as the role of religion, changes in society, economy, politics, law and conflict.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
At Key Stage 4, students will look at four main studies of history; including a British depth study, a wider world study, a thematic study and a period study.
For the British depth study, students will explore ‘Norman England’, looking at key themes such as changes to government, society and religion as well as learning about the key conflicts and rebellions from the period. Within this topic, students will also be designated a related Historic environment of which they will study the origins, purpose and significance.
For the Wider world study, students will be looking at more modern history as they complete the ‘Conflict and Tension: The Interwar Years 1918-1939’ module. Within this topic, students will look at the relationship between major powers following the First World War, the formation of the League of nations and the road to war in the 1930s.
For the thematic study, students will cover a broader time period but be focusing on the theme of medical progress in the module ‘Britain: Health and the People 1000-present day’. Students will focus on the progress of medicine, surgery and public health within this time period. Finally, students will also study the changes to the USA in their final period module ‘America: Expansion and Consolidation 1840-1890’. In this topic, students will look at how America expanded westwards and how this caused conflict of cultures. Students will also look at the tensions between the Northern and Southern states which led to the American Civil war and the emancipation of African Americans.
Across all four modules, students will develop key historical skills such as source and interpretation analysis, contextual understanding and the application of second order concepts such as change and continuity, significance and importance, cause and consequence and similarity and difference.
Key Stage 5 (A Level)
Our A Level history qualification has been designed to help students understand the significance of historical events, the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time. Our qualification will help them to gain a deeper understanding of the past through political, social, economic and cultural perspectives.
The topics delivered to them throughout the course will provide them with the knowledge and skills they require to succeed as A-level historians. At Key Stage 5, students are introduced to two main modules of study; the breadth topic and the depth topic.
For the breadth topic, students will explore the Tudor period in England, ranging from the years 1485 through to 1603. Within this topic, students will study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions: How effectively did the Tudors restore and develop the powers of the monarchy? In what ways and how effectively was England governed during this period? How did relations with foreign powers change and how was the succession secured? How did English society and economy change and with what effects? How far did intellectual and religious ideas change and develop and with what effects? How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?
For the depth study, students will explore international relations between the major powers 1890-1941. This option provides for the study in depth of a period in which political ambitions and rivalries between nations plunged the world into major wars. It develops concepts such as nationalism, militarism and the balance of power and encourages students to reflect on the causes of war and what makes international diplomacy succeed or fail.
In addition to the two main modules, students will also complete an independent historical investigation. The purpose of the historical investigation is to enable students to develop the skills, knowledge and historical understanding acquired through the study of the examined components of the specification. Through undertaking the historical investigation, students will develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and purpose of history as a discipline and how historians work.