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History Curriculum Rationale


“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.”’  - Doctor Who            


The History department at King’s possesses a deep-seated love of History. We are passionate about nurturing a passion and enthusiasm for History in each and every student. History is vast and ever-changing. One may think there exists a single answer; one correct path to follow, but History changes based on who is asking and who is answering. History is not only about dates and names; it is at its heart, a subject for storytellers. Our characters are heroes, villains and the everyday human being. Our stages are world wars and peacetime. Understanding History is understanding the world, and everything in it. Therefore, every student regardless of starting point, ability or home language will become a successful Historian. By studying history, we will develop Historians who are inquisitive, critical thinkers, articulate and empowered. Leaders with tolerance and curiosity for other cultures, societies, beliefs and a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

We endeavour to do this through a range of topics aimed at expanding both students’ global historical narrative. This is achieved through a rigorous curriculum which explores history from Ancient Greece to modern day.


Knowledge Rich

The History curriculum at King’s is designed to be ‘knowledge rich’. It is designed to present our students with a wider knowledge of the history of the world and provide our students with invaluable knowledge of the past. It focusses not only on content but the skills which our students need to become, not only successful Historians, but successful citizens such as understanding of key features and characteristics of the period being studied, explanation and analysis of historical events, source analysis, and finally making substantiated judgements about historical interpretations. Furthermore, all knowledge is interleaved within the curriculum and linked across topics to deepen and strengthen students’ understanding and application.

Vocabulary Rich

One focus of the History curriculum is to develop and encourage fluency in subject specific terminology. It is important that students are able to understand the meaning, application and etymology of words that they would not encounter outside of History. At King’s each History lesson has focus of a subject specific word, designed to increase pupils’ language proficiency and grammatical knowledge. This is done through a ‘Key Word’ of the lesson which also appears in the focus of the lesson hypothesis. Terminology is embedded through subject specialist teaching, using and applying vocabulary repeatedly throughout teaching and learning.

Academic skills/Independent Learners

Learners will work with increasing confidence, independence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of evaluating, explaining and analysing history. This includes demonstrating their understanding of key features and characteristics of the period being studied, explanation and analysis of historical events, source analysis, and finally making substantiated judgements about historical interpretations. The curriculum sees the development of all four historical skills which can then be applied across the wider curriculum and lend themselves to other scaffolds.

Intellectual Habits

The curriculum allows and plans for an extended, teacher assessed piece of work every fourth lesson. Students must then apply feedback to improve their original piece. One hour every fortnight is dedicated to students applying accuracy, reflection and strategic thinking to their work with guided, personalised tasks in place by the class teacher.


The history curriculum at King’s is designed to explore and develop an informed understanding not only of British history, but the in-depth understanding of world history. Throughout the curriculum there is opportunity to explore various historical events from a different and multicultural perspective. It is our belief that history cannot be understood, or a depth of historical understanding cannot be developed, without a varied and vigorous study of history around the world.


All students with SEND should have the same access to a stretching and challenging curriculum as all other students and study GCSE to GCSE level. Teaching and learning is adapted for SEND students of all abilities appropriately with an opportunity for students to receive more bespoke teaching towards their tiered exam from year 9 onwards. SEN, is a weekly focus in departmental meetings to ensure all students are receiving the best, tailored teaching as possible. The history curriculum allows all students the ability to develop an understanding of history, how history links to the wider world and develop historical skills that can be applied throughout their school career.

2023 - 24 History Subject Narrative