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Tristan Swoffer - Head of History - tristan.swoffer@swale.at

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it


Subject Overview

History at PCS is taught through enquiry questions, both at KS3 and GCSE.

We believe that a rigorous study of history is essential to enable all students to be able to understand the world around them and how it has been constructed over time. We want to ignite a burning curiosity and a passion for learning in all students, and to provide them with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the world they live in, from a local, British and global perspective. We believe history should empower young people to participate in a democratic society through developing critical minds that can make considered judgements.

10 Principles of our history curriculum:

  • To ignite a passion for learning in all students.
  • To enable all students to access a rigorous, pithy and diverse history curriculum through differentiation and Quality First Teaching.
  • To empower our students by equipping them with a detailed knowledge and understanding of their own history, and the history of others.
  • To allow all students to “talk like a historian” through specific teaching of subject-specific vocabulary and opportunities for structured talk (oracy).
  • To equip students with a coherent chronological understanding of British history from 1066 until the present day, including an understanding of change and continuity of power, beliefs, and everyday life over time.
  • To enable students to operate as historians with an understanding of the subject as an academic discipline, through explicit teaching of the Second Order Concepts (cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, chronological understanding, evidential understanding, interpretations and significance).
  • To develop students’ ability to reason, construct arguments and form considered judgements, in both written and oral communication.
  • To develop students as critical thinkers, with an ability to critically engage with “fake news” and other sources, through the explicit teaching of historical interpretations.
  • To develop students’ ability to analyse sources and make inferences through the explicit teaching of evidential understanding.

To motivate our students to participate in their democracy by giving them an understanding of how political systems operate and how they have developed over time.

Teaching and Learning


2 lessons per week

Overview of skills: In KS3 we will be developing the necessary skills that are needed for KS4. Our learning journey will explore a range of world history, ranging from the Romans to the 21st century war on terror. We will be using sources, evidence and interpretations to gain an understanding of the past and also evaluate how history has been shaped and communicated to us.

Year 7

In terms 1&2 students will find out what happened to a pair of skeletons found at Maiden Castle, whether the Romans & Vikings were civilised, and the Norman Conquest in 1066.

In terms 3&4 students will study a thematic unit on Power and how it has changed over time.

In terms 5&6 students will study the most significant individuals of the Industrial Revolution and how migration has impacted Britain.

Year 8

In terms 1&2 students will study the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and whether the British Empire should be remembered as a source of pride or shame.

In terms 3&4 students will study the US Civil Rights Movement and the US involvement in Vietnam.

In terms 5&6 students will evaluate how conflicts have changed over time and will finish with the witchcraze.

Year 9

In terms 1&2 students will study the Russian Revolution and whether the US was the land of the free in the roaring 1920s.

In terms 3&4 students will study the Holocaust and the English Reformation.

In terms 5&6 students will begin their GCSE content by studying Early Elizabethan England.


3 lessons per fortnight, Edexcel Exam Board


In KS3 our homework focus will be project based over half a term, with the expectation that pupils contribute 1 hour per fortnight. For example, in Year 8 there is a local history project where you can research a part of local history of your choosing.

In KS4 revision will be revision of GCSE content. This will be based on the ‘Learning Performance’ model, whereby you reflect on previous learning and condense it into manageable chunks. It will give every pupil an opportunity to go over every topic at least twice, therefore preparing you for exams.