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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition


Head of Faculty - Mr James Docherty

History at STACS intends to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. As Marcus Garvey said, “ A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” We aim to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.

In Key Stage 3, our approach is to provide a coherent, chronological narrative of the history of these islands from Anglo Saxon times to the Twentieth Century. This will demonstrate how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.  

Through our lessons we aim to develop understanding of key historical concepts such as continuity and change, significance and cause and consequence.



KS3 Overview 


Chronology and Monarchy: BC/AD, Centuries

Anglo Saxon England: The Anglo Saxons, The Vikings, Alfred the Great, Golden Age.

Norman England: The events of 1066, Norman Conquest, Feudal System, Norman Monarchs.

Medieval Kingship: Henry II, John, Edward I, Henry V.

Late Medieval England: Black Death, Peasants Revolt, Wars of the Roses, Bosworth.

Henry VIII and the Reformation: The Young Henry, Reformation, Henry’s “Great Matter”, Reformation, Edward VI.

The later Tudors: Mary I, Elizabeth I, Golden Age, Spanish Armada.


English Civil War: James I and the Gunpowder Plot, Charles I and Parliament, Outbreak of the Civil War, Trial and Execution.

Commonwealth and Restoration: Cromwell’s Commonwealth, The Restoration, Great Fire of London, Glorious Revolution.

Georgian Britain: Creation of Great Britain, Hanoverian Succession, Parliamentary Government.

British Empire: America, India, Australia, Ruling the Waves, Wealth and Trade.

The Americas: Transatlantic Slave Trade, Life as a Slave, Abolition.

Industrial Revolution: Steam Engine, Cotton textiles, Railway Age, Urbanisation, Factory Life, Social and Political Reform, Law and Order.

Twentieth Century: Titanic, Suffragettes, Events of World War II, Holocaust.


There are regular opportunities for low stakes quizzes on each topic, with pupils asked to do specific practice retrieval in advance. There is a summative assessment at the end of each unit. This will consist of 18 knowledge questions, and 2 extended writing questions based on causation.

Ks4 Overview 

From Years 9 – 11 we study the Eduqas GCSE in History course. This encourages learners to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for history by extending their knowledge and understanding of specific historical events, periods and societies.  There is a broad and balanced course of study through a process of historical enquiry based on three eras - Medieval (500-1500), Early Modern (1450-1750) and Modern (1700-present day); and specific aspects of the past in depth (short term), and breadth (medium and long term).

The specification is available at: https://www.eduqas.co.uk/media/vzupipk4/eduqas-gcse-history-spec-from-2016-e-20-12-2019.pdf


USA 1910-29: Immigration, religion and race, crime and corruption, economic boom, end of prosperity, popular entertainment and the role of women.

Elizabethan England: Government, rich and poor in society, popular entertainment.


Elizabethan England (part 2): the problem of religion, Catholic threat, Armada, Puritans.

Development of the UK: Life in the Twenties, Depression, Home Front in World War II, Post War Britain, Swinging Sixties, Stuttering Seventies, Thatcher Years.


Changes in Crime and Punishment c.500-present day: Causes of crime, nature of crime, enforcing law and order, combating crime, methods of punishment, attitudes to crime and punishment. This topic incorporates a study of a nominated historical site. (Lincoln castle Gaol in 2025).


Each study unit is assessed in a terminal exam at the end of year 11. There will be compulsory questions focusing extensively on the analysis and evaluation of historical sources and interpretations. There will also be questions testing second order historical concepts including continuity, change, cause, consequence, significance, similarity and difference.

Past exam papers and mark schemes are available at:


KS5 Overview

History is a popular and successful academic subject at A Level. We study AQA A level History. Students are taught Unit 1C on Tudor England and 2R the Cold War. The specification is available at: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/as-and-a-level/history-7041-7042/specification-at-a-glance.

This course encourages students to:

  • develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, history and an understanding of its intrinsic value and significance
  • build on their understanding of the past through experiencing a broad and balanced course of study
  • improve as effective and independent students and as critical and reflective thinkers with curious and enquiring minds
  • develop the ability to ask relevant and significant questions about the past and to research them
  • acquire an understanding of the nature of historical study, for example that history is concerned with judgements based on available evidence and that historical judgements are provisional
  • develop their use and understanding of historical terms, concepts and skills
  • organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in different ways, arguing a case and reaching substantiated judgements.



Consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty – Henry VII and Henry VIII


Mid Tudor Crisis and the triumph of Elizabeth.



Origins of the Cold War, Widening 1949-55 and Global War 1945 – 62.


Confrontation 1963-72, The Brezhnev Era and End of the Cold War.

Students also complete a Historical Investigation (Non Examined Assessment) which is a piece of extended writing based on a topic agreed with their teacher.


There is a terminal assessment at the end of Year 13. At A-level, there are three assessment components. Component 1 assesses students’ understanding of breadth and of historical interpretations. Component 2 assesses understanding of depth and of the value of primary sources. Component 3 is a Historical Investigation (non-exam assessment). Past papers are available at: https://www.aqa.org.uk/find-past-papers-and-mark-schemes.

In 1C, there will be a compulsory question in Section A testing students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the views of historians. Three extracts will be provided, containing historical interpretations linked to a broad issue or development. Students will be required to identify the arguments and evaluate them. In doing so, they must apply knowledge and understanding of the historical context to these arguments and interpretations. This question carries 30 marks.

Section B will contain three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. Each essay assesses historical understanding of developments and issues within a broad and coherent chronology, covering a minimum of 20 years. The focus of these questions will be, as appropriate, on understanding causation, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance over time. Each question in this section carries 25 marks.

In 2R, there will be a compulsory question in Section A testing students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the value of primary sources to an historian studying a particular issue or development (AO2). Three sources will be set for evaluation. In their assessments, students are expected to evaluate the sources, considering, for example, provenance, style and emphasis and the content of the sources. Students must deploy knowledge and understanding of the historical context when making their assessments and, in doing so, must avoid generalised comment about the value of sources without reference to context. This question carries 30 marks.

Section B will contain three essay questions of which students are required to answer two. Each essay is designed to test historical understanding in depth, by a focus on events, issues and developments and the interrelationships of various perspectives as they apply to the question. Each question in this section carries 25 marks.

Students must complete a Historical Investigation worth 40 marks. The Historical Investigation must:

  • be independently researched and written by the student
  • take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years that does not duplicate content within option chosen for Components 1 and 2
  • be presented in the form of a piece of extended writing of between 3500 and 4500 words in length, with a limit of 4500 words
  • draw upon the student's investigation of sources (both primary and secondary) which relate to the development or issue chosen and the differing interpretations that have been placed on this.