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The History department at Knole Academy disputes the old fashioned view that history is just about kings and queens and battles and all things that are dead and buried.  We endeavour to provide all students with the opportunity to gain a meaningful understanding of the past, which is relevant to their own experiences.  We also hope to encourage a mature appreciation of the present world in the light of the successes and mistakes of the past.  These are very valuable life skills and will enable each student to grow into a well-informed citizen. The History department also aims to provide students with the ability to locate, record and organise information and to construct a logical, supported argument.


History is a subject that everyone can enjoy because it is the story of your own family, your town and country and the world that you live in. When you start your studies in Year 7 you begin an investigation that can lead to a life long enjoyment and appreciation of the past.

Throughout your time at Knole Academy you will be encouraged to seek out evidence, interview people and form your own opinions. Working alone, in pairs and in groups you will be expected to achieve high standards of individual and team work. You won’t just be asked to write essays or answer questions. Instead we want you to find interesting ways to share your ideas. Sharing thoughts can be fun through the use of drama or verbal presentations. Information can be very colourful and attractively presented with hand drawn or ICT produced pictures and graphs.

Key Stage 3

What will you be studying at Key Stage 3?

You will be studying a curriculum that will help you become very familiar with the national history of Britain and of other countries and cultures around the world and from the past.

You will study a number of units each year. Work in each unit will be focused on a particular topic with an emphasis on gaining skills you need in later life. Regular assessments will inform you of your progress and help you and your teacher set targets for your future work.

Currently students study the following curriculum:

Year 7

Students will learn about significant events/people from the Roman period to 1603, the end of the Tudor period. More specifically students will be studying: the key historical skills, the Battle of Hastings, for example what happened during the battle; medieval life, including the changes brought about by William the Conqueror; the declining power of the monarchy, as well as the peasants’ revolt; significant Tudor monarchs and the  English Civil War and the restoration.

Throughout Key Stage 3 students will be learning about the past through the development of historical skills which are firstly discovered early in year 7 and are continually developed. These include the consistent use of historical evidence and enquiry, as well as looking at cause and consequence, change and continuity and historical significance.

Year 8

Students will learn about Industrial England, social protest in the 18th and 19th Century, comprising of a look at rebellions in the Empire and discontent at home, as well as some world revolution; the impact of slavery; students will also look at the 20th Century world: developing an understanding about the changing nature of warfare starting with World War One and ending with the conflict in Vietnam ensuring that in our study of World War Two that there is a depth study on the Holocaust.

Teaching Methods

The majority of lessons involve paired and group work, individual study and development of extended written answers, class discussion and staff led presentations. Lessons are very interactive and pupils are invited to role-play, hot seat and act out historical enquiries. The department is also keen to encourage the use of numeracy, literacy and ICT within the study of History.


The History department assesses progress using a variety of methods. In addition to assessment for learning, using questioning techniques, teacher comments and appraisal, each student will undertake several formally assessed pieces of work each year (these will be based on the enquiry question that they have covered).  After each assessment students will review their performance with their teacher and together they will set individual targets to help them improve in the future. All assessments are graded and recorded.  Students also have the opportunity to regularly reflect and evaluate their own work to help them progress towards their end of year target.

Key Stage 4

If students wish to study history beyond Key Stage 3 they are required to opt to study it. History at GCSE is a series of enquiries based on historical evidence. In years 9, 10 and 11 students will study a wide variety of different areas of history using mediums such as trips, the internet, PowerPoint, video, hot seating and role-play.

For years 9, 10 and 11 students we are using the Edexcel History (GCSE 9-1). For further information about the course please see the table below:

Paper 1 - Medicine in Britain. c1250 - present, plus the British sector of the Western Front, 1914 - 18: surgery and treatment.

During the teaching of this unit, students will gain an appreciation of the changing nature of medicine looking directly at: ideas about the cause of disease and illness, approaches to prevention and treatment plus various case studies to exemplify the periods of study. The unit of work starts with medieval England and travels through time to the modern day. Alongside this medicine unit there is also an extension topic which focuses on the British sector of the Western Front. Students will gain an appreciation of the conditions that faced surgeons during the First World War; as well as this they will develop an understanding of the different sorts of evidence that historians use to gather their knowledge.

Paper 2 - Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941 - 91, plus Henry VIII and his ministers, 1509 - 40

This exam requires students to understand a period of time in depth and comprises of two parts. For the first part 'Superpower relations', students will get an increased understanding of the origins of the Cold War, what happened during and as a result of the conflict. For the second part 'Henry VIII and his ministers', students will develop an appreciation of Henry's relationship with Wolsey and Cromwell; as well as this they will also gain a deeper understanding of the Reformation and its impact on society.

Paper 3 - Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 - 39

This exam is another depth study and focuses on Germany before and after the rise of Hitler. Students will learn about the impact that the First World War had on Germany society and economy as well as looking specifically about how Hitler managed to gain power and reach the role of Fuhrer. After Hitler's rise to Fuhrer the students will learn about how the Nazis changed Germany by establishing the dictatorship and how there was challenge towards that dictatorship.

  Finally, students will understand how the social and economic lives of the Germans changed as a result of the Nazi regime.


For  students who opt for history their final grade will result solely from terminal examinations taken in year 11. Paper 1 (Medicine and the Western Front) represents 30%, paper 2 (Cold War and Henry VIII) represents 40% and paper 3 (Weimar and Nazi Germany) represents 30% of the total GCSE qualification. Please note that there is no controlled assessment/coursework.

Future Opportunities

History is a highly regarded qualification and teaches important skills relevant to many future career opportunities. For example, history develops clear analytical and communication skills that are useful beyond the study of history. History qualifications lead to careers in areas such as the police force, research, law, finance, sales, media and marketing, education and journalism. A GCSE in this subject would be very useful for a number of post 16 courses including law, media studies, English and, of course, history.

Key Stage 5

Why choose history?

History is not just the study of the past. When we study our ancestors and why they did what they did, we are investigating human behaviour and learning more about ourselves. This History A level allows students to develop skills needed for adult life, such as the ability to question and solve problems.

How will it help my career?

A History A level is a well-respected qualification, not just by universities but by employers also. With a qualification in History you could go on to Higher Education, not just to study History, but any one of the many arts and social sciences courses available. With or without a degree, you can use a History qualification to work in a great variety of jobs in business and administration, the police service, the law, journalism and the media (as well as the more obvious careers like teaching or working in museums and libraries).

What do you do?

Students study the A level qualification however students will be entered for the AS level exams at the end of year one.
The A level qualification is comprised of 4 different units. There is scope to examine key historical topics at first hand, through original sources, investigate a current major historical controversy, look at an historical period in depth and complete individual investigations on approved topics.

Unit code

Unit name/content

Length of exam

% of A level


England 1485-1558 the early Tudors, including the government of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Wolsey as well as the mid Tudor Crisis 1547-1558 encompassing religious change, rebellion and unrest.

1.5 hours



The Cold War in Europe 1941-1955; including the origins of the Cold War, its development, leading us through to the end of the Cold War in 1995.

1 hour



Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992, including the struggle for equality of African Americans, Native Americans, Trade Unions and Women.

2 hours



Coursework – this will be a depth study relating to one of the units that you have undertaken in the A Level study, alternatively, this can be a breadth study on a new topic of study.




Useful Revision Pointers


Useful revision pointers for Year 10 and 11 GCSE Historians:

This guidance is not just for history but for all of your subjects. You should:

  • begin early
  • revise often
  • make a plan
  • make revision a part of every homework task
  • try out different approaches e.g. spider diagrams/mind maps/key words/post-its/cartoons/recording/testing by another/explaining to someone else/condensing information onto an index card/colour coding topics

Below are some useful places for revising; this includes websites, apps for download and books which you can purchase.

1. - this has information to revise from and then end of topic tests (archived).
2. - BBC biteside has moved to a new site. This link will take you straight to the KS3 History page.
3. -  BBC bitesize has moved to a new site. This link will take you straight to the GCSE History page.
4. - step-by-step revision sections with skills based and knowledge based activities.
5.  - this can be used to find past papers, mark scheme and examiners reports (please note there are none available for the new specification currently).
1.  Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History Medicine in Britain Revision Guide and Workbook (REVISE Edexcel History 16) - by Kirsty Taylor (Author) 
2.  Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History Weimar and Nazi Germany Revision Guide and Workbook (REVISE Edexcel History 16) - by Victoria Payne (Author)
3.  Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History Superpower Relations and the Cold War Revision Guide and Workbook (Revise Edexcel GCSE History 16) - by Brian Dowse (Author)
4.  Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History Henry VIII Revision Guide and Workbook (Revise Edexcel GCSE History 16) - by Brian Dowse (Author)
1.  GCSE History (for Schools) - Revision Buddies – Free – Germany (or £2.99 without ads).
2.  Schools History Project GCSE Revision Games – madebyeducators - £1.99.
3.  I Am Learning; GCSE History – i-education ltd - £1.49.



We invite you to take a look through the Knole Academy prospectus to discover the wealth of opportunities available.


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