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John Milton Academy Trust

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Powerful Knowledge

Students study the following units in Year 9, following Stowupland High School designed History Schemes of Work:

1. Did Britain experience a revolution between 1750 & 1900? (studied during the Autumn Term) developing the age of change theme, looking at a range of aspects of change, mainly focusing on industry with the shift from the domestic to the factory system, agriculture , and to a lesser extent towns & transport.  Students examine the reasons for these changes as well as the extent of the changes through a study of both national and local perspectives.

2. Why should we remember the First World War? (studied during the Spring Term) looking at the First World War in depth, dealing with the origins, then focusing on the experience of soldiers in the Trenches and finishing with an interpretation of the role of the individual of Haig as the Butcher of the Somme. Students also build on local study experience by looking at the Stowupland and catchment villages Roll of Honour Spreadsheet material & tracing some of these men to their final resting place during the Battlefields visit weekend at the end of the Spring Term.

3. Should the 20th Century be remembered as the Age of War? (studied during the Summer Term) examining at the legacy of 20th Century in light of the rise of Nazi Germany, Second World War, the Holocaust and a post 1945 research study.


Students study the following units in Year 8, following Stowupland High School designed History & RS Schemes of Work:

1. How important was religion in the 16th & 17th Centuries? (studied the Autumn & Spring Terms) beginning with a chronological overview of the monarchs & political & religious events in the Tudor & Stuart Age Students’ critical assessment of sources is explicitly revisited in the Mary Rose work, followed by an examination of the significance of religion in the 16th & 17th Centuries with studies of the main episodes during the Tudor & Stuart age, including the reign of Henry VIII, the Reformation, Queen Mary’s rule, The Armada, The English Civil War, Witchcraft & the Plague. Causation is addressed regularly, including the Armada & Civil War & culminating in the Great Fire work. Students’ RS entitlement is covered here very much in context by exploring the importance of religion & belief in life & death.

2. How was Empire & Slavery challenged? (studied in the Summer Term) beginning by examining a range of evidence concerning the role of Empire, before looking at the issue of Slavery and the ways in which this was challenged - this unit therefore explicitly covers the ethical debate on Empire & Slavery to meet students’ RS entitlement. Students also embark on a study in depth on Hinduism as part of the wider world study that this unit encourages, which also explicitly covers their RS entitlement.

Students study the following units in Year 7, following Stowupland High School designed History & RS Schemes of Work:

1. Was the fall of the Roman Empire inevitable? (studied during the Autumn & Spring Terms) beginning by developing an understanding of the nature of history through the examination of primary source material, and then on explaining how the Romans were able to gain and maintain control over such a vast Empire from humble beginnings, summing this up in an assessment task dealing with the reasons for the success of the Roman Army.  The role of individuals, organizations and achievements are looked at as well as wider life through an examination of Roman religion & entertainment to maintain breadth of coverage.  The unit rounds off by reflecting on the achievements of the Roman Empire through an obituary task.

2. How did Medieval Monarchs gain & maintain control over England? (studied during the Spring & Summer Terms) looking at how Medieval Monarchs gained and kept control of their lands and the problems they encountered in doing so.  Students begin with an overview of Medieval Monarchs and a homework research project to develop greater depth of knowledge. The events of 1066 are then examined before a consideration of how William consolidated power through castle building, the Feudal System & the Domesday Book. The question of control is further explored when encountering the Medieval Village, whilst challenges to monarchical control are considered in the role of the Church & Murder of Thomas Becket and in the Black Death and Peasants Revolt. The RS unit on Islam linked to the Crusades in historical context as well as linking to the role of Christianity & the importance of belief to explicitly meet the RS entitlement.


The History Department considers that it has an important role in delivering Literacy requirements in the school, particularly through reading and writing, and that good written and spoken communication are essential to ensure progress within the subject.

Students in Years 7-9 are issued with a list of key spellings at the start of each year.  These are placed in the back of student books & displayed on classroom walls. Staff focus on these target words for use in lessons and correction in marked work. 

Writing frames to aid students in structuring extended writing are frequently used within lessons. In marking of work teachers identify key spelling and punctuation errors, for students to correct or target improvement in future pieces of work.  History specific literacy mats have been developed in house for use in lessons to help add to the range of vocabulary students use in their writing.

Examples of the development of Literacy in the work students undertake in their History work include:

Letter / Speech writing: Year 7 Roman Entertainment / Year 8 Spanish Armada              

Empathetic Writing: Year 7 Medieval Life diary / Year 8 Great Plague & Fire / Year 9 WWI historical novel

Structured Writing: Year 7 Roman Army / Year 8 Mary Rose / Witchcraft

Essay Writing: Year 9 Causes of the First World War / Haig & the Somme

Report Writing: Year 9 Industrial Revolution conditions report             

Source comprehension: All units

& Analysis

School Context

The Year 9 History course is designed to link to prior & future learning & reflect the school context in the following ways:

The Industrial Revolution unit includes a key section on agriculture to reflect the rural nature of the school, and the factory study is to expand students’ horizons beyond the local. The cross-curricular Gun Cotton Deep Learning Day draws on a more local context, as does the First World War through the experience of local soldiers - this also links to the planned battlefield trip at the end of the unit. The Second World War works in a similar way, but the rise of the Nazis provides clear context for future study of the causes of the Second World War at GCSE.


The Year 7&8 History & RS course is designed to link to prior & future learning & reflect the school context by the following

The Romans unit provides an introduction to the study of history in order to provide the same starting point for all students irrespective of their feeder primary school. Th Islam and Hinduism RS sections are designed to broaden students’ spiritual and cultural horizons in what is predominantly a white rural cohort. This wider perspective is also provided by the Empire & Slavery unit and to some extent the Romans unit.


Five/six core pieces of work per year (including a mix of homework & classwork) are assessed using standardised subject progression levelling & agreed markschemes through a coded marking process. These are increasingly designed to match the requirements of GCSE History questions to aid the progression of students. This ensures a more consistent approach across the department and assists specialists & non-specialists alike to provide subject specialist feedback helping to embed core historical skills & knowledge.  The coded marking process is also designed to help staff manage the assessment process more efficiently and allow increased student ownership of assessment through peer & self-assessment which in turn will enhance student performance.

All students will attempt these core same pieces (with some differentiation by input as well as outcome) which are sampled for moderation, and the marks recorded centrally on the Go4 Schools system in order to track progress.

Students are encouraged to reflect on their performance when work is handed back with a ‘what I did well’ statement & a ‘what I could do better’ comment. Reward & House points will be indicated on the work and praise postcards distributed for key pieces of work. Since traditional national levels have been phased out, the department does not favour indicating these on student work itself, although GCSE levels will still be used for the school reporting system and for teachers to have a grasp of the relative achievement of their students. The department feels that the giving of levels too often clouds the essential process of feedback which is to accentuate the positive elements in the work & to identify next steps for improvement.

Day to day marking is undertaken using brief written comments for praise and any further targets for development, again using coding as well as peer & self-assessment undertaken in class. It is still important to mark this work in order to maintain student motivation and provide feedback on progress. This should focus workload and allow students to focus on comments rather than marks.  In addition, the department stresses the use of other forms of feedback such as teacher oral comment which will not necessarily be recorded. Assessments feed into the Data Drop process across the year.


See the above GCSE & A Level statements.