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St Thomas More Catholic School

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Why is History important?

Studying history is vital to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the past of Britain and the wider world.  History can:

  • Inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past.
  • Equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
  • Help pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.


Miss L Canlett

Miss E Morrissey

Mr H Robinson

Miss L Sukhdeo

Mr N Thorborn - Head of Department

Ms E Thomas

Curriculum Map

History Curriculum Map 2023-24

Enrichment in History

As a department, we believe that history is a hands on subject; we love teaching in class but we help our students make progress by offering a variety of activities that makes them get out and really engage with the past.  Being based in London we have a rich variety of experiences available to us.  At Key Stage 3 we use a range of museums to support learning, from visitors coming into school to recreate events and provide artefacts for students to handle, through to field trips to places such as the Tower of London, London Dungeons and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.  Our GCSE and A Level cohorts attend lectures and seminars from some of the most eminent historians on the planet.

We have strong links with universities such as UCL and the Institute of Education and this has led to the creation of projects to promote the use of historians in classrooms.  Our current Sixth Form students have worked collaboratively with one of our sister schools to engage directly with ‘real historians’ and this has helped them to understand what historians do and to achieve the target of studying history at university themselves.  We have developed a number of international trips in the last few years, most notably our trip to Berlin for GCSE and A Level students and for our younger students we have our day trips to France to study the battlefields and events of the First World War. 

Most of all, we want our students to engage with the history that exists all around them and develop a full appreciation for the subject we love.


Key Skills Required

Enquiring mind, ability to meet deadlines, confidence to ask questions and share ideas, good communication skills.

Topics Covered in KS3

Number of lessons a week: 2

Year 7: 

Aksumite Kingdoms
Battle of Hastings – Norman invasion 
Medieval life 
Crusades and the Islamic Caliphate
The Mughal Empire
Migration through time 
Wars of the Roses

Year 8:

Renaissance and Reformation
Stuarts and English civil War 
Slavery and Abolition
The development of the British Empire 
Industrial revolution 

Year 9:

Votes for Women 
Russian Revolution
Weimar Germany 
Post war migration


In Year 7, pupils are set 40 minutes of homework per week. There are also some longer term projects set during some key topics to allow students to work independently.

In Years 8 & 9, pupils are set homework once a week.  There will also be termly projects set to allow pupils to work independently to develop their research skills.

Assessment Details

In Year 7, pupils will be assessed through knowledge tests, keyword tests and extended essays.

In Year 8 and 9, each unit of work lasts a half term and will consist of 2 or 3 key enquiry questions.  Each enquiry will have a specific end product to be assessed. Assessments will target one (or occasionally more) key concepts. Pupils will produce a variety of documents to support their learning, ranging from essays and speeches to posters and in class presentations.

Revision Support





Key Tips for Success 

  • Pupils should spend at least 40 minutes on their homework
  • Pupils should always ask for help in areas that they are unsure of; they must ask for help with their homework in advance of the deadline.
  • Make sure that all work is presented neatly and always written in full and detailed sentences.

How can a parent help their child succeed?

Try to support your child by encouraging them to read about history. The better understanding of the world your child has, the better their analysis of past events will be. Encourage them to explore the past by exploring the fantastic city we live in.  In London there is rich history around every corner! 

Please support your child by encouraging them not to copy work straight from the internet or books, these can of course be used to support study, but pupils should produce work in their own words.


Course Outline

At GCSE we follow the AQA course.  

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. GCSE History students must take assessments in both of the following papers in the same series:

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements:

  • One period study 
    • AD America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality
  • One thematic study 
    • BC Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945–1972
  • One wider world depth study 
    • AB Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day
  • One British depth study including the historic environment. 
    • BC Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

Students get to develop their own interpretations and judgements surrounding a key issue set by the exam board.

Below is the link to the specification for your information:



History (A Level)

Course outline

EDEXCEL Route H - Democracies in change

AS History – Paper 1 Britain transformed 1919 -1997. Paper 2 The USA 1920 – 1955.

A Level History – Poverty, Public health and growth of Government 1780 – 1939.  Independent coursework assignment.

What type of student succeeds at History A Level?

Successful historians usually have a broad range of skills. These include an ability to analyse various types of cultural artefacts and sources, challenge presumptions, identify causal links and trends, conduct independent research, and presenting your ideas in well-ordered and supported arguments. You need to be fully dedicated to your studies.

Subject requirements at GCSE

A minimum of a Grade 7 at History GCSE is required in order to study History at A Level. In addition, all students must write an entrance essay based on holiday homework. All students are expected to have achieved at least a grade 7 in English and show strong ability to analyse texts if they have not studied History at GCSE.

Complementary subjects

History courses produce a diverse group of graduates. This shows that the study of history can provide a foundation from which to pursue interests in many different fields, be that social politics, human behaviour or even international Art. History is well paired with a wide range of subjects: Art, Geography, English, Education, and Law.


Students receive multiple homework each week. History requires a large amount of reading and independent research and students need to develop a full understanding of the events being studied. Students complete fortnightly essays to develop writing skills and build knowledge.                   

Future Directions

Which university courses require History A Level?

History degrees require History A Level. Law, Education, Marketing, Media, Classics, Politics or PR courses all highly value the study of history.

Which university courses look favourably on History A Level?

History A Level is favourable for any degree course which requires analytical thinking and offers a chance to express a judgement or opinion. The world is your oyster.

What are the entry requirements to study History at university?

History entry requirements vary by establishment but usually are quite high. Anywhere between BBC and AAA.

Which careers could History A Level lead to? History leads to a wide range of possible careers including; Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, Journalism and Media, Research and Heritage, Teaching, Law, Business, and Public service.

History has helped me to develop the way I think and not just take things at face value, it has encouraged me to question the world around me and investigate events to a deeper level than I thought possible. Student