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Subject Overview

Welcome to the history department!  Our motto is “where the past shapes your future” this is because we truly believe that history is one of the most important subjects that a young person can study. Through the study of different time periods, countries and peoples, we give our students a history education which is diverse and engaging. However, we also teach them key life skills such as analysis, judgement, evaluation, time management and debate to help them fully rounded students by the time they leave The North School.


In KS3, students will receive a wide-ranging chronology of History, with our earliest study considering Medicine in the Prehistoric times, to our most modern considering changes in society during the 2010s. We aim to make our curriculum as diverse and inclusive as possible so that all students leave KS3 History with an understanding of the world around them. Some topics that we consider are: what impact did the Romans have on Kent, the events and experiences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and a study of Modern Britain up to the present day. Whilst doing all of this, your child would also be developing their skills in source analysis and their understanding of key concepts such as causation, change and continuity and significance. Homework is given to them once a week and we will be trialling a new method of homework this year which will use Bedrock.


At KS4, we follow the Edexcel GCSE History syllabus, which again offers diversity in topics and skills. There are 4 papers that we consider:

Crime and Punishment Through Time c.1000-Present - This will look at how crime, punishment and law enforcement have changed in Britain, with topics studied including the Gunpowder Plot, the rise of Witchcraft and the abolition of the death penalty. 

This paper also includes a depth study of the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 and their impact on policing. 

Anglo-Saxon and Norman England 1060-1087 - This will look at Anglo-Saxon society and how England completely changed after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Topics studied will include the three battles of 1066, the Harrying of the North and 4 key rebellions during this time period. 

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 - This will look at what happened to Germany after the Armistice was signed on 11th November 1918 and will look at the rise of the Nazis and what life was like in Nazi Germany. This will include studying the Nazi Police State and how the Nazis controlled the lives of key groups such as the youth and women. 

Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-1991 - This will look at the breakdown in relations between the USSR and the USA after the end of the Second World War and the international relationship between the two sides. Topics studied will include the arms race, the attempted uprisings in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union.


At KS5, we follow the AQA A Level History Syllabus. There are 3 key sections to the A Level which gives the students diversity of topics and time periods. 

Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855-1964 - This topic looks at the height of Tsarist Russia and how the Romanov family attempted to control the people. We will then consider how and why this control essentially led to its demise during the 1917 Russian Revolution. This is followed by looking at the creation of Communist rule in Russia and the role key people such as Stalin and Khrushchev played in shaping Russian culture. 

The Making of Modern Britain 1954-2007 - This topic gives the students a fascinating history of modern Britain and how the world we live in now is shaped by those key moments following the end fo the Second World War. Topics that we study will include the Suez Crisis, how society became more liberal and progressive, relations with Northern Ireland and the rise and fall of New Labour. 

Non-Exam Assessment - The Tudors

This is the section of the A Level which is not exam based, and allows the students the opportunity to research topics within the Tudor period, with past ideas ranging from the role of the court in religious change, the significance of religion on foreign policy and who was the most significant monarch in terms of foreign policy. This gives the students an opportunity to build some key skills in research, time management and analysis and is always a section of the course that is enjoyed. 

Higher Education Links & Career Opportunities

The number of studies on why History is an important topic for a student's future is endless! History is one of the most highly regarded topics you could study due to how transferable the skills are and many students who have been taught history at The North School have gone on to do well at university. 

Due to these transferable skills, people who study history can go on to the following careers:

  • Police
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Social worker
  • Armed forces
  • Journalist
  • Accountant
  • Archaeologist
  • Business consultant
  • Investment manager
  • Doctor

However, the list goes on and on. History is a gateway to so many opportunities, careers and futures, the possibilities are endless!