The overall aim of the History department is to is teach in such a way as to be both enjoyable and stimulating, enabling students to be intellectually stretched, while acquiring useful transferable skills and also maintaining their interest in the subject both in school and beyond. The following specific departmental aims reflect those of Garforth academy as a whole. We aim…

  • To encourage students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the events and people that have shaped the past and, in turn, the world they live in.
  • To embed pupils’ understanding of what they are learning, and be able to articulate why they are learning particular knowledge and skills and be able to link this to the present day.
  • To instil a long-lasting love of the subject. History lessons aim to be lively, exciting and dynamic, with enthusiastic teaching using a variety of methods and materials.
  • To enable students to become historians by assisting the development of lively, enquiring minds that question and construct rational argument. Students gain experience of historical enquiry, narrative, analysis, questioning, opinion-forming, debate and presentation of their findings. We work to develop powers of analysis as well as the ability to understand complexity, and how factors interact to determine the course of events.
  • To challenge our students to address issues of interpretation and problems of evaluation. For example, we encourage understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and awareness of its varying utility and reliability, and also impress upon students the need to compare sources, to match them against other knowledge and to ask whether the evidence is representative and verifiable.
  • To be relevant to today’s world: we aim to highlight the skills pupils are developing. We make links to contemporary events and encourage pupils to deploy their general knowledge and wider understanding in getting to grips with past times.
  • To ensure a sense of progress and development, both in skills and in the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, for students of all abilities. In History lessons expectations are high: a strong work ethic is developed and rewarded, with students challenged to produce clear and well-organised written work.
  • To enable pupils to develop an awareness of themselves and of their own attitudes and encourage respect for those of others

Curriculum Intent Statement

We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious History curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which immerses students in a range of cultures and engenders an enquiring and critical outlook on the world. Our History curriculum will give students the opportunity to:

  • study issues at a local, national and international level in Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern time periods
  • understand Britain’s influence on the wider world
  • study the history and influence of different peoples and places across time
  • assess the impact of events on individual and communities
  • be exposed to a high level of historical and conceptual vocabulary
  • learn to interpret a broad range of sources including visual sources and propaganda
  • be exposed to different peoples’ perspectives on issues and events
  • develop an understanding of how to apply and write about historical concepts such as causation; continuity and change; significance; consequence; diversity
  • challenge received wisdom about historical figures and issues
  • develop confidence in orating and debating historical issues and evaluate historical interpretations

The study of History will provide students with the ability to think critically about the world in which they live and to question, rather than accept ‘received wisdom’. The History curriculum is sequenced chronologically to ensure students develop a narrative of British history and can place it into a context of world events. Concepts such as ‘government’ and ‘peasantry’ are introduced early to allow students to track the development of these ideas and define them within different contexts and cultures. For example, peasantry is introduced in year 7 as part of the study of the Black Death and revisited in a different context during the French Revolution. This ensures students will see that historical terms evolve and adapt to context.

The curriculum has been designed to ensure that students gain an appreciation of divergent perspectives, rather than sticking to established historical norms. For example, in studying the Second World War, students are challenged to see the impact of the war on other countries that were attached to Britain through the Empire. They then seek to question the motives of Churchill’s decisions to divert resources to Britain and the impact that had on Bengal. Furthermore, we introduce students to characters and groups who have traditionally been ignored such as LGBT+ and Native Americans. This ensures that students receive a rounded education in History and is essential in teaching attitudes of tolerance. In History lessons, students will regularly apply new knowledge to conceptual questions. Each topic is framed around a challenging historical question which is linked to a second order concept. Lessons mirror this, with key questions forming the basis for each lesson enquiry. This will ensure students access and apply high level vocabulary with increasing rigour over their time in history classrooms. With plenty of opportunities to perform extended writing, we are confident that history at Garforth academy is a highly rigorous and incredibly purposeful part of our curriculum.

PedagogyEnrichmentSequencingKey Concepts/Skills
Our pedagogy is underpinned by: 
– enquiry based studies set within a broader historical context 
– a focus on developing students’ analytical writing by focussing on description, explanation and evaluation 
– the regular use of live modelling and exemplar answers to demonstrate processes, standards and expectations 
– a range of strategies to deepen knowledge so that it is committed to long term memory 
– the importance of giving students regular opportunities to improve work 
– interrogating current historical debates 
– students understanding what they are doing well and how they need to improve 
– students will develop new skills through a variety of interesting contexts to foster enjoyment 
– students will develop a rich and deep subject knowledge
We will enrich our curriculum by:
– establishing cross-curricular links
– providing on and off-site subject or topic related experiences
– offering opportunities for children to learn outdoors where appropriate
– holding Trust-wide competitions to celebrate best work and extraordinary effort
– encouraging students to contribute to the life of the school and the community, including remembrance activities
– developing partnerships with external providers that extend children’s opportunities for learning
build on their understanding of the importance of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance and respect
– improve their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding
Students learn within a coherent chronological framework because…
– it allows key concepts and themes such as civilisation, society, government to be interwoven and promotes the ability to see the evolution of concepts
– it provides the opportunity to measure pace, extent and trends in change and continuity over time
– it means that students are able to make relevant links between historical episodes such as the black death and the industrial revolution
– there is progression between key stages 2, 3 and 4, with students being exposed to themes and content that will allow all students to access KS4
-there is an increasing level of challenge and complexity to enquiries
there is appropriate division of time between Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern topics
– students will develop a narrative of British history which is supported by theories of cognitive load
In History, students will develop a strong understanding of the meanings of key concepts, in different historical and geographical contexts:
– Democracy.
– Civilisation.
– Empire.
– Monarchy.
– Parliament.
– Government.
– Peasantry.
– Society.
– Culture.
– Economy.
– Religion.
– State.
– Health.
– Justice.
– Beliefs.
– Power.
They will do so by developing skills in the following areas: 
Significance; Interpretations; Perspectives; Causation; Consequence; Diversity; Change and continuity; Chronology; Source Analysis; Source Evaluation.