This CRST rationale explains the principles of how we have designed the curriculum for pupils and how these principles underpin how we have selected the things we want them to learn.  

This subject-specific rationale demonstrates how we have selected what we want pupils to learn and how the order has been arrived at so that pupils make progress in their learning.  We have a three – year Key Stage 3 building on Key Stage 2 and leading into KS 4 and 5. 



Our vision for History 

Create a key stage three curriculum which will provide learners with an in-depth knowledge of key events that have helped shape the country and society our students live in. Learners will think and communicate like effective historians, becoming critical thinkers, developing enquiring minds that can make connections across time periods and have an ability to demonstrate, with confidence their understanding of key historical concepts.   


The new curriculum will allow learners to… 

  • Develop a strong chronological understanding of the events and themes that have helped shape the British Isles and the wider world. Students will develop the ability to explain changes and continuities across different time periods. (KASE – Knowledge; Expert, Fluent/ Skills; Literate) 

  • Understand and demonstrate their ability to make connections using key historical concepts such as change and continuity, cause and consequence, similarity and differences (KASE – Knowledge; expert/ Skills; problem-solving)  

  • Have an awareness of historically significant events and their impact on peoples, societies, and places in Britain and beyond. (KASE – Knowledge; expert/ Attributes; empathetic)  

  • Engage in the history of their local community and encourage them to actively investigate further. (KASE – Attributes; Empathetic) 

  • To use evidence critically to support their own arguments about events and people from the past (KASE – Skills; Communicative) 

  • Understand where history can take them, beyond GSCE and A Level. Content and skills experienced in lessons are linked to relevant careers to raise aspirations.  (KASE – Experiences; autonomous/ Attributes; reflective) 

  • Secure knowledge of assessment criteria; students know what they can currently do successfully and what they need to do to make further progress. The language of assessment is built into lessons so that students are familiar with the language of assessment and what progress looks like.  (KASE –Knowledge; self-regulating, self-directing/ Skills; pragmatic / Skills; metacognitive / Attributes; reflective) 

  • Experience opportunities to visit historical sites relevant to their studies in order to deepen knowledge and understanding (KASE – Experiences; Cosmopolitan, Self-aware, Enthused) 


The content of our Curriculum for History

In History we have three key stages which aims to build on KS2 prior learning, and each key stage builds on the previous key stage. 

We have established a curriculum intent through our own and Co-design collaborative planning which is robust and evolving as collaborations continue. Proactive line management, clear leadership and quality communication ensures consistency in curriculum delivery for all pupils. Please see the SOW documents for detailed planning. 

The key rationale behind our ambitious curriculum is to develop EXPERT historians reinforcing the CRST KASE entitlement. 


This is fundamental to everything we do. Carefully selected units throughout each key stage ensure that substantive knowledge and concepts are connected. 

Building in their disciplinary knowledge ensures that students know how to ‘think like historians’ by the end of key stage 4, demonstrated through key assessments and lesson conversations.  

We want students to become EXPERT and ensure that students can achieve this by using expert keywords, challenging previously acceptable levels of learning and use these in the oracy part of the lessons and in their written communications.  


Students need to develop as learners to draw on and further develop expert knowledge and the “ASE” part of the student entitlement supports pupil development through: 

Attributes: our history curriculum challenges pupils to develop resilience to maintain their enthusiasm and ethos for challenging lessons. That students can become risk tolerant learners, prepared to take on the challenges and become reflective in their learning.  

Skills: curriculum structure is supported by lessons which are varied in that it gives the opportunity for students to learn not only the necessary skills for history, but also to engage students in the skills identified by the trust as important in the building of confident and creative learners. 

A key part of our curriculum is to apply and reinforce expert learning through experiences: this is an integral part of the History rationale and continues to grow and develop as staff are given opportunities to develop their own experiences to pass onto students and where we have the confidence to identify good experiences and share these with the students. This includes the classroom experience of discussion, challenge, and team/group work. Good examples of outside the classroom experiences include, in recent years (COVID allowing) include visiting Medieval castles, the Black Country Living Museum, RAF Cosford and trips to Berlin. Our emphasis is on ensuring that we take the opportunities where we see them. We ensure that careers in history are also discussed and shared with students and continue to see this as an ongoing development within the department and School as we begin to focus our efforts on demonstrating the value of humanities subjects. 

Co-design has allowed us and will allow us to ensure quality assurance across the trust, collaborative working aids the reflection of our curriculum orders and allows staff to continue this dialogue of “Why here and Why now?” not only amongst themselves but also share with students during lessons.  



The History department ascribe to the ethos of the SEND department, whereby no child is left behind. In History, that means providing quality first wave teaching to all learners, with a graduated approach of assess, plan, do, review. History lessons incorporate all learners in the learning process as individuals, as no student is alike to another. Each student has their own learning challenges, and History teachers use all the information provided by the SEND team to plan engaging lessons for all learners. A common learning challenge for SEND students in History is the literacy element, particularly the high demands of a literacy dominated subject such as History. To help combat this, learning is scaffolded with sentence starters, key word banks, structure strips for extended writing and literacy word mats are being created to aid all learners. Text provided is appropriate to learners’ abilities and is often ‘chunked’ with key words highlighted to be more readily accessed by all students.  


Overview and Assessment Information – ongoing work on this. 

Please refer to the subject Curriculum and Assessment Overview document for an overview of specific topics and assessments.  

Assessment timeframes can be found in the subject Scheme of Assessment. 


History Curriculum Page