History at Callerton Academy


Curriculum Aim

At Callerton Academy, History is a fascinating and hugely important subject that helps students develop a lifelong passion and enthusiasm for the past. We enable students to create a sense of purpose and place by defining the past in the context of the present, whilst igniting their curiosity about Britain and the wider world.

History enables children to develop a context for their growing sense of identity, using key British values such as diversity and tolerance, to better understand the world in which they live. Crucially, students will leave secondary school with a sound chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. What they learn through History can influence their personal choices, attitudes and values, meaning that opportunities for discussion and debate are at the heart of the curriculum.

When teaching History, the intent is to stimulate the children’s curiosity in order for them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding – students are encouraged to be inquisitive learners, connecting the curriculum as they progress. History allows students to make links between different cultures and across time, and our students are given the tools to understand the ‘bigger picture’ of who we are and how we live. The study of History should humanise the narrative, making a connection with the people of the past. This collective sense of History allows students to embrace shared values of democracy, equality, justice, truth, empathy, tolerance and combatting prejudice. We have a responsibility to expose students to differing interpretations of History that have been shaped by the context and values of the time. Our students are empowered and equipped with carefully selected knowledge to challenge and question the past, developing a confident and critical voice.  

Highlights of our KS3 curriculum

Some of the highlights our students will experience in History in Year 7 to 9 are:

In Year 7, our students begin with a study of the invasion and settlement of three Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons and Jutes) to Britannia. Who were they, where did they migrate to, and why? This period of migration and settlement helps students understand better what it means to be English. We then analyse the contenders for the crown in 1066 and the Norman invasion. Students consider the reasons why William the Conqueror was successful in his conquest; was it through preparation, strong leadership, good battle tactics or down to fortunate weather? We then explore how the Normans consolidated their power through building castles, establishing an efficient power system of hierarchy, creating national census’ and taxes, and through destroying any enemies in the North of England. This leads to the study of Medieval society (including an exploration of the Black Death’s causes and consequences), and disputes between Crown and Religion (including an in-depth study of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s murder at Canterbury Cathedral). The summer term focuses on ‘Wars at Home and Abroad’ with a study of the Crusades in the Middle East and the civil wars of the Wars of the Roses at the end of the Middle Ages.

In Year 8, we emerge from the Medieval period by examining Henry Tudor’s establishment of a dynasty which lasted over a century, including the ‘Decline of the Catholic Church’, the Reformation, and the impact of the Renaissance (which helps students with their study of the literary timeline in English!). Students then explore subsequent Tudor reigns, focusing on the religious shifts under Mary I and Elizabeth I. We use sources to analyse if ‘Blood Mary’ deserved her reputation, allowing students to develop their debating skills. In an in-depth study of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, we examine the main reasons for the abolishment of slavery in Britain. Working with the Discovery Museum, students have a wonderful opportunity to explore the movement of the Suffragettes and Suffragists using historical artefacts. In the final term, we consider the causes for the outbreak of the First World War and evaluate its devastating effects in Europe.     

In Year 9, we move further into the 20th century with an evaluation of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and how they led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Second World War. Building on source analysis, students become equipped with the knowledge of how to examine sources and interpretations successfully by considering how useful a source may be. The atrocities of the genocide committed under the Nazi Party are covered with an in-depth study of their causes and consequences (which builds on prior learning of conflict in both Religious Education and English in Y8). We then shift our focus to the rise of the USA as a superpower from the economic boom of the 1920s to the divided society formed following the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. Key Stage 3 ends with an investigation of USA in the 1930s and their involvement in World War Two.

Highlights of our KS4 curriculum

Some of the highlights our students will experience in Geography in Year 10 and 11 are:

In Year 10 of this AQA GCSE course, students will develop key historical skills such as; written and oral communication, logical thinking and decision making, source analysis, research and deciding between relevant and irrelevant information. To help understand the modern world, we evaluate conflict and tension between East and West from 1945–1972.  Students analyse the origins of the Cold War and the development and transformation of the war by studying themes and events such as; military rivalries, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the easing of tensions in Eastern Europe. Year 10 revisit content studied in Year 7 with a study of Norman England c1066 – c1100, developing their understanding of how past events have shaped the nation.

In Year 11, we continue studies on ‘Shaping the Nation’ by examining Health and the people: c1000 to the present day. Students enhance the key skills developed in History and build on knowledge of a thousand year period studied in Key Stage 3. We evaluate medieval medicine, how medical techniques began to change, revolutions in medicine, the impacts of war and technology, and the establishment of modern public health. A primary focus on Year 11 will be the development of revision skills, with students consolidating knowledge from Key Stages 3 and 4 in preparation for the AQA History examinations.

Extracurricular opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to enter various competitions from the Historical Association, such as the ‘Great Debate’ in which students can research and present topics like ‘Which historical place or person from your local area deserves greater recognition?’. Students can also take part in Callerton Academy’s extracurricular 7UP session, with the ‘History Club’ exploring a range of historical content from the world wars to ancient empires. We also are committed to the exploration of local historical sites, such as The Castle Keep which all students visit in Year 7. We have fantastic links with local museums, such as The Discovery, where pupils can view exhibitions dedicated to the history of the North East, as well as viewing historical artefacts relating to national industrialization and global conflict.

Where can History take me in the future?

The study of History is extremely important in contemporary society, not only to remember the past but also to shape the future by learning from it. History spans all cultures, eras, seasons and environments and is an immovable factor that can be called upon for knowledge and insight into how the world got to the point it’s at now and how it will continue to develop in future. Those that take a keen interest in History can use their knowledge and skills to help them develop careers in a wide variety of areas such as; teaching, archiving and heritage, politics, media, business and commerce, marketing, advertising and public relations and law to name but a few. Those who study History should be practiced in applying lessons of the past to help resolve problems of the present and have the ability to apply an analytical mindset to a variety of situations and challenges. These problem-solving and analytical skills are relevant in all industries which share a focus on current societies and future developments, particularly in the fields of business, politics and academia.

What our students say about History...