Secondary History at city of Birmingham School

All pupils in Key Stage 3 will have one lesson of history per week.  Through these lessons pupils will build on and deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.

The topics for study follow a chronological sequence, beginning with the Norman Conquest in 1066 and culminating with perhaps the most significant event in world history, World War 2.

Our team of specialist historians have developed an engaging and challenging curriculum to enable our pupils to learn about history but more importantly to learn from key historical figures, significant events and the consequences of these.


Aims of History at City of Birmingham School

  • To allow pupils to extend and deepen their chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history,
  • To allow pupils to identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time.
  • Provide pupils with the skills to use historical terms and concepts in increasingly sophisticated ways.
  • To encourage pupils to pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response,
  • Pupils will understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and to understand how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

 Assessment in History


Each unit of work includes a mid- point written assessment that will enable staff to monitor progress and identify any gaps in learning. A final assessment will be

completed at the end of each unit and the lesson following the assessment will provide dedicated improvement and reflection time to enable pupils to reflect on their learning and make improvements to maximise progress.

Staff will also use ongoing formative assessment throughout the lessons to continually monitor the progress of students. This will include giving personalised written and oral feedback to pupils on a regular basis.


Key Stage 3 History-Curriculum content


KS3 History -programmes of study

Cycle 1

Cycle 2


The Norman Conquest:


This unit investigates the Norman Conquest in 1066. Pupils will investigate the causes of the Battle of Hasting and evaluate a range of claims to the English throne. Pupils will then examine how William and his army won the battle. 

The Industrial Revolution


Britain was the first really industrialised nation. Pupils will look at the impact of the industrial revolution with a particular focus on its effect on Birmingham and the Black Country.


Life in Norman Britain:


In this unit pupils will learn about what life in England was like under Norman rule. They will be able to evaluate the ways in which the Normans changed life in England and consider whether or not it was a change for the better!

The Suffragettes and Women’s Rights


This unit enables pupils to uncover the stories of some of the most significant women’s rights activists. It will allow pupils to evaluate the policy of direct action and assess how successful it was in helping to achieve rights for women.


Church and state in Britain:


Here pupils will explore the reign of Henry VIII and investigate the problems he faced as both King and Head of the Church of England. Pupils will investigate the impact of the Reformation and the role of witch craft in Henry’s Britain



World War 1


This topic will continue over two half terms to allow for a significant study of ‘the war to end all wars’.  Pupils will investigate the causes of the First Wold War and analyse some of the most significant battles that claimed so many lives for both the allies and the Germans.

Pupils will use sources to learn about what life was like in the trenches for the soldiers on both sides and the devastating effects of trench war fare




Church and State in Britain Cont.


Pupils will compare the reign of Henry to that of his daughter Elizabeth. Religious conflict still troubled the new Queen but it was during her reign that the ‘New World’ began to be discovered and pupils will investigate the significance of this new trend for exploration.


The Growth of the Empire:


Britain was fast becoming one of the most powerful nations on Earth. But was colonisations of other countries really a good thing? Here pupils will investigate the trade routes and also evaluate the consequences of becoming such a powerful nation.

World War 2-


How could another world war occur so soon after the first war had ended? Pupils will investigate the causes of the second war and the effect on the home front of another world war. This unit also give us the opportunity to investigate the Nazi party under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.




The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade


Britain made huge profits from the slave trade. This investigation will look at the trade triangle and who profited from that but also who was behind the abolition of slavery and what were their reasons.  Pupils will also use sources to find out what life was really like for the enslaved people.

The Holocaust


This unit is all about the Nazi’s ‘Final Solution’. Pupils will investigate the increase in persecution of the Jewish people in Europe and how they planned to eradicate European Jewry. Pupils will use sources to investigate the concentration and death camps with a particular focus on Auschwitz-Birkenau. 


Some useful websites:

Packed with information and links to video clips about a whole range of history topics. Excellent for revision.

Loads of fun quizzes, games and activities to test learning and deepen knowledge.

More fun quizzes on a whole range of history topics. Good for testing knowledge or revision.

 Covers a whole range of history topics and can be used to research further or deepen existing knowledge

Easy to use site that contains loads of interesting facts about a whole range of history topics.

For further information please speak to a member of the Humanities teaching staff:

Grove- Ms Dawson Clarke

Millpool-Ms Murphy

Link- Ms Carter

Firsbrook- Ms Maher

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