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    History

    ‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’.

    Malcolm X, 1964

    History at DGGS encompasses a vast landscape of both national and international historical narrative, empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

    Staff

    Mr T Millard (Subject Leader)
    Mrs J Davies
    Mrs G Bunn
    Miss C Toland
    Miss S Robbins

    Vision

    To create knowledgeable citizens who are empowered to not only be respectful and tolerant but also to seek out new horizons.

    Intent

    To empower students through knowledge of local, national and international history to engage critically with the world around them, its traditions, culture, precedence and future. To ensure this we believe students need to know and apply understanding of the very best of what has been thought and achieved in history. Through this empowerment it is our intention that students find their identity to enter the great debates of our age through a powerful seven year academic journey.

    To achieve this outcome our curriculum balances both the substantive knowledge of rigorous historical concepts alongside the disciplinary concepts of source work, interpretations and significance. Students realise the craft of the historian and can apply this across the syllabus to create understanding. 

    Key Stage 3: Careful sequencing of these concepts begins in Year 7 with a focus on the Norman Conquest, exploring medieval life and analysing these changes on a local level by investigating Dover Castle on our very own door step. In Year 8 the focus on the national level is developed through in-depth explorations of Tudor history and the role in particular of Queen Elizabeth I. All students visit the Globe as link with the English Department on the role of Shakespeare. The great changes of the Civil War and Industrial Revolution are surveyed as the country is turned upside down with political upheaval. The impact of the British Empire is examined and then we end in Year 9 through the great events of the 20th century. On a whole school level we commemorate the First World War and Holocaust and evaluate the impact of these events as part of the wider conflict they are associated with. This journey of knowledge creates a lasting historical landscape to be engaged with the world and its future.

    Our curriculum is compulsory until the end of Year 9. The curriculum aims to find a balance between the very best of the national curriculum but in order to think like a historian, students engage with a variety of source material and interpretations. This extension of deliberate practice when dealing with these sources enables students to feel empowered with a variety of information from different sources.

    Passionate and expert teachers deliver this curriculum with powerful enquiry questions which test a wide variety of knowledge from the domain of our syllabus. We regard our key stage three as a hinterland of knowledge to then explore in more detail and with sharper skill at key stage four and five. Through extra-curricular events this is brought alive students visit Dover Castle, the Globe, the battle fields of Ypres and engage with local historical testimony through visitors to the school. Students in history develop their vocabulary skills through academic text and explicit teaching of tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary, deployed in analytical writing at intervals through the curriculum.

    Students will progress their knowledge of local, national and international history. They will be able to recall a vast body of knowledge and develop mastery through writing on a range of historical concepts and aspects of change. In particular our students will think like a historian, deploying analysis of historical sources and interpretations, making meaningful judgements on significance. As students entwine their conceptual historical knowledge they will use their understanding of the past to move forward with confidence into the future to deal with the pressing issues of their era.

    Key Stage 4: At GCSE in Years 10 and 11, students study the GCSE EDUQAS syllabus which comprises four units; USA 1929-2000 (20%), Germany in Transition 1919-39 (25%), The Elizabethan Age 1558-1603 (25%) and finally Changes in Health and Medicine 500 to the present day (30%). Students are assessed on their knowledge of these units in two examination papers, two hours each. Within the substantive knowledge of these subjects are the disciplinary skills of the subject of history. Students are assessed through their Knowledge and Understanding (A01), Causation/Significance (A02), Sources (A03) and Interpretations (AO4) which are spread across the four units of study and tested within the examination. It is therefore critical that students develop mastery of the key concepts behind the major events of these topics and know how to apply this knowledge to the type of exam question which may be required. The GCSE has great chronological coverage but also develops detailed understanding of the Elizabethan Age to support students in KS5 on a wider Tudor topic. The GCSE also equips students with knowledge of the significance of the USA in the modern era, making important foundational knowledge for KS5 studies on the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War. The site study of medicine in the trenches which makes up over 20% of the medicine paper is enriched with a trip to Ypres.

    Key Stage 5: At A-Level, students study two examined units (37.5% weighted on each) on The Tudors and The Cold War. Finally, students complete a coursework essay (NEA) which equates to 25% of the course on the Black Civil Rights Movement. By Key Stage 5 the expectations of a historian at DGGS are now common practice. The subject is rich with concepts, such as peasantry and parliament, drawn out at KS3 and KS4. The Tudors course equips students with understanding of the crucial early modern development in this nation’s history – the journey from a Middle Ages kingdom to an international power. The Cold War course enables students to access the great debate of the modern age, to understand the competing concepts of socialism and capitalism in a superpower context. Students are expected to read widely, through study of a core text and to further supplement this with our own library of readings; History Today subscription; and visits to university and talks by university lecturers. Students engage with a wide variety of research through podcasts and webinars. A trip to Hampton Court Palace further develops students’ understanding of the role of key monarchs including Henry VIII and his relationship with Cardinal Wolsey and Mary I. With this education students are empowered to access a variety of further education courses. Our students have reached the most prestigious universities in the country and have also had great impact in employment schemes and apprenticeships with the skills that are gained through the powerful knowledge of this curriculum.

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