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The Marlborough Science Academy


The History curriculum is centred on the belief that understanding why and how past events have shaped Britain and the world, is imperative for everyone.

Key Stage 3 is delivered in chronological order studying the causes, and significance, of events that have shaped our free and democratic country. Additionally, we aim for students to have an understanding of the causes of existing global issues, like inequality in society and international relations. We take great pride in resourcing and preparing for lessons so students enjoy their learning, whilst being stretched and challenged in a happy and memorable environment. We use modern teaching techniques, media, technology, energy and a lot of passion to help us do this.

Our Key Stage 4 curriculum covers a wide range of social, cultural, political, economic and religious topics that all have contemporary relevance. As students’ progress, we aim to develop their skills as historians too. This includes their conceptual awareness, working with evidence and debating historical interpretations. We are proud to be engaging students with challenging questions, making analytical links and building the self-confidence required to express their own opinions.

Key Stage 5 continues to develop their conceptual awareness and subject knowledge, as well as encouraging students to confidently engage in sophisticated historical debates in preparation for university.

Key Stage 3 History

At Key Stage 3 History is designed to give students a clear chronological understanding of why they live in the Britain and World they do today. We assess key turning points along the way, from the Battle of Hastings to the Second World War. 

All schemes of work consist of differentiated and challenging lessons that link coherently, giving students historical knowledge as well as developing their conceptual awareness. Lessons are both engaging and fun, whilst challenging students of all abilities academically. History is today, more than ever, relevant to our young people. We hope they will learn to appreciate how far we have come as a society, and how far we still have to travel.

In Year 7 we cover the following:

  • Medieval England
    • Saxon England before 1066
    • The Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest of England
    • How William controlled the English: Feudalism and castles
    • Challenging feudalism: Thomas Becket, the Magna Carta, the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt
  • Early Modern England
    • The Battle of Bosworth and reign of Henry VII
    • The Tudors and the Reformation in England
  • The Stuarts
    • The English Civil War and execution of Charles I
    • Oliver Cromwell, the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution
  • Industrialisation and Britain’s involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade
    • The Trade Triangle
    • How Britain benefited from the slave trade
    • Black and white abolitionists (Equiano and Wilberforce)
    • Changes to Britain 1750-1900: work, culture, society, transport and democracy
    • The population ‘explosion’
    • The significance of coal, individuals (Arkwright, Watt and Stephenson) and global trade
    • Conditions for the poor: coal mines and workhouses

In Year 8 we cover the following:

  • The British Empire
    • Victorian school experience. Students learn about the size of the British Empire in 1900
    • Why Britain built an empire
    • Ill-treatment and exploitation of indigenous peoples
    • Positives of the British Empire
    • How ethically the British traded
    • How the empire changed colonies and Britain
    • A force for good?
  • The First World War
    • Long-term and short-term causes (imperialism, arms race, alliances, Franz Ferdinand)
    • Recruitment in Britain and the ‘Pals’ Battalions’
    • Conditions in the trenches and life off duty for soldiers
    • The Battle of the Somme 1916
    • Remembering soldiers from St Albans
    • The significance of women during the war
    • Reasons why Germany surrendered in 1918
    • The Treaty of Versailles 1919
  • Nazi Germany and the causes of World War Two
    • Why Hitler became Chancellor of Germany
    • How Hitler controlled a population: propaganda and terror
    • Life for young Germans and women under the Nazi regime
    • Preparations for war and British appeasement
  • The Second World War
    • Blitzkrieg: the invasions of Poland and France
    • The Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain 1940
    • The Blitz, life on the home front and the evacuation of children
    • The significance of Pearl Harbour and the Battle of Stalingrad
    • D-Day, the liberation of Europe and VE Day
    • The importance of remembering BAME British soldiers
  • The Holocaust
    • Persecution of Jewish people in Nazi Germany before the war
    • Kristallnacht
    • Living conditions in the ghettos
    • Causes of the ‘Final Solution’
    • Jewish resistance
    • The Nuremburg trials


History Key Stage 4 

Students who choose to study History at Key Stage 4 will follow the AQA GCSE History course.

The areas covered in the course include:

  • Health and the People in Britain, c1000 to the present day
  • Elizabethan England, c1568–1603
  • Interwar International Relations, 1918–1939
  • America, 1920–1973

The types of tasks that are completed are:

  • Written tasks, both short and extended answers
  • Analytical study of sources
  • Research tasks
  • Group debates and discussions
  • Use of video footage and films
  • Human timelines
  • Presentations
  • IT skills
  • Memory games
  • Fun quizzes to assess and recap knowledge
  • Use of online revision through

The course is assessed through:

  • Examination

There are two, 2 hour examinations worth 50% each of the final grade:

Paper 1 – America, 1920–1973 (25%) and Conflict and Tension, 1918–1939 (25%)

Paper 2 – Britain: Health and the people (25%) and Elizabethan England, c1568–1603 (25%)

History is a well-established subject which colleges and employers both recognise as challenging and valuable. It develops many useful skills including the ability to interpret information, to evaluate information in order to establish if it is useful or reliable, to use information to reach a judgement and to be able to explain and justify that judgement. These are skills used in other subjects, many jobs and everyday life.

History is an excellent qualification to have for further learning and education.  It contributes towards the skills required for careers in law, journalism, and numerous corporate jobs. It also strengthens writing, communication and analytical skills essential for most jobs, it is a very popular qualification to have.


History Key Stage 5 

Students who choose to study History at Key Stage 5 follow the AQA History A level course.

Course Content:

The A level consists of 2 examined units, one based on Britain and the second with a more international focus which are studied concurrently throughout the two year course.

  • The British unit is entitled The Tudors: England, 1485-1603. This unit allows students to study change, continuity, cause and consequence in the nation at a time of great change and turmoil. Students will investigate issues based on power and politics such as how effectively the Tudors restored and developed the powers of the monarchy, and how effectively England was governed during this period. The continuing question of the succession is also studied. Social history is present in this unit and other domestic themes include changes in the economy and society, the effects of these changes, developments in intellectual and religious ideas and the role of key individuals and groups both in power and outside the political sphere. Finally, students will learn about the changing relations with foreign powers, specifically France and Spain including events such as the Spanish Armada.
  • The international unit is The Cold War, c1945–1991. This unit allows students to study the evolving course of international relations during an era of tension between communist and capitalist powers which threatened nuclear Armageddon in depth. It explores concepts such as communism and anti-communism, aggression and détente and also encourages students to reflect on the power of modern military technology, what hastens confrontation and what forces promote peace in the modern world. The course covers events and issues in Europe, Asia and the Americas, such as the origins of the conflict, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and the collapse of communism in Europe at the end of the 1980s.

Additionally in the summer of Year 12 into the autumn of Year 13 students will complete a piece of coursework on South Africa 1887-1990. This unit will involve the study of South Africa with a focus on why the Apartheid system ended. Students will learn about the role of Nelson Mandela and analyse this alongside other factors (both internal and external) which contributed to the dramatic events of 1990.


  • Examination:

Both of the examined units are each worth 40% of the final grade. The examinations are sat at the end of the course and are 2 hours 30 minutes long with one source question and two essay questions.

  • Historical Investigation:

The completion of a piece of coursework which should be 3500-4500 words long based on South Africa 1887 – 1990, worth 20% of the final grade.

History is a very well established and respected A level which is held in high esteem by all universities including the most respected institutions, who all appreciate the challenge, range of skills and academic rigour which it requires from and develops in students. Similarly, employers have a strong respect for History as a qualification because they appreciate the demands of the subject and they are confident students will have acquired valuable transferable skills as well as knowledge and understanding of the past. These include: Understanding of history and development as it applies to nations and groups of people; efficiency in oral and written presentation skills; detailed research skills; proficient interview skills and techniques; proper and accurate record keeping skills; critical thinking skills; strong communications skills.

History is frequently a qualification which provides a route into careers such as law, journalism, management, personnel work, public relations, the Civil Service and many other fields.


Curriculum Implementation 

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Curriculum Timelines 

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Curriculum Learning Journey 

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