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Head of Department Estelle Cooch
Email e.cooch@habstrustsouth.org.uk





As the most popular, option subject for Year 9 students, our curriculum is steeped in intellectual challenge, strong cultural capital and academic excellence.

Subject Overview

History for Hatcham students is exciting, enriching and empowering. As the most popular option subject for students in Year 9, we follow a Hatcham-to-Harvard model curriculum framework that promotes mastery of historical skills and the acquisition of powerful knowledge maintaining the highest expectations of every student. Our curriculum is steeped in intellectual challenge, strong cultural capital and academic excellence. Historical scholarship is embedded throughout lessons to ensure students develop historical literacy and the ability to critique complex texts. Our staff are in touch with the broader History teaching community and have presented at Historical Association events, reflective of the outstanding subject knowledge we can offer. The curriculum is structured largely chronologically and where appropriate thematic links globally are made, for example the second half of the Year 7 curriculum considers not only medieval England, but also medieval Africa and America reflecting the diversity of backgrounds of the students we teach. Our medieval Africa unit is a strength of our curriculum that has been designed in coordination with the Historical Association and academics at the forefront of African history, far exceeding the requirements of the National Curriculum. 

Key Stage 3 Overview

Key Stage 3 historians study three big questions over the course of Years 7-9. The enquiry questions take students from the Norman Conquest to the present day. Students consider concepts such as racialisation when studying Transatlantic Slavery, the nature of authoritarian regimes in relation to William of Normandy’s conquest of England and the complexities surrounding more recent history such as the Irish troubles and Arab-Israeli Conflict. The overarching questions for each year group are:

  • Year 7: How did the balance of power shift in the Medieval period?
  • Year 8: How have Empires, Trade and Migration transformed Britain from Medieval to Modern?
  • Year 9: How have political ideologies affected Britain and the world in the 20th Century? 

Year 7 topics

  1. What is history?
  2. The Norman Conquest
  3. Medieval Life
  4. The changing nature of medieval power
  5. Medieval Africa
  6. Medieval Native America

Year 8 topics

  1. Transatlantic Slavery
  2. Immigration Nation
  3. Industrial Revolution
  4. Women’s suffrage
  5. First World War
  6. Rise of the dictators

Year 9 topics

  1. Second World War
  2. The Holocaust
  3. The Cold War
  4. The Vietnam War
  5. The British and American Civil Rights movement
  6. Terrorism

Key Stage 3 Homework

Homework is set weekly and should last about 30 minutes. Often homework will include revising for low-stakes quizzes on previous learning or redrafting longer written essays that have been a focus in class.


Key Stage 4 Overview

The Key Stage 4 curriculum aims to provide students with a broad overview of British history in the past 1000 years while also providing a rich understanding of how Britain has come to have the political and social structures it has today. The GCSE prepares students for studying history at a higher level and provides them with critical thinking skills and the ability to perform complex textual analysis. In a global period where extreme ideas are on the rise studying the descent from Weimar Germany into Nazi Germany and superpower relations in the Cold War allow students to develop their understanding of the negative consequences of ideologies such as fascism and Stalinism in the 20th century.

Year 10 topics

  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88
  • Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900

Year 11 topics

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

How is this qualification assessed?

Edexcel is the examining board for History at Hatcham

  • Paper 1: Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900, 1 hour 15 minutes, 52 marks, 30%
  • Paper 2: Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88, 1 hour 45 minutes, 64 marks, 40%, Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91
  • Paper 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39, 1 hour 20 minutes, 52 marks, 30%

Key Stage 4 Homework

Homework is set weekly and should last between 45-60 minutes.  Often this will involve producing an exam answer which will be peer marked or teacher marked in class.

How is this subject assessed?

Students are assessed regularly on exam questions set in timed conditions in class and for homework. Students complete an in-class exam paper each half term and regular more formal Pre-Public Examinations as part of the whole-school Pre-Public Examination timetable. Students also take part in regular low-stakes quiz testing on Show My Homework. Factual tests are interleaved so students are revising content at the point of forgetting. Factual tests, beginning in Key Stage 3, are cumulative throughout the year. Students receive one marked assessment per Askean half term and feedback on one written task within their book.

How does this subject fulfil SMSC needs?


  • Students study the development of democracy and the rule of law in Britain through studies of the English Civil War, Chartists, Peterloo Massacre and women’s suffrage.
  • The curriculum is designed to foreground ethical debates about the actions of states and individuals through time and how these contribute to active citizenship today.


  • Causation, consequence and interpretation are central concepts to the history curriculum and subsequently students are always reflecting on the results of individual and collective actions through time
  • Studies of the ways oppressed groups (LGBT+ people, BAME groups and women) have used parliamentary and extra-parliamentary means to gain rights are central to both the KS3 and KS4 curriculum
  • These studies are expected to be integrated into schemes of work, and not as a tokenistic add-on in one month or one lesson 


  • These studies are expected to be integrated into schemes of work, and not as a tokenistic add-on in one month or one lesson


  • The curriculum emphasises the ways that culture through time has influenced politics and economics
  • Students study the ways dictatorial regimes have sought to repress culture and ways culture has been used to resist, for example on slave plantations

How does the subject challenge more able pupils?

The curriculum follows a Hatcham-to-Harvard model which has the highest expectations of all students. We believe complex concepts can be grasped by even the youngest Year 7 if taught well. Just a few of the concepts Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to grapple with include: racialisation, postcolonial amnesia, social construction and what constitutes a necessary precondition in relation to causation. Every scheme of learning has a ‘roadmap’ attached to it with reading suggestions for more able students including both fiction and non-fiction related to the topic for that half term. The roadmap also includes complex Tier 2 and Tier 3 language to broaden the vocabulary of all our students and to challenge the most able. The Key Stage 3 curriculum has been recently redesigned with the conceptual and curricular requirements of History A-level in mind.

What provision is made for pupils with SEND?

Quality first teaching means SEND students receive wave one interventions in class. This may include scaffolded work, differentiated delivery, all pupils set appropriately challenging targets using a ‘steps to mastery’ approach, visual cues, structured routines, writing frames, written and spoken instructions presented in a way that enables all pupils to access the curriculum, dialogic teaching approaches, peer learning, through groups and pairs, in class teaching assistant support and specialist equipment and resources suitable to individual needs used to aid learning, such as coloured overlays. Furthermore, the curriculum is relevant and exciting with special curriculum foci woven through each half term where learning may be cross curricular. A range of questioning strategies are used to encourage deeper thinking. A focus on growth mindset allows all students to gain resilience in their studies.

Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities

The A* History Lecture Club is open to all Key Stage 4 students. In recent years we have run Key Stage 4 trips to Whitechapel to support the teaching of the GCSE Paper 1 and to St Petersburg and Moscow, Russia to support Key Stage 4 students in the transition to A-Level. We have links with the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Useful website resources

  1. BBC Bitesize History https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z7svr82
  2. Seneca Learning: https://app.senecalearning.com/courses?Price=Free&Subject=History 
  3. History Extra: https://www.historyextra.com/