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Key Stages 3 and 4 

Curriculum Intent

Developing critical thinkers who understand the world today through their study of society, politics, economics, and culture in the past.  

Curriculum Rationale

The History department at Spalding Grammar Schools aims to develop critical thinkers who understand the world around them through the study of the past. We aim to deliver a curriculum that is relevant to our students and inspires and challenges them to question, research, investigate, make comparisons between periods, analyse and draw conclusions about the past. Progression in terms of both content and skills equips students in preparation for further study of the subject or with the highly transferrable skills in communication, empathy, organisation, presentation, inference, moral and ethical dilemmas, analysis and evaluation needed in the world of work. 

The curriculum at Key Stage Three is designed to give students a broad basis of British History from medieval times to the present. It is intended that students will develop an understanding of the key features of medieval, early modern and modern Britain with an increased focus on Britain’s place in the world from Year 8 and a greater focus on international relations in Year 9. We consider concepts like power and control, diversity, industrialisation, civil rights and freedoms. We engage students through an enquiry-based approach which allows students to investigate challenging questions about the past encouraging students to engage with a range of source material from the past and scholarly debate on issues of current interest between historians. Enrichment opportunities further increase enthusiasm for the study of History (the history of warfare) through a trip to IWM Duxford in Year 8 and the opportunity to participate in a World war I battlefields tour in Year 9. 

Units taught at GCSE include the study of Warfare Through Time (1250-present), a unit made by popular choice from the students themselves and which is supported by a visit to the Royal Armouries in Leeds where students experience some Civil War re-enactments and training. We also study Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588, a topic of local relevance to us as a school granted our charter by the Queen in 1588. Weimar and Nazi Germany is studied in Year 11, popular among our students from their Key Stage Three study but also highly relevant in the comparison between democracy and dictatorship, how dictatorships can develop, the role of the economy within this, the importance of propaganda and terror and the consideration of how far people become indoctrinated within the regime. Finally, Superpower Relations and the Cold War is taught as part of Year nine study, a decision in part enforced by the volume of content at GCSE but one that compliments the focus on international relations within our Year 9 curriculum. 


Key Stages 5 

History Department Overview 

Developing critical thinkers who understand the world today through their study of society, politics, economics, and culture in the past.  

At A Level  we follow the Edexcel syllabus and our choice of units reflect our own students’ overall preference for modern History, and in Year 12, are linked by the theme of “Searching for Rights and Freedoms in the 20th Century.” Students study American politics society and culture exploring topics such as the role of the President, the impact of war on politics, the quest for Civil Rights, society and culture in change and changing quality of life. Alongside this, students also study India’s road to independence.  In Year 13 by a study of the British Empire. We are exceptionally proud of our curriculum that raises controversial and relevant issues and debates surrounding the nature of government, protest, equality and human rights. Students are challenged to look at the history of modern Britain, American and India through the eyes of different groups and individuals in society and develop an in-depth understanding of their perspectives, while also developing their own perspectives and interpretations.  

We are very proud that we offer a much more extensive choice of coursework questions than many other schools, supported by the fact that we have a range of expertise in the department and have invested in resources to support a diverse range of coursework enquiries. We have also supported a number of students to develop their own questions on areas of historical debate that they have a particular interest in. Having a wide selection encourages students to identify their own areas of interest, to challenge themselves and to develop the independence to support them in higher education or in employment. 

The course compliments and supports study in higher education not only of History but a range of other subjects including Economics, Politics, Law, American studies, Sociology to name just a few. 



  • Miss L Skipworth (Head of Department)
  • Mr T Renwick
  • Mrs K Vigus-Humphrey

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The History Department is based in three recently renovated dedicated rooms adjacent to one another on the Ground floor. Each is equipped with whiteboard and data projector . There are a total of twenty-four networked computers within the Department in addition to the School’s central ICT facilities. The department is very well equipped with a range of text books and extra reading resources for all key stages.




Members of the Department are encouraged to use a variety of teaching strategies to enhance pupils’ learning and to experiment with new techniques and approaches in order to produce lessons that are both creative and challenging.

The curriculum for History promotes the development of skills in communication, empathy, analysis and evaluation as well as a thirst for knowledge about the past and an understanding of its influence on the modern world.

Key Stage 3

History is taught chronologically in Key Stage Three though students are also given opportunity to make comparisons between different periods of History:

  • Year 7: Medieval British History 1066-1485

The course includes a study of 1066, castle building, medieval life and Church, the Black Death and its impact, the Hudred Years War and the wars of the Roses.

  • Year 8: Early Modern British History 1485-1900

The course includes The Tudor and Stuart Monarchs, changes in religion and power, the Industrial Revolution, the British Empire and the Slave Trade.

  • Year 9: The Twentieth Century World

An in depth study of World War I, World War II, life in Nazi Germany and The Cold War.

Key Stage 4

The department follows the Edexcel History syllabus which builds upon the skills developed at Key Stage Three. There are four key areas of History taught which are examined by three exam papers at the end of Year 11. The course offers a balance of depth and thematic studies and a balance between early modern and modern history.

  • Warfare and British society from 1250 to the present day with study of a historic environment- London during World War II.
  • A British depth study: Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588
  • Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991
  • A modern depth study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939

Key Stage 5

The popularity of the subject in school and the variety of expertise among the staff allows students to choose from two courses offered by the department. Both follow the Edexcel syllabus.

Early Modern History: The three units, The Tudors, The Lutheran Reformation and the Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America are linked by the theme, “Religion and the State in Early Modern Europe”. The course covers the period of 1509-1750.

Modern History: The three units, “In search of the American dream, 1917-1996”, India, 1914- 1948 and “Britain, losing and gaining an Empire, 1763-1914” are broadly linked by the theme of the search for rights and freedoms.

In addition both courses also have coursework, making up 20% of the course. Students are required to carry out an independent enquiry. The department has built up a range of resources allowing students to select from a choice of questions.


The Department is proud of its long-standing and continuing commitment to History-related School visits. We believe that History beyond the classroom inspires an enthusiasm for the subject and can enhance an existing commitment to study. We currently take Year 8 students to the Duxford Imperial War museum. In Year 9 students are offered the opportunity to take part in a First World War battlefields residential visit and we plan to develop a trip for GCSE students to the Imperial War Museum, London. In addition, we have a weekly lunch time club, allowing students to explore History creatively. Our current project is a World War I mosaic memorial.




Members of the Department are encouraged to use a variety of teaching strategies to enhance pupils’ learning and to experiment with new techniques and approaches in order to produce lessons that are both creative and challenging.

Key Stage 5

The Department currently offers the following course to both AS and A Level:

Edexcel Government and Politics comprising a study of the UK at AS (8GP01) and the USA at A2 (9GP01). 


The Department is proud of its long-standing and continuing commitment to curriculum-related School trips, visits and activities both on and off the School site. Where possible, students of AS Government and Politics are offered the opportunity to visit the Palace of Westminster and are given a tour of the houses of parliament. Meanwhile, A2 Students take part in a Sixth Form Conference day at the De Montfort University in Leicester entitled “Congress to Campus” in which former US congressmen are invited to debate topical issues in US Politics with students studying A Levels.