Year 8 History

Curriculum Intent

We want all of our young people to become competent scholars of the past, ensuring all students develop a love and understanding of our history. We teach the fundamental skills that allow all students to understand the importance of the people that have come before us. Our students learn substantive and important facts, they develop and gain the ability to argue, and they become effective communicators. Through the concept of the trivium our schemes of learning bring established values and developing paradigms together; where knowledge and understanding sit alongside cultural capital, and where skills are interwoven with the content.

Our Vision

To both promote a curiosity about how the study of the past shapes the thinking, actions and values of young people in the present and the future. To support the development of students into confident historians.

Students will develop the ability to ask the right questions and use a range of evidence with confidence and produce beautiful work, crafted with pride. Learning will be supported by high quality teaching and modelling of historical literacy, alongside a developing understanding of a coherent, chronological narrative of Local, British and World History. Students will be provided with the knowledge and understanding to interpret the world in which they live in order to challenge or support the values of the future. In understanding their own identity, students will gain a respect for people of the past and be able to communicate their findings with clarity.

Our Purpose

A high-quality history education should enable all students to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire students’ curiosity to research the past and understand how it forms the future. Teaching should equip students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Themes

The topics we study will be include the following themes in Key Stage Three, and these are continued into GCSE and A Level –

Religion
Societies and Culture
Government and Power
Trade, Empire and Economic Growth
Warfare

Autumn Term 1

The World Before English Exploration

Grammar

Students study the following: What North America was like before European powers arrived and Africa before colonisation. Students then question whether Mansa Musa was the richest man in history or not followed by asking whether the Mughal Empire was India’s Golden Age.

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Source analysis develops their handling of bias, evidence and interpretation.

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

It is important, when studying history, to understand there were many different civilizations which existed in the later medieval and Tudor eras. Before exploration became important for England, many countries had entrenched social, political and economic structures which were important in the development of their nations. Modern America would not have developed were it not for the Native Americans who knew how to survive in its various hostile environments. Can people even equate modern capitalism to the wealth accumulated by Mansa Musa over nearly 700 years ago and is this something modern nations have tried to emulate?

History TV Channels

There are very popular and engaging History TV channels that are largely free, either on air or online.
These show an endless variety of History based programming, whether it is on specific historical events, characters or civilisations. The range is unexpected and will always engage. These don’t have to be just viewed to cover the content your child is learning at school – engaging in History of any topic builds the knowledge and transferable skills that can be linked and used whatever your child is studying at that time. Above all this unit will further and understanding and appreciation of the past.

Autumn Term 2

How did Empire and Slavery shape the Modern World?

Grammar

Students study the following: What happened when Europeans first made contact and why did the British want an Empire in the first place. How did this lead to the development of the slave trade? What was Triangular Trade and what led the British to finally abolish slavery? What was life like on a Plantation and how did the American Civil War lead to the abolition of slavery?

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Source analysis develops their handling of bias, evidence and interpretation

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Without an understanding of the British Empire we cannot understand the world in which we live. The British Empire at its height ruled over a quarter of the world’s population with territories in every part of the world. No matter what we think of this, it is undeniable that its influence affected the countries it directly controlled and those it traded with. It is important for us to understand why the coast of West Africa was exploited during the slave trade but more important still, is learning about enslaved people who were able to change the course of history through their influence, people such as Fredrick Douglas and Oladah Equiano. If we fail to learn about these origins, we fail to understand how our own opinions and ideas have been shaped. It is therefore imperative that we start to focus on historiography; the understanding of how history has been written to enable students to develop their own ideas and opinions.

Watch a movie

There are so many engaging films, that whilst not being documentaries are hugely historic and convey wonderfully the proper context and characters of the events being portrayed in the film. There are big ‘event’ blockbusters that cover well known moments in History (eg ‘Pearl Harbor’, ‘1917’ and ‘Dunkirk’) and there are films which embrace smaller key moments yet show a lot of great history (eg ‘The King’s Speech’ will follows the journey of King George VI to overcome his speech impediment to speak in public more successfully). The List of films available is endless!

Spring Term 1

How did the Enlightenment lead to the Age of Revolutions?

Grammar

Students study the following: How revolution is linked to new ideas such as the Enlightenment. The causes and consequences of the American Revolution and how this inspired the French Revolution.

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Source analysis develops their handling of bias, evidence and interpretation

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Revolutions are the great turning points of history. A revolution is a tumultuous and transformative event that attempts to change a nation, a region or society. In 1649, the English removed their King and created a republic, and even though this didn’t last, other revolutions were about to change the world. The American Revolution in the late 1700s, influenced the Haitian Revolution and the French Revolution; these all questioned an absolute authority such as a monarch and introduced the new(ish) concept of democracy. However, not all these revolutions created change for the better.

Visit a History Museum

Visit any history museum during a school holiday. As well as being a great family day out, have a conversation with your child about the history that you see while viewing the impressive exhibitions on show.

There are many local museums – as well as the big national museums in London such as the History Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and many more. There are themed museums as well as general History museums. Many museums have been updated and allow a far more hand-on approach to exhibits. Modern technology also is used to create a far more engaging experience. Museums also have a strong website presence, so that you may be able to tour and research the exhibits online

Spring Term 2

How did Industrialisation Modernise Britain?

Grammar

Students study the following: How Peterloo was inspired by revolutions abroad. How increasing population and changes in agriculture contributed to urbanisation. Finally considering how this affected public health and the development of transport in a local study focused on Colchester.

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Source analysis develops their handling of bias, evidence and interpretation

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Industrialisation has been instrumental in the economic development of the world. The process has improved productivity and allowed for mass production, which has increased standards of living. However, learning about how these processes happened allows us to see how our modern standard of living progressed from a largely agrarian society to increased urbanisation. This economic change went hand in hand with political change. For example, two centuries ago ordinary people in Manchester demanded freedom from oppression which has encouraged people to express what protest means to them today.

Watch bespoke History online learning.

History is such a popular area of creative and shared leisure activity. There are well known programmes available such as the ‘Horrible Histories’ TV programmes (and a Film too!).

Many people have created their own online versions of short answers and factual documentaries about areas of history that are studied by school students. there are also TED talks and other talks and lectures available online. YouTube is the biggest library of these.

History is officially the most popular leisure activity, whether it is to uncover family ancestry , follow archaeology or to visit museums or read magazines and books dedicated to the past. BBC History magazine is eclectic and very accessible, and is one of the most popular monthly magazines published.. there are History specialist magazines for juniors, and the biggest section in any bookshop is the History section. You can join or just watch Historical recreations (the annual recreations at Kentwell Hall at Long Melford are great fun). And membership of the National Trust is a very cheap way to enjoy many historical attractions all over the country.

Summer Term 1

Was the Great War the War to End all Wars?

Grammar

Students study the following: The long and short term causes of World War One. Consider how Kitchener’s army were recruited and tactics used during the Battle of the Somme and other battles. Focus on forgotten heroes and Haig’s reputation.

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Source analysis develops their handling of bias, evidence and interpretation

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Studying World War One allows students to see an alternative to the all-too-common focus on the perceived heroism and nobility of war. Again, it gives us an opportunity to visit historiography and consider how war is written about. World War One gives us an insight into the changing nation of warfare and the modernising of our world leading to the collapse of Empire. It is also important to learn about how war affects different people from those who sustained mental illness in the trenches to those who experienced trauma on the Home Front. World War One brought the world together in the most horrifically unimaginable way. It’s also important to understand how failing to create a secure peace led to the rise of fascism and extremist political ideologies of the twentieth century.

So Many Different Histories!

We are all living through history, every day. Understanding and appreciation of what is happening now is a very good way to put our lives into historical context as well as helping with the language and vocabulary that students may find challenging at school. There are many facets to history – apart from the well-known classic areas of the past such as the Romans, The Tudors, The Victorians and The Nazis, there are other branches and types of History. Political History for example, that focuses on power, and those who seek it, use it and at times, misuse it. Economic history helps us to understand those drivers of change, that created empires, dynasties, fortunes and fools.

Social history is about the ordinary people from the past who we can still touch through the legacies of what they did and how it shaped us today. Black history, LGBTQ history, Women’s history, Landscape history, Archaeology, Family history, Military history, Transport history, Sporting history, Scientific history and so many more – there is always something that can ignite a passion for history amongst students and their friends and families – and investigating what you like and where you can find it locally is a good way to start. As Chairman Mao, founder of the People’s Republic of China said in 1949 ‘Even the World’s longest journey begins with the first small step’.

Summer Term 2

What was the Impact of the Roaring Twenties?

Grammar

Students study the following: America’s economic boom and the effects of the Wall Street Crash. Al Capone and why prohibition failed. The changing status of women and changing attitudes towards immigrants.

Dialectic

Students ascertain and prioritise cause and consequence and an appreciation of similarity and difference. They discover importance and appreciate significance. Local source analysis develops an understanding of local history in a national context

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; low stakes testing, spoken contributions, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with research work and more developed project activities

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

The Roaring Twenties was a period in American history of dramatic social, economic and political change. For the first time, more Americans lived in cities than on farms. The nation’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and gross national product (GNP) expanded by 40 percent from 1922 to 1929. The 20s began with relief, hope, and joy. Hope drove creativity and creative living. Jazz music became wildly popular in the “Roaring Twenties,” a decade that witnessed unprecedented economic growth and prosperity in the United States. Consumer culture flourished, with ever greater numbers of Americans purchasing automobiles, electrical appliances, and other widely available consumer products. However, this couldn’t last and the economy that had flourished in the 20s, was soon to come crashing down in the 30s after the Wall Street Crash beginning the Great Depression and sending places like Germany into desperation, which culminated in the election of people who represented extremist ideologies.

Take a walk

Colchester is one of the most historic towns in the world! It is Britain’s oldest town and one of the few places that has been the Capital of England. It has huge Celtic importance, with its dykes and ditches and earthworks still in evidence (go to Gosbecks!). The Roman Circus at Abbey Fields is one of the most important and significant finds in Northern Europe for Roman history and there is a magnificent museum at its edge run by the Colchester Archaeological Trust. There is evidence of two thousand years of History all over Colchester, with Roman and Medieval town walls, the harbour at the Hythe, wonderful medieval churches, chapels and the ruins of a Priory. And Colchester played a notable part in the English Civil War, coming under siege.

The more modern industrial heritage can be seen in the great buildings on the High Street, and all around the town. And the old Garrison which is still preserved through buildings, walls and its parks remains to show us the 200 year history that Colchester has played in the military history of this country. And nearby there are still relics from modern Wars – deserted airfields and pill box gun emplacements, and memorials in every village to those from these parts who lost their lives.

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