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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in November 2017 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

History KS3

What will students be studying in History this year?

The Year 7 History course begins with a local study of how London has changed since the Roman time, which builds students’ understanding of chronology, introduces the skills needed by successful historians and builds essential context for the periods of history studied at Key Stage 3.  From here, Year 7 students go on to study the development of Church, state and society in mediaeval Britain, 1066-1509 and early modern Britain, 1509-1745.  They will begin by investigating how the Normans changed life in England before examining the central role played by religion in the mediaeval world.  This is achieved by an enquiry into the reasons why men, women and children went on Crusade.  Next, students go on to explore whether the mediaeval period really was a terrible time to be alive by focusing on the lives of ordinary people in the countryside and in the towns.  This includes an opportunity to explore some of the features of mediaeval society including the feudal system, guilds, crime and punishment.  Having explored some of the challenges facing ordinary mediaeval people, students go on to explore the challenges facing mediaeval monarchs, including the Black Death and Peasants’ Revolt.  This thread is picked up again as students explore the conflict between Church and state through a study of religious change during the Tudor period.  At the end of Year 7, students explore the reign of a highly successful female monarch as they investigate whether the Elizabethan period really was a ‘golden age’.

Students begin Year 8 by looking at the political and social impact of the English Civil War, after which they begin to look at ideas, political power, industry and empire in Britain, 1745-1901.  In the course of doing so, they will investigate how the industrial revolution changed the lives of men, women and children in Britain.  This is followed by a study of the abolitionist movement, as students investigate the British Empire’s links with the slave trade and the reasons why it was abolished.  Their work on empire is further developed in the subsequent unit, which is a depth study into the impact of empire on India.  The next area for study takes students into considering challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world since 1901.  At this point, students return to their study of political power in Britain with an enquiry into the movement for female suffrage.  This is followed by an enquiry into the consequences of the First World War, both for British soldiers and civilians, and also for wider the European continent.  At the end of Year 8, students explore the challenge presented by the rise of communism in Russia through an enquiry into life under Stalin.

In Year 9, students carry out a detailed depth study into the development of the Holocaust.  This unit is poses the enquiry question ‘How do we know what happened during the Holocaust?’ and thus has a sharp focus on evidence as students study the origins of anti-Semitism in Europe and Germany, the development of the Final Solution and explore the nature and extent of resistance to the Holocaust.

Students in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 have three History lessons per fortnight and follow an enquiry-based approach.  This means that learning is organised through rigorous and engaging investigative enquiries, such as ‘Why was Jerusalem worth dying for?’  Based around historical concepts of cause and consequence, interpretations, evidence, significance and change, these enquiries mirror the approach which is so central to the historian’s craft and support the development of students’ skills of historical reasoning.

What are the major assessments this year?

At the start of each unit, students will complete a short initial assessment which enables their class teacher to ascertain what students already know about the topic and adapt teaching to meet learners’ needs effectively.  In addition to their end of year exams, students will complete six assessments, one at the end of each half term.   These are structured in order to test what students have learned over both the short and longer term.

What do the assessments test?

Firstly, assessments measure students’ factual knowledge of the topics covered, including their recall of key people, dates, events and situations.  Secondly, assessments measure the development of students’ skills of historical reasoning, including their proficiency in working with cause and consequence, interpretations, evidence, change and significance.

What are the expectations of my daughter in History?

Students will be set homework regularly which they are expected to complete to the best of their ability.  On occasion these homework tasks may take the form of independent research.  Alongside this, students are expected to revisit and review the work they have completed in their workbooks in order to consolidate their learning and aid the development of their long-term recall.

What should my daughter do if she feels she is struggling in History?

The first course of action is to speak with her History teacher first in order to explain what aspects of the topic or task are particularly challenging.  The support offered may differ depending on the nature of the challenge in question.  If necessary, it may lead to additional adjustments which can be made in order to support her learning.

How can I best support my daughter in History?

The best way to support your daughter in History is to talk to her about the topics she is studying and what she is learning in class.  You should encourage her to complete homework in a quiet area of the home without distractions from siblings, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic devices.  Another way to support the development of your daughter’s historical knowledge is to use the knowledge organisers inside her workbooks to quiz her informally about the factual material she is studying.

Whom should I contact for further advice or information?

Please feel free to contact your daughter’s History teacher by email, or the Head of History, Mr Godman at if you have any questions about your daughter’s progress in the subject.