Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 students will investigate a number of topics all focusing upon leadership. The key questions for these topics are:

  • Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?
  • Why did people risk death to defend the Church?
  • Was Cromwell a better alternative to Charles I?
  • Was Charles I to blame for causing the English Civil War?
  • Elizabethan England: Golden Age or Rotten Reign?  
  • Did Emancipation lead to better lives for Black Americans?

Year 8

In Year 8, students will investigate the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the causes and consequences of the First and Second World Wars. Students will focus upon change and continuity during the inter war periods. The key questions for these topics are:

  • Were the British racist?
  • How bad was child labour in Victorian Britain?
  • Who was to blame for causing the First World War?
  • What was life really like on the Western Front?
  • Was the Treaty of Versailles to blame for the Second World War?
  • How badly were civilians affected by the Second World War?
  • Who was responsible for The Holocaust?

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of history at Key Stage 3:

Chronological understanding

  • Understanding and using appropriately dates, vocabulary and conventions that describe historical periods and the passing of time.
  • Developing a sense of period through describing and analysing the relationships between the characteristic features of periods and societies.
  • Building a chronological framework of periods and using this to place new knowledge in its historical context.

Cultural, ethnic and religious diversity

  • Understanding the diverse experiences and ideas, beliefs and attitudes of men, women and children in past societies and how these have shaped the world.

Change and continuity

  • Identifying and explaining change and continuity within and across periods of history.

Cause and consequence

  • Analysing and explaining the reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations and changes.


  • Considering the significance of events, people and developments in their historical context and in the present day.


  • Understanding how historians and others form interpretations.
  • Understanding why historians and others have interpreted events, people and situations in different ways through a range of media.
  • Evaluating a range of interpretations of the past to assess their validity.

These are the essential skills and processes in history that pupils need to learn to make progress:

Historical enquiry

Pupils should be able to:
  • Identify and investigate, individually and as part of a team, specific historical questions or issues, making and testing hypotheses
  • Reflect critically on historical questions or issues.

Using evidence

Pupils should be able to:

  • Identify, select and use a range of historical sources, including textual, visual and oral sources, artefacts and the historic environment
  • Evaluate the sources used in order to reach reasoned conclusions.

Communicating about the past

Pupils should be able to:

  • Present and organise accounts and explanations about the past that are coherent, structured and substantiated, using chronological conventions and historical vocabulary
  • Communicate their knowledge and understanding of history in a variety of ways, using chronological conventions and historical vocabulary.