Department Vision

Kingsdale students are passionate historians who use History to explore the world around them. Our aim is to provide academic and life lessons which combine rigour of approach with creativity and enjoyment.

History is an exciting and dynamic subject taught at Kingsdale Foundation School. We encourage pupils to express their views on a large range of historical topics and also concentrate on developing pupils’ presentation skills. We focus on developing pupils’ thinking skills and their ability to analyse and solve problems. We have a range of educational visits from the battlefields of France and Belgium to the castles of England.

For further information please contact the department.


Useful learning and revision websites




Spartacus Educational


Year 7 Programme of Study


Autumn Half Term 1 – Religion and Africa

Students explore connections between religion and different parts of Africa, c. 300- c. 1650, developing skills such as chronology. 

Assessment: A baseline History Assessment


Autumn Half Term 2 – The Norman Conquest

Students study the Battle of Hastings and gradual Norman takeover of England, including the introduction and impact of both the Feudal System and the building of castles.

Assessment: The Battle of Hastings


Spring Half Term 1 – Medieval Life

Students explore key features of life in the Middle Ages, including the experience of living in villages compared with towns.

Assessment: Key aspects of Medieval Life


Spring Half Term 2

Students study some of the most important events of the period, including the Peasants’ Revolt and the Crusades. 

Assessment: The Crusades


Summer Half Term 1 – The Wars of the Roses

Students consider why two families went to war and study the short- and long-term impacts. 

Assessment: The Wars of the Roses


Summer Half Term 2 – Religion and the Tudors

Students explore the role of religion in Tudor politics and society, including key changes under different monarchs.

Assessment: Henry VIII and the Break from Rome


Year 8 Programme of Study


Autumn Half Term 1 – The Stuarts

Students analyse how England ended up with Scottish kings and how civil wars led to the execution of one of them.             

Assessment: The Stuarts and the Civil War             


Autumn Half Term 2 - Africa: Medieval to Modern             

Students look at African societies, such as Great Zimbabwe, before European colonialism, then explore impacts of the slave trade.


Spring Half Term 1 – The First World War                    

Students explore the causes, outbreak and key events of the First World War (1914-18). These events include the system of Trench Warfare and the Battle of the Somme.

Assessment: The Battle of the Somme 


Spring Half Term 2 – The Rise of the Nazis and the Second World War

Students study factors behind Hitler’s rise to power and some of the key events of the Second World War which the Nazi government helped trigger.

AssessmentHitler’s rise to power


Summer Half Term 1 – The Holocaust

Students will study the persecution of, and systematic attempts to exterminate, the Jewish people of Germany and Europe.  They will consider the conditions in Germany during the 1930s as well as the consequences of Hitler’s rhetoric.

Assessment: Concentration Camps of the Holocaust


Summer Half Term 2 – The Cold War

Students will explore the causes and main features of the Cold War: the confrontation and competition for world domination waged between the USA and the USSR from 1945 to c.1990. 

Assessment: Cold War source analysis


Useful Resources

Modern Minds - Christine Counsell

Technology, War and Identities - Aaron Wilkes and James Ball

GCSE Modern World History - Ben Walsh

In Search of History: The Twentieth Century - J.F. Aylett Edexcel



An introduction to the Ancient World is studied in the first term to build up skills that will be needed in the GCSE course. Students will study the OCR Ancient History (J198) GCSE 9-1 syllabus. 

The Year 9 Programme of Study:

  • Term 1: Ancient World introduction
  • Term 2: The Persian Empire, 559-465 BC 
  • Term 3: The Persian Empire, 559-465 BC
  • Term 4: The Persian Empire, 559-465 BC
  • Term 5: The Persian Empire, 559-465 BC
  • Term 6: The Persian Empire, 559-465 BC

This period study follows the unfolding narrative of the rise of the Persian Empire under the first four Achaemenid kings between 559 and 465 BC. After an initial focus on the foundation of the empire under Cyrus the Great, the study examines the expansion of Persian territory and construction projects of Cyrus’ successors before exploring the Persians’ attempts to expand into Greece and the resistance they faced. Learners will need to understand the nature of the Persian Empire in this period and the role of the kings in shaping its development. 

There are three consistent themes: 

  • The expansion of Persian territory 
  • The interaction between the Persians and other cultures, particularly the Greeks, Egyptians and Babylonians 
  • The personalities and priorities of Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II, Darius I and Xerxes I including their priorities on matters of religion and architecture
  • Part One: The rise of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great
  • Part Two: Cambyses II, Smerdis and the accession of Darius
  • Part Three: The reign of Darius the Great
  • Part Four: Xerxes I and the Greeks

Year 10 Programme of Study:

  • Term 1: Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC
  • Term 2: Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC
  • Term 3: Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC
  • Term 4: The foundations of Rome: from kingship to republic, 753-440 BC 
  • Term 5: The foundations of Rome: from kingship to republic, 753-440 BC
  • Term 6: The foundations of Rome: from kingship to republic, 753-440 BC

This depth study enables learners to understand the complex factors that allowed Alexander the Great to become one of ancient history’s most famous men. This depth study provides learners with the opportunity to explore the political, military, religious, cultural and technological factors that enabled Alexander of Macedon to achieve so much in such a short space of time. 

  • Part One: Upbringing, character, beliefs and life of Alexander
  • Part Two: Alexander’s campaigns: The reasons for his expeditions and the main battles
  • Part Three: Significant events in Alexander’s life
  • Part Four: The Macedonian army under Alexander

The longer period study enables learners to explore the early development of Ancient Rome and to be able to put this development into the wider context of the ancient world. Learners will compare the rates and types of change affecting political and social structures, cultural and religious practices, and military advances across the four time spans outlined. This study enables learners to explore the complex relationships between the kings, the Roman people and other countries in this period and later during the Republican era, the changing role of plebeians and patricians, and Rome’s growing influence in the ancient world. 

The following four sub-themes are addressed across the longer period study: 

  • Political change
  • Religious and social change 
  • Impact of warfare and military change 
  • Separating myth from reality 


The longer period study has a requirement for learners to understand the nature and origin of the historical evidence for this period. This is brought out in the fourth theme to allow learners to separate myth from the individuals and events which may have a historical basis.

  • Part One: The legendary kings: Origins of Rome 753-616 BC
  • Part Two: The Etruscan kings: 616-509 BC
  • Part Three: Origins of the Republic: 509-494 BC
  • Part Four: Securing the Republic: 494-404 BC

Year 11 Programme of Study

  • Term 1: Cleopatra: Rome and Egypt, 69-30 BC
  • Term 2: Cleopatra: Rome and Egypt, 69-30 BC
  • Term 3: Cleopatra: Rome and Egypt, 69-30 BC
  • Term 4: Cleopatra: Rome and Egypt, 69-30 BC
  • Term 5: Revision
  • Term 6: Revision

The Cleopatra depth study enables learners to understand the complexity of the relationship between Rome and Egypt between 69 and 30 BC and the political, military, religious, economic, social and cultural factors affecting the reign of Cleopatra and her relationships with key historical figures during this period of significant upheaval in the Mediterranean world.

  • Part One: Cleopatra’s life and character
  • Part Two: Cleopatra as queen of Egypt, including political, domestic and foreign policies
  • Part Three: Cleopatra’s relationships with Caesar and Mark Anthony and their political significance
  • Part Four: The Battle of Actium and its significance for Egypt and Rome

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historical events and developments. Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Useful links and resources

Key Stage 4 Programmes of Study

Year 9 Programme of Study

Autumn Half Term 1 – Spring Half Term 1: Germany, 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship

Spring Half Term 1 – Summer Half Term 2: Conflict and Tension between East and West, 1945-1972

The Germany study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism.

Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

The Cold War study (‘Conflict and Tension between East and West’) enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It considers revolutionary movements during this time. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations.

Year 10 Programme of Study

Autumn Half Term 1 – Summer Half Term 2: Migration, empires and the People, c.790 to the present day

This thematic study on migration, empire and the people will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It will consider invasions and conquests. It will also study the country's relationship with Europe and the wider world. It will consider the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain and evaluate their motives and achievements. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.

Students will study the importance of the following factors as they influenced Britain’s dealings with the wider world:

• war

• religion

• government

• economic resources

• science and technology

• ideas such as imperialism, social Darwinism and civilisation

• the role of individuals.

Students will develop an understanding of the varying rate of change, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the change(s). They should also be able to distinguish between different types of causes and consequences, such as short/long-term causes, intended/unintended consequences.

Students will study how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time and their impact upon society.

Study will focus on the following questions:

• How has Britain been affected by conquest, settlement, and migration?

• What has motivated migration to and from Britain?

• Why did Britain gain and lose an empire and with what effects?

• How have the people of Britain and the wider world responded to, and been influenced by, interaction?

• What is the significance of key individuals and events in the development of empire and British identity?

Year 11 Programme of Study

Autumn Half Term 1 – Spring Half Term 1: Norman England, c.1066-c.1100

Spring Half Term 2 – Summer Half Term 1: Revision

The study of Norman England allows students to examine in depth the arrival of the Normans and the establishment of their rule. The depth study will focus on major aspects of Norman rule, considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

The study of the historic environment will focus on a particular site in its historical context and should examine the relationship between a specific place and associated historical events and developments. Students will be expected to answer a question that draws on second order concepts of change, continuity, causation and/or consequence, and to explore them in the context of the specified site and wider events and developments of the period studied.

Useful Resources

BBC Bitesize - History

Spartacus Educational

JD Clare

AQA History GCSE

Historic England: The Norman Conquest

History.com – The Nazi Party

History Learning Site – What was the Cold War?


Key Stage 5 Programmes of Study

Students will study the Edexcel History (9H10) GCE syllabus. 

In Year 12 students will follow route F and study South Africa and America. The topics will be taught at the same time by different teachers.

In search of the American Dream: the USA, c.1917-96

This option comprises a study in breadth, in which students will learn about the dramatic political, economic and social transformation of the USA in the twentieth century, an era that saw the USA challenged by the consequences of political, economic and social inequalities at home and of its involvement in international conflict. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1917-80. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question, which is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: what impact the Reagan presidency had on the USA in the years 1981–96.

Part one: The changing political environment, 1917-80

Part two: The quest for civil rights, 1917-80

Part three: Society and culture in change, 1917-80

Part four: The changing quality of life, 1917-80

Part five: What impact did the Reagan presidency have on the USA in the years 1981-96?

South Africa,1948-94 from apartheid state to ‘rainbow nation’.

In Year 12, students will also study this option. It comprises a study in depth of South Africa during its transition from white minority rule to the free elections of 1994, a long, and at times, dramatic process in which South Africa changed from an apartheid state into a multi-racial democracy. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the creation and consolidation of the apartheid regime by the National Party and the response and methods used by their political opponents in the struggle to overthrow apartheid, as well social, economic and cultural changes that accompanied this process.

Part one: The response to apartheid, c.1948-59

Part two: Radicalisation of resistance and the consolidation of National Party power, 1960-68

Part three: Redefining resistance and challenges to National Party power, 1968-83

Part four: The end of apartheid and the creation of the ‘rainbow nation’, 1984-94

The British experience of warfare

In Year 13 students will also study the British experience of warfare, c1790-1918 and complete a piece of coursework on the Holocaust.

This option comprises two parts: the aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the British experience of war in different aspects of major overseas conflicts and the changing relationship between the state and the people as the government attempted to create an effective fighting machine and prepare the people for war. Within the primarily military focus on the experience of warfare, this option also gives students the opportunity to explore its political, social and economic dimensions and their part in generating pressure for change. 

Aspects in Breadth:

• Changes in organising the military

• Changes in the role of the people

Aspects in Depth:

• Britain and the French Wars, 1790-1815

• The Crimean War, 1854-56

• The Second Boer War, 1899-1902

• Trench Warfare on the Western Front, 1914-18

• The war in the air, 1914-18

Coursework: The Holocaust, c.1940-45

The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment. The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians.

Students are required to respond to one of three set questions:

• the role of Hitler in orchestrating the Holocaust

• the role of the occupied peoples of Europe in the Holocaust

• the role of resistance by Jewish people in the Holocaust

Useful Resources

Edexcel History GCE

The British Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Yad Vashem, יד ושם

The Imperial War Museum

History.com - Apartheid

The Presidents of America

The Centre for American Women and Politics


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