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History - Year 8

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our History curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in History for Year 8 students, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mrs Robertson if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

How are groups organised?

All of our Year 8 classes are mixed ability. The students have 3 one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in this subject will have an interest in how society, politics and the economy has changed over time and will be comfortable with analysing different interpretations of the past. Successful students will also have the ability to form rational arguments, supported with evidence, whilst they will also be able to write at length.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Understanding of the key features and characteristics of the past
  • Analysing historical events and periods
  • Using sources to make judgements
  • Evaluating interpretations and explaining the differences and the reasons for these
  • Change and continuity over time
  • Cause and consequence

What will students learn at this level?

Topic 1: Tudors and Stuarts – Spanish Armada, Gunpowder Plot, English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, Restoration of the monarchy

Topic 2: Industrial Revolution – Changes in Britain 1750-1900, agricultural revolution, working conditions in mills and factories, Robert Owen and factory reform, transport, coal mining, the Great Exhibition, Jack the Ripper

Topic 3: Empire and Slavery – where was the empire, who developed the empire, benefits of trade, interpretations of the empire, the trade triangle, the Middle Passage, slave auctions, conditions on plantations, slave rebellions, abolition

Topic 4: Women’s Suffrage – women’s roles within society in the Victorian era, arguments for and against women’s suffrage, Suffragettes and Suffragists, tactics used by suffrage campaigners, role of women in WW1, why women were awarded the vote

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Literacy, communication and essay-writing skills
  • Source analysis skills
  • Interpretation skills

How will students learn at this level?

  • Collaborative learning where you work with your peers
  • Close reading and note-taking
  • Using the internet to support your learning
  • Using quizlet to support and test your learning
  • Independent learning where you are responsible for your own progress
  • Regularly self-assessing work and improving on it

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

There is a written summative assessment for the first 3 topics (1 per term)

  1. Did Charles I deserve to be executed? (Interpretations, judgement)
  2. Source based question on life in the mills and essay on whether life was terrible for all (interpretations, judgement)
  3. Reasons for the abolition of slavery (cause and consequence)

When do key assessments take place?

Assessment 1 – November (Charles)

Assessment 2 – February (Mills)

Assessment 3 – May (Abolition)

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Encourage your child to re-visit their classwork at home and help them test their understanding of that information – e.g through quizzing them on key names/dates/events
  • Encourage your child to watch relevant programmes about our topics on TV/online – there are lots of programmes on BBC iPlayer as well as Youtube.
  • Encourage your child to access information on the internet as a way of enriching and consolidating their knowledge – e.g through using the BBC Bitesize website.
  • Encourage your child to spend quality time on their homework and provide a suitable space for them to complete it.
  • Check the quality of the work in your child’s exercise book and encourage them to make improvements where possible.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Essential basic equipment – pen, pencil, ruler, exercise book etc.

Access to SMHW

Access to Quizlet

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • English and other Humanities subjects: Literacy, communication, evaluation, analysis and argument.
  • Philosophy: Religious changes in the Stuart period

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

BBC Bitesize - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zk26n39

Quizlet - https://quizlet.com/join/Yzu5U5RPz

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?


What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

History can lead to a hugely wide range of careers:

  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Museums and art gallery curatorship
  • Research
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Media and marketing
  • Public relations
  • International relations
  • Journalism

The most traditional route into many of these careers is to undertake a History degree at university, before doing a conversion or post-graduate qualification in a slightly different discipline (a law conversion or a PGCE for example). Having completed a History degree also opens opportunities for accessing internships in areas such as marketing, public relations or journalism

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?


How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?