“We are not makers of history. We are made by history”. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
At Leesbrook, we believe that outstanding humanities creates outstanding humans. Through a bespoke curriculum and dynamic, creative, engaging and quality first teaching, we will create lifelong learners with a genuine love of history and a sense of curiosity about the past. Our curriculum will create well-balanced, tolerant citizens of the future with a sense of social responsibility and the desire to challenge injustice - informed by their knowledge of the individuals, ideas, social movements and events that have punctuated local, national and global history.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been recording their lives, deeds, and actions. History is a part of all of us, and without a knowledge of history we truly are “like a tree without roots” (Marcus Garvey). History allows us to be human in the fullest of ways, not just because knowing the past better prepares us for our futures, but also because it provides a context to our lives that often we did not know was missing.
At Leesbrook we offer a rich, deep and exciting history curriculum, designed for our pupils and the unique context of our academy. This curriculum is not only culturally enriching but will enable pupils to develop a love and passion for history that will equip them with the ability to be life-long scholars of the past.
During Key Stage 3, students will be taught the historical skills needed for excellence through a wide range of topics; moving through space, time and historical themes. In Year 7 students explore how ‘England’ began, investigating the different migrant groups that over time have variously become known as the English, and how England as a nation was created through examining the events leading up to and beyond the Norman Conquest. Students move on to explore the topic of Empire, questioning why the British Empire was created, who it benefitted, and evaluating whether it was a ‘good’ thing for the world. They then move on to investigate the issue of slavery, including the slave trade, the slave experience and the abolition movement. Year 7 concludes with the study of Medieval England and the Black Death, where pupils study the role of religion, medicine and superstition in understanding and tackling the worst pandemic ever to hit the world.
Students commence Year 8 with a study of World War I. They explore the path to conflict, questioning whether war was inevitable in Europe. The soldier’s experience of living and fighting in the trenches is explored, as is the contribution of soldiers from across the Empire. Students then commence an investigation into the infamous Titanic. They examine the luxury and lives of those in the Upper Class cabins, and the poverty and hope of better prospects of those in second and third class. They explore how the Titanic sank and evaluate who was most to blame for the huge loss of life that resulted. Year 8 concludes with an extended study into Victorian Whitechapel. Students look at the the research of Charles Booth, examining the living conditions of one of the most notorious inner city slums of Victorian England. They explore who lived in Whitechapel, what their lives were like, what crimes were committed and how Whitechapel was policed. No study of Whitechapel would be complete without studying the Autumn of Terror and the crimes of Jack the Ripper, and studentss conclude this topic by questioning whether Whitechapel was the perfect environment for the crimes of Jack the Ripper.
In Year 9 students study a collection of themes that enable them to perfect and refine their historical skills, as well as their understanding of the interplay between society, economy, politics and culture. The year starts with The Roaring Twenties – a study of American society, leisure, fashion, economy and crime in the 1920s. Students will examine why there was an economic boom and how the Stock Market shaped the future of the west. They explore the ‘new’ leisure crazes of the 20s, the liberated women who panicked respectable society, and the experiment with prohibition that defined the decade. Finally they examine the story of Al Capone, questioning whether he was a villain or a hero of the people, before evaluating whether the Roaring Twenties was really an era of progress for all by examining the experience of immigrants and African-Americans. Following on from this students engage in an extended study on women through time, looking at how their role, status, rights and freedoms have changed through history. Within this unit pupils explore the witch-craze of the 1600s (which focused almost exclusively on women), the suffragette movement of the Edwardian era and the role of women in war, in addition to women of notoriety such as Elizabeth Fry and Annie Kenney. Year 9 concludes with an investigation into the native people of North America – the Plains Indians. They examine their way of life and the importance of buffalo and horses to sustaining independence. They look at Native American religion, spirituality and belief and the structure of society – especially the roles of the warrior and the medicine man.
At GCSE students will follow the EDEXCEL curriculum, taking the following options:
•Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939
•Crime and Punishment c1000-Present
•The American West c1836-1895
•Henry VIII and his Ministers 1509-1540
Curriculum Plan for History
Please click here for Year 7.
Please click here for Year 8.
Please click here for Year 9.
Knowledge Organisers for History
Please click here for Year 7.
Please click here for Year 8.
For Departmental Clubs that students can underake that are relevant to History, click here.
“Curiosity Reading” and “Curiosity Watching” are theme specific and will be shared with students regularly throughout schemes of learning.
For more general inspiration:
BBC Bitesize is a great resource for revision and extra reading:
The BBC History Magazine and related publications are also great resources:
In addition to the ‘history’ section of BBC Iplayer:
There is also a wide and rich selection of historical fiction novels available for young adults, many of which are in our library, including “War Horse” by Michael Morpurgo, “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne and “Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Should you have any questions about the History curriculum at Oasis Leesbrook please contact Mrs Ridley, Curriculum Leader for Humanities.