Welcome to History

Rebecca Nash Director of Humanities
Steven May  
Charlotte Grocott  
Chelsey Hardwick                 
Ben Wilson  
Alex Fisher  
Amy Tweddle  


The Key Stage 3 History Curriculum at Barnsley Academy

The purpose of study for our Key Stage 3 History Curriculum is the same as that of the September 2013 History National Curriculum purpose of study, as follows:

‘A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.’


As for the purpose of study, the aims of the United Learning Key Stage 3 History Curriculum are the same as those of the September 2013 History National Curriculum. The curriculum for history aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world
  • know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind
  • gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’
  • understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses
  • understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed
  • gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.

United learning unique focus

  • A knowledge-based curriculum for the whole of Key Stage 3;
  • A clear and coherent structure for each unit in each of Years 7, 8 and 9 to strengthen students’ historical knowledge and chronological understanding;
  • An enquiry-based question focus for each unit encompassing a combination of depth and overview enquiries;
  • An explicit focus in each enquiry question upon substantive and disciplinary knowledge;
  • An end of year overarching enquiry which brings together themes explored in the year and, at the end of Years 8 and 9, also links together work from the preceding academic year or years;
  • Assessment outcomes though key performance indicators linked to each enquiry question and focused upon the learning that all students should be able to demonstrate at the end of each unit;


Source skills


Source skills

Evidence based enquiries

Interpretations of historical enquiries.

Written communication of historical content and forming validated historical judgements.

Lessons all focus around enquiries based around the following second order concepts

  • Causation
  • Change and continuity
  • Significance
  • Similarity and difference
  • Interpretations


Topics/enquiry lessons

Year 7

T1/2- How did England go from Anglo Saxon to Norman rule?

T3/4- How much did England change under the Normans?

T5/6- How far were medieval monarchs challenged by during the period.

Year 8

T1/2 Why Did England break from Rome?

T2/3- How Protestant was England by 1603.

T3/4- Why and how did England Kill their King?

T5- Why do Historians have different interpretations of the abolition of The British Transatlantic Slave Trade?

T6- How did England become the workshop of the world?

Year 9

T1- Why did the World go to the war in 1914?

T2- What was trench warfare like?

T3- Why did Fascism engross the Europe and not the UK?

T4- Was Weimar doomed to fail?

T5- How did Hitler rise to power and consolidate their power?

T6- How did Britain and the allies defeat the Nazis?

The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB. Tel: 01832 864 444

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