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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School


History teaches us to learn not only about the past but valuable lessons for the present too. As the philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”.

At Deer Park, History pupils are urged to question things they read and to look for evidence of bias in interpretations. They are asked to judge the significance of issues, events and individuals before reaching a well explained conclusion to their thoughts.

The skills which are developed in History lessons are of immense value beyond the classroom and have lifelong significance. Pupils are encouraged to be inquisitive, questioning and to explore the notion of “what if…?” Building learning power is central to all History lessons at Deer Park. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own learning, to work independently and to think not only about what they learn but how they learn too.

Find out about each Key Stage in History:

KS3 History 

Pupils have excellent opportunities to develop their historical knowledge and understanding, including their chronological understanding, through investigating three core enquiries:

  • How far have invaders shaped our nation?
  • How far did power shift from the Church to the people?
  • How far has conflict shaped peace in the 20th century?

Pupils will be learning about important aspects of local history through their study of the impact of the Romans on the town of Cirencester; the impact of Henry VIII on local churches and monasteries; and the impact of WW1 on the local population.

Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils are enthused by the opportunities to study different themes and issues across time. These include well-planned in-depth studies of national and world history surrounding issues of conflict, shifting power and movement and settlement of people. As a result, pupils develop a sophisticated and wide-ranging understanding of history and why studying it matters.

We have designed the curriculum as a distinctive and highly imaginative experience which is underpinned by a clear and coherent rationale that is relevant and prepares them for further learning. The curriculum ensures that pupils understand key historical concepts such as continuity and change; significance; cause and consequence and similarity and difference. This promotes skills so that our pupils can confidently articulate the place history has in their own lives and in society so they have the best preparation for life in modern Britain.

The curriculum provides constant opportunities for discovery and challenge and for pupils to take greater responsibility for their learning through independent enquires that link with other subjects such as Geography and SMSC (Spiritual Moral Social Cultural). This includes a cross curricular study of the town of Cirencester which is highly productive in strengthening pupils’ learning in History.

We have forged excellent links with other agencies and the wider community, providing extensive and varied enrichment activities that are fully integrated into the curriculum and are highly effective in promoting enjoyment and achievement in History. Some of these involve the Corinium Museum, Amphitheatre, and Historical Re-enactors, National Trust properties, English Heritage sites and the local church.

Our rigorous curriculum planning ensures that History makes an invaluable contribution to pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.

Subject content for Key Stage 3

We have planned to ensure the progression described above by teaching the British, local and world history outlined below. We will combine overview and depth studies to help pupils understand both the long arc of development and the complexity of specific aspects of the content. These will be in the form of enquiries and will be undertaken throughout the Key Stage; helping promote literacy and numeracy skills through problem solving, researching, and communicating about the past.

In Year 7 pupils will investigate How far have invaders shaped our nation?

Pupils will learn about the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1485.

This will include:

  • The Norman Conquest
  • Christendom, the importance of religion and the Crusades
  • The Black Death
  • The peasants revolt

In addition, as a study of an aspect or site in local history dating from a period before 1066, pupils will also study the Roman Corinium.

In Year 8 will investigate How far did power shift from the Church to the people?

Pupils will learn about the development of Church, state and society in Britain 1485-1900.

This will include

  • Renaissance and Reformation in Europe
  • The English Reformation and Counter Reformation
  • The causes and events of the civil wars throughout Britain
  • The Interregnum (including Cromwell in Ireland)
  • The Restoration, ‘Glorious Revolution’ and power of Parliament
  • The Act of Union of 1707, Society, economy and culture across the period
  • Britain’s transatlantic slave trade: its effects and its eventual abolition
  • Britain as the first industrial nation – the impact on society
  • Party politics, extension of the franchise and social reform

In Year 9 pupils will investigate How far has conflict shaped peace in the 20th century?

Pupils will learn about challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

In addition to studying the Holocaust, this will include:

  • The First World War and the Peace Settlement
  • The inter-war years: the Great Depression and the rise of dictators
  • The Second World War and the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill
  • The creation of the Welfare State

KS4 History 

When pupils have opted to take History at GCSE they can embark on a varied and dynamic new course. The emphasis now is on using the skills developed in the extension tasks in Key Stage 3 to produce excellent quality coursework which demonstrates pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills at utilising evidence. They are encouraged to make informed judgements based on the topics they have studied.

The GCSE content consists of a Study in Development, and a Study in Depth and a Controlled Assessment task.

Study in Development: Medicine Through Time
We examine continuities and changes in the history of medicine. A range of periods are studied, from the pre-historic to the modern day. This unit focuses on a common set of key questions, for example, ‘what caused people to be healthy or unhealthy?’ or ‘who provided medical care?’

Study in Depth
This is designed to encourage pupils to develop and enrich their understanding of people and problems in the past through the study of social, economic, political, cultural and religious aspects of a country over a relatively short period of time (approximately 30–50 years). We look at Germany, c.1919–1945 focusing on the reasons for the development of totalitarianism in Germany and its impact. Emphasis is placed on how developments in Weimar Germany led to the rise of the Nazi Party.

Controlled Assessment
The controlled assessment task will be based on the study of an historical site and its context. It will involve pupils carrying out an historical enquiry. Pupils will study a local site in its historical context, for example Chedworth Roman villa or Goodrich Castle. This could involve investigating, for example the typicality of the site, the place of the site in the development of, for example castles over time, or the importance of the site locally and nationally.