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“Historical Knowledge is indispensable for those who want to build a better world” – Ludwig von Mises

At Salvatorian, our History curriculum is crafted to ignite a profound curiosity for the past while ensuring students develop a robust understanding of historical content and second-order concepts. Aligned with national standards, our curriculum emphasizes not only the acquisition of substantive historical knowledge but also the development of critical thinking skills.  

Through a diverse and captivating curriculum, students explore significant historical figures, events, and themes both within Britain and globally from Europe to Africa. They delve into the complexities of change and continuity over time, fostering a secure grasp of chronology. Moreover, our curriculum encourages students to analyse historical sources and interpretations, discerning between different types of historical evidence and forming their own interpretations of events, people and institutions.  

By examining history through a global lens from 1000 onwards, students gain a nuanced understanding of concurrent events across diverse locations, enabling them to study and analyse the development of Britain over the course of the last 1000 years but meanwhile exploring world History. This global perspective not only enhances their cultural capital but also fosters a comprehensive understanding of their place in a diverse present.    

Furthermore, our curriculum is designed to cultivate critical thinking skills and the ability to draw connections between historical events and their impact on communities. Through engaging activities and trips, we provide ample opportunities for students to question and explore the complexities of the past, empowering them to become thoughtful and informed citizens of the world and leaders of good influence.  

The History curriculum takes a holistic approach that equips students with substantive knowledge of history alongside the analytical skills necessary to be successful. 

Our Staff

Mr D Grimes – Head of Department 

Mr J Michie – Teacher of History 

Mr B Stelmaszczcyk – Teacher of History

Key Stage Three

Our KS3 curriculum is structured so that pupils will build a strong knowledge of the History of Britain and a global History. The curriculum begins with a study of the Norman Conquest, from there pupils delve into a study of power, monarchy, feudalism, the role of religion and changes to society throughout this time. Pupils will also study significant events in Britain such as the Black Death, the Peasants revolt, the English Reformation and the Industrial revolution. A study of these topics allows our pupils to see the social, political and economic shifts that take place during these periods that have shaped the world we live in today.    

Pupils will also study themes of democracy and dictatorship in Britain in Europe with through a study of the Suffrage movement in Britain, the rise of communism in Russia and the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany in the 20th century. Furthermore, they will have a clear understanding of the causes of conflict in the 20th century through studies of WW1, the interwar years, WW2 and life during the Cold War. They will also study how key political acts such as the passing of the Race Relations Act in 1965 and whether it’s been successful.   

Pupils will also gain a global knowledge of Medieval Africa, the Islamic World, the Mughal Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Throughout KS3, pupils will build their Historical skills by engaging with second order concepts of chronology, change and continuity, similarity and difference, cause and consequence, significance and evidence. Pupils will develop and understand the method of Historical enquiry, how evidence is used to substantiate historical claims and how and why different arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed. Pupils will have the skills to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts and their own informed interpretations based on historical evidence. 

Key Stage Four

At KS4, we use the Edexcel Exam Board 

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment 1000-present day 

This option delves into the theme of “Crime and Punishment in Britain” from 1000 AD to present alongside an examination of Whitechapel’s historic environment from 1870 to 1900, focusing on crime, policing, and urban life. It prompts students to explore social and political influences on each period, highlighting the importance of personal narratives and contemporary issues. Assessments cover describing features, evaluating sources, and analysing changes over time. 

Paper 2 – Superpower relations, 1941-1991 

This option covers the period from 1941 to 1991, focusing on the origins, crises, and end of the Cold War. Students explore narrative connections, emphasizing global developments and the dynamics between the USA and the Soviet Union, including espionage, political tensions, and key figures from Stalin to Gorbachev. It highlights events like the Berlin Blockade, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and discusses the lasting legacy of the Cold War on international relations. Assessment includes questions on consequences, analytical narrative, and the significance of events or persons. 

Paper 2 – Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588 

The study delves into Elizabethan England (1558–88), emphasizing threats to national security, religious diversity, education, and social welfare. It focuses on how Elizabeth I managed religious tensions with her 1559 settlement while confronting plots against her. Abroad, her rivalry with Spain’s Philip II led to the Spanish Armada of 1588, amid an age of exploration exemplified by Francis Drake. It focuses on changes in policies toward the poor and cultural blossoming also characterized the era. Students explore religious, political, and economic dynamics, including the rise of theatre and the Armada’s impact. Assessment centres on descriptive features, causation, and analytical judgments. 

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-1939 

This study analyses Germany’s transition from democracy to dictatorship between the World Wars. It explores political, economic, social, and cultural factors, emphasizing historical analysis and source evaluation. Following WWI, Germany shifted from pride to resentment due to the Treaty of Versailles. Weimar Germany faced turmoil, including the Ruhr invasion and the Wall Street Crash of 1929, leading to Hitler’s rise in 1933 amid the Great Depression. The Nazi dictatorship brought persecution of Jews and marginalized groups, with profound societal impacts. 

Key Stage 5

1J The British Empire, c1857–1967 

This course explores the British Empire’s rise, peak, and decline. Part one (1857-1914) covers expansion in Africa, administration in India, economic factors, and cultural influence. It examines key figures and indigenous responses like the Indian Mutiny and Boer War. Part two (1914-1967) discusses challenges from world wars, decolonization movements, and shifts in policies. It includes nationalist leaders like Gandhi and explores post-colonial ties, migration, and cultural legacies. 

2Q The American Dream: reality and illusion, 1945–1980
This course covers the U.S. transition into a superpower post-WWII, split into two parts. Part one (1945-1963) explores Truman’s presidency, Cold War emergence, Civil Rights Movement, and Eisenhower/Kennedy eras. Part two (1963-1980) examines Johnson’s Great Society, Nixon’s conservatism and Watergate, plus Ford/Carter’s domestic/international challenges. Topics include American identity, social equality, anti-communism, federalism, and democracy amid protests/media influence. 

Component 3 What’s assessed 

A personal study based on a topic of student’s choice. This should take the form of a question in the context of approximately 100 years. It must not duplicate the content of options chosen for Components 1 and 2. 

  • 3500-4500 words 
  • 40 markers 
  • 20% of A level 
  • Marked by teachers 
  • Moderated by AQA 

Links to Future Pathways

Studying History fosters critical reasoning and analytical skills, essential for problem-solving and creative thinking. It instils intellectual rigor and independence through detailed research and analysis of diverse sources. History students learn to construct persuasive arguments and communicate findings effectively, both orally and in writing. They develop the ability to work autonomously, managing time and priorities efficiently. Moreover, studying History cultivates collaborative skills, enabling individuals to engage in group discussions, negotiate effectively, and approach new challenges with objectivity and an open mind. 


A study of History can lead the way to a career as: 

  • Academic historian 
  • Academic researcher 
  • Archaeologist 
  • Conservation Officer 
  • Heritage Manage 
  • Journalist 
  • Museum curator 
  • Paralegal 
  • Political analyst 
  • Researches 
  • Teacher 
  • Tour Guide 
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