The Purbeck School History Curriculum 

Why Study History at The Purbeck School?  

History at Purbeck School informs students about the past, yet helps them to understand the present. It’s always interesting: students learn about how people lived and who governed them, including stories involving love, war and scandal! Students learn what makes changes and developments happen, and why different people have different interpretations of History. Studying History teaches students how to make sense of the information with which we are constantly bombarded in our modern society; which information is reliable, which is useful, which is significant? Why do different people interpret events and issues in different ways and from different perspectives? Above all, studying History is fun; it includes a wide variety of learning styles and activities which help students to figure out how and why the past matters. 

The range of ‘beyond the classroom’ enrichment opportunities for History students is excellent. As one student put it, “History has the best trips”! Students in Key Stage 3 visit Dorset castles and the Imperial War Museum in London. GCSE students have the opportunity to visit and engage with the battlefields and memorials of the First World War in France and Belgium, whilst A Level students travel to Berlin and Krakow to understand the nature and impact of Nazism. As well as trips and field study visits, there are numerous opportunities for students to extend themselves and their learning. 


How is History taught? 

  • KS3 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes for three hours each fortnight. 
  • KS4 – Students are taught in mixed ability classes for five hours each fortnight. 
  • KS5 – Students are taught (shared across two members of staff) for nine hours each fortnight. 


Rationale and ambition for The Purbeck School History curriculum: 

  • Our History curriculum aims to inspire a passion for History within learners which ignites life-long interest in the subject continuing beyond academic achievement. 
  • Our History curriculum aims to encourage learners to ‘think like Historians’ through an inquisitive and investigative approach to the events and issues studiedWe always encourage students to start with the ‘5Ws’: who, what, where, when, why? 
  • Our History Curriculum aims to offer suitable and accessible challenge to students of all abilities. 
  • Our History curriculum aims to engage and challenge students through studying a diverse range of events and issues with local, national and international significance, expanding their cultural capital. 
  • Our History curriculum aims to develop empathetic and engaged citizens through focusing on events and issues with a challenging ethical or moral dimension, such as those relating to class, gender, race, intolerance and discrimination. 
  • Our History curriculum aims to support students in developing the confidence to carefully consider and express their views and opinions. 
  • Our History curriculum aims to prepare students for work and life through the development of soft skills such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem solving, public speaking and leadership. Studying History creates well-rounded people! 
  • Our History curriculum aims to enrich students’ learning and understanding through opportunities for field visits to engaging Historical sites. 


Key concepts:  

The concepts that The Purbeck School History curriculum aims to support student progression in are: 

  • AO1 Knowledge and Understanding 
  • AO2 Explanation and Analysis 
  • AO3 Analysing Sources 
  • AO4 Interpretations 


Useful Links: 

Key Stage 3 National Curriculum: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239075/SECONDARY_national_curriculum_-_History.pdf 

GCSE specification: http://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/history/ 

A Level specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/A%20Level/History/2015/Specification%20and%20sample%20assessments/9781446914366_GCE_2015_A_HIST.pdf 


Long Term Overview



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Year 9 History trip to London

39 Year 9 History students visited London for the day, leaving school at 7 am and not getting back until 9.30 pm! Their busy schedule on this long day took them to the Imperial War Museum and also the amazing HMS Belfast, moored on the Thames.

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A Level History news!

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) recently received a range of new academic books which will directly support A Level History students in their studies. The books were funded by a generous grant from the estate of the late Andy Speake, formerly a History teacher and Deputy

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