Curriculum-Overview Key-Stage-3 Key-Stage-4 art-gcse art-assessment

“History fires pupils’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. It helps pupils develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, local, national and international levels. It helps them to ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. Pupils find out about the history of their community, Britain, Europe and the world. They develop a chronological overview that enables them to make connections within and across different periods and societies.” National Curriculum, 2009.

St. Joseph’s History Department strives to deliver a varied and interesting curriculum that engages and challenges pupils. The delivery of this content is wide-ranging and tests the pupils’ ability to assess and evaluate evidence and formulate arguments. Teaching and learning within the Department appeals to a wide variety of learners so that History is interesting and enjoyable for all.


The History Department consists of the following experienced, enthusiastic, history specialists:

Mr S. Graham (Head of Department)

Mr G. Hughes (Teacher of History and Asst. Headteacher)

Mr J. Thorp (Teacher of History)


We expect the highest standards from all our students. As a result, students should arrive at their lessons with high levels of enthusiasm, an open mind and a thirst for knowledge. They should be ready to debate, to justify and to explore the fascinating events and ideas that have shaped, and continue to shape, our world.

It is an expectation that history students arrive ready to work with their own pen, pencil, ruler and eraser (in line with the school’s equipment policy). In addition, students may find it useful to have their own additional items (e.g. glue stick, coloured pencils etc), although the department will always have these items available for loan when they are needed.


The History department is spread across two dedicated rooms and some other additional rooms across the site. All rooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and a wide range of teaching resources, including the latest textbooks, card sorts. In addition, we are currently benefitting in lessons from access to a new suite of laptops that are shared with the Geography department.

What could this course lead to?

Aside from the more obvious career paths such as museum work, researcher and teacher, the skills developed in History are closely linked to many other professions such as police work, law, politics and journalism.

These skills include problem solving, data analysis, source evaluation, spoken and written communication skills and the formulation of longer, written arguments. They are highly valued in the modern work place and are essential for many college, sixth form and university courses, whether studying History or another subject.

Assessment Policy

KS3: Students will complete 4 formal assessments a year.
The skills taught a KS3 mirror those required at GCSE preparing students for the rigors of formal qualifications in History if they choose the subject.
Each Assessment will be marked in line with GCSE mark schemes differentiated appropriately for lower school.
Students will receive a grade and a level which will inform termly reports.
KS4: Students will complete a formal GCSE style summative assessments for each unit studied. They will receive written feedback, suggestions for improvements and a grade to inform termly reporting.
Students will also undertake mock exams at the end of year 10 and at the end of term 1 in year 11.
Students will regularly attempt GCSE style questions in class and receive formative feed back on these

History Homework

Homework is set on a regular basis which enhances and complements the curriculum taught in school.
At KS3 home work will be issued approximately 3 times each half term.
At KS4 it will be 6 times per half term.
Please note that these are approximate. Some classes complete extended projects which may span several weeks. Homework will not be set if revision is being undertaken in preparation for an assessment as revision will replace homework.

Marking policy

In accordance to and in some cases in addition to the schools marking and literacy policy the history department aims to achieve the following:
• Marking/feedback should be given in grades
• WWW and EBI to be used by all staff
• Brackets to be used for pupil response
• A note should be made by pupils (where appropriate) of verbal feedback given by staff
• Target level on front of books for all classes.
• KS3 classes should aim to be marked every 3 weeks. Every 2 weeks for KS4
• The schools literacy marking policy should be used regularly for about 10 lines worth of work.
• Teacher marks in purple, self/peer assessment and pupil response in green.

Communicating with Parents

For excellent/persistently high achievement/effort, postcards are sent to parents.
If a homework is missed or of poor quality, teacher/parent communication takes place, usually using the School Comms system to alert parents.
If there are more serious concerns, the Head of Department will contact parents.

Rewards and Sanctions

Merits are awarded to pupils for effort/behaviour/achievement.
For excellent/persistently high achievement/effort, postcards are sent to parents.
Sanctions are administered in line with whole-school policy.

Quality Assurance

• Lesson Observations
Formal observations take place 3 times a year, in line with whole-school policy.
Informal observations take place regularly.
• Work Scrutiny
Takes place post-trawl, as part of the process of identifying underperformance and exceptional performance.
• Learning Walks
Formal Learning Walks take place every half term to ensure a high quality learning environment is maintained.
• Pupil feedback
Pupil feedback is collected at the end of each term as part of the whole school policy. This is fed back to the Head of Department to pass on any concerns to the departmen