Subject Intent

Why study history at DCS?

We study history to understand the past, but also to try and explain the present.

History at DCS helps pupils understand how significant events in the past have shaped the city, country and world that we live in. History lessons inspire pupils so that they are curious about the past and want to learn more.  They equip pupils with the skills to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History allows them to explore challenging concepts with sensitivity, integrity, compassion and humility.  

Studying History at DCS ensures students understand that not everyone’s history is the same and that significant events affect people in different ways.  History promotes understanding between different cultures and national traditions which is important for students to successfully contribute to the modern diverse city we live in.  Students will learn about the diversity of societies and the changing relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.  

Our curriculum is sequenced chronologically, following National Curriculum guidelines to help students understand the key themes of change, continuity, cause and consequence.  This allows students to connect ideas and concepts such as democracy and equality from different time periods and see how they inter-relate.

History at DCS provides students with:

  • Interesting and challenging lessons that inspire students to enjoy history and understand its relevance and importance today.
  • A supportive and inclusive learning environment that ensures all experience success.
  • Knowledge of significant events in British, local and world history.
  • The language to be able to present opinions and arguments that are well written, clearly expressed, organised and supported by evidence.
  • Opportunities to apply the school’s FAITH values  of Fellowship, Aspiration, Integrity, Tenacity and Humility to a range of contexts and consider the social, moral and cultural dimensions of the past.
  • The skills to question sources, interpretations and narratives of the past and apply this to the information-rich world they live in.  
  • A greater understanding of how national and global events have affected the lives of the people in Derby and Derbyshire and why our local setting is important.
  • Opportunities to apply their historical knowledge to different time periods and prepare them for further study.
  • Enrichment opportunities through a range of educational visits and external speakers that will broaden their horizons and bring to life the history studied in the classroom.
  • The aspiration to further develop their knowledge and understanding and follow clear pathways to GCSE, A level and beyond.

History Curriculum Plans

Updated: 16/01/2023 40 KB
Updated: 02/11/2022 38 KB


Mr M Adler Head of History
Miss S Oakes Teacher of History/SENDCO
Miss L Smith Teacher of History/Reading Coordinator
Mr P Hammerton Assistant Headteacher
Mr J Keene Teacher of History and Politics



In history homework is designed to consolidate and revisit knowledge students have started to learn in school. Students may be asked to do a range of activities to support their retention of knowledge. These may include:

  • Tasks that involve memorising key information from a knowledge organiser
  • Completing a test on MS teams
  • Creating a mind map based on their knowledge organiser

Occasionally students may be set longer written tasks but these will always be based on key knowledge.  These may be optional for students to complete.


The history faculty follow a responsive teaching approach and hinge questions are used to ensure that students have understood the key knowledge before moving on.  

Opportunities are carefully planned for spaced retrieval practice to address the forgetting curve. This is primarily addressed using the Start Now tasks.   We also plan exit tickets to allow teachers to understand the key misconceptions and gaps to address in future lessons.

Other types of formative assessment include targeted questioning using techniques such as cold call.  We also use (Covid permitting) mini whiteboards in lessons to check the understanding of all students.

Summative assessments are organised based on the school’s assessment calendar and at KS3 cover key knowledge as well as longer GCSE style questions.  Where appropriate we have used the same question strings as those used on the AQA GCSE History course.

Study skills & Revision

The history faculty have planned in opportunities within the curriculum to practice the skills required to respond to longer written questions.  

The history faculty understands that spaced retrieval will help students to develop flexible knowledge and we promote the regular recall of key knowledge as identified in knowledge organisers.


At GCSE we recommend the use of the Oxford AQA revision guides which can be purchased at a discount price through the school’s Parentpay website.

Churchill Archives: A great resource for historians who are interested in modern history. It includes more than 800,000 pages of original documents, produced between 1874 and 1965, ranging from Winston S. Churchill’s personal correspondence to his official exchanges with kings, presidents, politicians, and military leaders.

Churchill Archives

Updated: 30/06/2022 483 KB

British Pathe: Spanning the years from 1896 to 1978, the collection includes footage from around the globe of major events, famous faces, fashion trends, travel, science and culture.

BBC Bitesize: A link to the AQA GCSE History pages on BBC Bitesize.