Curriculum Statement - History

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

Powerful Knowledge in History

Defining ‘powerful knowledge’ in history is problematic and it is possible to argue endlessly over the relative merits of one topic or period or another. However, it is perhaps easier to agree upon some general principles:

  • Children have a right to know about the world in which they live.
  • They have a right to be taught about humans in the past, what those humans did and how we live today with the consequences of what happened before we were alive.
  • They have a right to be taught about the kinds of stories humans tell one another and how humans live in societies that are divided in different ways by wealth, class, gender and race.

The response to delivering on these rights, and of making sense of this complexity, is the academic discipline of history. The powerful knowledge history curriculum at the Laurus Trust therefore, seeks to provide students with an induction into this great discipline.


Curriculum Features

As part of their experience of key stage 3 history, students will be tasked with reflecting upon and answering five key questions:

    1. How has the nature of power changed over time?
    2. How have people’s beliefs and ideas changed over time?
    3. How have conflicts and conquests shaped the world?
    4. How have revolutions shaped the world?
    5. Is history a story of progress?

In order to do this, students will undertake rigorous historical enquiry into the following areas, chosen to exemplify these key questions:

  • Ancient Rome
  • Anglo-Saxon England
  • The Norman Conquest
  • The Crusades
  • The Later Medieval period
  • The Reformation
  • The English Civil War
  • The Enlightenment
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • The British Empire Suffrage and protest in Britain World War One
  • 20th century dictatorships
  • World War Two and the Holocaust Decolonisation


Co Curriculum Enrichment

To further develop historical awareness and wider cultural capital, the history department offers students a range of experiences outside of the classroom environment. These have included a GCSE history trip to Berlin, where students have explored the rich and powerful history centred around this capital city, including the effects of the Nazi regime and Berlin’s role throughout the years of the Cold War. At Key Stage 3 students have also had the opportunity to visit London, where they have explored the history of the Tower of London, from the Norman Conquest to the present day, the London Dungeons and the Globe Theatre. In addition to out-of-school activities, the History department runs a history house ambassadors club for those students with a real passion for the subject. These students organise various history house competitions and have also introduced national history competitions that students across the whole school have had the opportunity to enter.


​At the start of the history course students study the Anglo Saxons and the Anglo Saxon/ Norman interactions, including the Battle of Hastings. This is built upon with further work on the Normans and Medieval Britain. Further work continues on Medieval Britain and the Crusades.

History continues with a study of the Empire and the industrial revolution. The Anglo Saxons and the Crusades are returned to and built upon.


Students study the AQA GCSE specification. This involves detailed work on diverse topics such as the USA, conflict and tension, Medicine, Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada.

Further detail is available on the exam board website below