Leeds East Academy



Curriculum Intent – History  

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

Powerful Knowledge

At the heart of History at Leeds East Academy is a high quality curriculum rich in historical knowledge.  It provides a coherently sequenced chronological journey through the history of the British Isles and the wider world, from the medieval period to modern times, covering the key turning points, significant events and individuals that have shaped this nation and the wider world. It focuses on how society and people lives within it have changed over time, as well as impacted on and been influenced by the world beyond our borders. We want to ensure our students experience a sense of wonder and awe as they delve into and investigate some of the most intriguing aspects of British and World History, and therefore develop a lifelong love of history.  The powerful knowledge in history: 

  • To know and understand the chronological narrative of this country through key historical events and individuals as well as an appreciation of the history of other countries 
  • To ensure students gain a historical perspective by placing the knowledge they learn in context, as well as being able to make links between periods of history and understand the themes of cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history that run through the course; and between short- and long-term timescales 
  • To empower students to take ownership of the knowledge which will enabling them to critically evaluate the significance, utility and reliability of large bodies of material: including a range of types of sources and historians interpretations.  
  • To understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.  
  • To understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

Curriculum Features

The acquisition of powerful knowledge will be achieved through the implementation of an enquiry led curriculum that will aim to inspire pupil’s curiosity and fascination about the past that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Enquiry based learning will also enable pupils to become independent learners who can make their own connection about what they learn and why they learn it. With carefully selected engaging topics, pupil’s own inquisitiveness will enable them to have a deeper understanding of the past. This knowledge will be embedded through the regular use of A for Learning in lessons, recall and retrieval techniques and the use of spaced learning.

Pupils will not only learn about the past but how historical debate is formed and developed over time. Through the study of historiography, pupils will become critical thinkers, who can analyse and evaluate a wealth of sources and interpretations to form their own substantiated judgements about the past. It will focus on the development of literacy by introducing them to wealth of new vocabulary and their meanings to ensure they can understand and access the history they are studying, developing their reading and enabling them to written coherent and structured pieces of work. In addition, it will develop oracy skills through question and answer and effectively structuring debating of topics.

Pupils will also explore how the people of Britain have shaped this nation and its impact on the wider world through a chronological process that incorporate thematic links between different periods. Pupils will have the opportunity to study local, national and international history to gain an understanding of the complexities of international relations and link to the present day. This process will also enable them to begin to apply second order concepts (including continuity, change, cause, consequence, significance, similarity and difference) to demonstrate critical thinking and reasoning skills that will allow pupils to be culturally aware of the present day.

Cross Curricular & Wider Experiences

History is well placed to support and be supported by numerous subjects taught at Leeds East Academy ensuring that students can make the links in both content and skills, therefore seeing the curriculum as whole and not individual elements. For instance History is highly effectively in supporting Citizenship, and vice versa.   For example through the theme of identify where students develop knowledge and understanding of self and others and their place in the community, as well as the idea of tolerance, respect and acceptance but also about discrimination and judgement where they are taught to develop a critical attitude to opinions and a respect for evidence. It also emphasises protest movements and actions, the fight for freedoms and the struggle for civil right in many societies. There are also clear links with Religious Studies due to the key theme of religion running through the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. This stretches from the start of the curriculum with the role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Society, to the Muslim, Christian and Jewish involvement in the Crusades, the Elizabeth I Religious Settlement and bring it into the twentieth century looking at Hitler and the Church as well as religious fundamentalism in the USA.  There are strong cross-curricular links with English mainly through skill and support with the construction of written work, using punctuation effectively, comprehension skills as well an analysis, evaluation and scaffolding to ensure effective structured written pieces.  There are also links to Drama through the study of the Elizabethan theatre looking at representation, performance and playwrights of the era.   

Pupil’s cultural capital will be enhanced through a number of internal and external experiences in school. History in itself develops student cultural capital naturally through the study of high order concepts and vocabulary, through the teaching of the power struggles between the monarchy and parliament. It also promotes religious toleration, through the teaching of the English Reformation, Empire and the Holocaust and the importance of individual liberty through the teaching of slavery and civil rights, Empire and the fight for rights in the UK. In addition, this is added to by introducing students to and the commemorating of key world events such as Black History Month, Remembrance Day and Holocaust Memorial day. Furthermore, the History department will add to this by organising external speakers from a range of different organisations from Universities to local museums to wider their experiences and expectations. The external experience will be planned to reflect the learning of the students but also provide them with new opportunities and experiences therefore opening their eyes and mind to the wider world.   

In terms of the world of work there many careers that align directly with this subject such as History teacher, lecturer, librarian, Museum Curator,  Educational officer, Archivist or academic researcher to name a few. However,  History students leaving at all levels to seek work are highly sort after for the skills they have developed through the study of History such as communication both written and orally, the ability to evaluation and analysis, research, argue and understand the concept of interpretation. 

 For further information regarding the history offer at Leeds East Academy, please contact Miss Coleman - coleman.s@whiteroseacademies.org