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Learning Journey

History - Year 7   Year 8   Year 9   GCSE

The aim of the History curriculum is to enable students to develop their understanding of the past and how it has impacted our society today. Students study a variety of topics, ranging from prehistory to 9/11.  

Students are introduced to key historical skills such as source analysis and the History curriculum is planned to enable students to apply their knowledge and historical skills to any topic. The curriculum prepares students for further historical study by continually revisiting and practicing the historical skills in every unit they study at ICC. 

Throughout the History curriculum at ICC, students will have aspects of local history weaved through many of the units. From studying Roman Leicester, Tudor society, Black Death in Knaptoft to Kenilworth Castle at GCSE; students not only learn about the wider world but history on their doorstep. 

Students will follow a trail of understand the experiences of minority groups across the globe, throughout different time periods.


Year 7 

In year 7 we study different periods of time to uncover what life was like pre and post colonization. The first term is focused on learning the historical skills needed to explore and understand our historical past. These skills are revisited in every lesson to foster confidence and the skills needed for young historians. 

  • What is History?: students are introduced to key historical skills. 
  • Aztecs: students practice their new historical skills throughout this unit, looking at aspects of Aztec life. 
  • Norman Conquest: students study the Norman invasion and develop their understanding of state and society in Medieval Britain. 
  • The Tudors: students study the influential Tudor Dynasty looking at the rise and fall of the monarchs and the way they changed and shaped Britain.
  • British Empire: this unit helps students understand how and why British society is how it is today, as well as the lasting impact the empire had on Australia and India. 
  • Native Americans: moving over to North America, students study the first Americans and the impact Europeans had on them. 
  • The Crusades: students study the First Crusade in detail, developing their understanding of religion in the Medieval world. 

Year 8 

In year 8, we develop these historical skills by studying larger and more complex units of early modern and modern history. The year 8 curriculum focuses on the changes throughout history regarding church, state, minority groups and ideas. Students are introduced to historical scholarship and will study units by reading extracts from real historians such as Miranda Kaufmann and Andrea Stuart. This helps students develop critical thinking and analysis skills; both vital in history. Students follow our next theme of control and prejudice in colonized countries.

  • Transatlantic Slave Trade: students study the enslavement of black Africans in America and Britain and how it came to an end in 1807in Britain drawing on scholarship from Andrea Stuart Sugar in the Blood. 
  • American Civil War: students study the American Civil war that finally brought an end to the enslavement of African peoples in the 1860s. Students look at some key battles and turning points of the war, as well as African American experiences during and after the conflict. 
  • The Roaring 20s: students will study the rise and fall of America’s economy during the 1920s and the impact this had on different minority groups.
  • Civil Rights: students study the Civil Rights movement in America through a series of case studies such as Emmett Till, Rosa Parks and Freedom Rides. 
  • Women’s Suffrage: students how women campaigned for the vote in the early 20th century and examine women’s rights up to the present day. 

Year 9 

The 20th century was the bloodiest century in our history, and year 9 is dedicated to its study. Each unit focuses on particular events of the century beginning with the Suffrage movement right up to recent events in the War on Terror unit. Students have the opportunity to deepen their historical skills by analysing these events and how they have impacted the world we live in today. The year 9 curriculum prepares students for further study at GCSE by exploring second order historical concepts such as significance, change, continuity and causation. Year 9 concludes our in depth, thematic study of minority groups looking at persecution and prosecution.

  • WWI: students study the causes of WWI, trench warfare and key battles before a detailed enquiry of the different fronts such as India, Australia, the Ottoman empire. 
  • Rise of Hitler & The Holocaust: students study the rise of Hitler in the 1930s and a depth study of the Holocaust using recent research from UCL Centre of Holocaust Education. 
  • WWII: students study the causes of WWII and will compare British and German home fronts during the conflict. 
  • The Cold War: students study the causes and crises during the Cold War and how it changed warfare. 
  • War on Terror: students study the war on terror beginning with the Gunpowder plot, Luddites, the Suffragettes, IRA and more recent events such as Shamima Begum, 9/11 and the Incel Movement. Students will have an understanding of terrorism, radicalisation and stereotyping. 


At GCSE, students study the OCR History B Specification. This course allows for students to expand on knowledge gained throughout their KS3 studies while developing analytical and writing skills needed for further study and occupations. OCR History B has a diverse and meaningful curriculum, allowing for a rich understanding of the world. A unique feature of this specification is the History Around Us unit which gives students the opportunity to study a historical site in detail.  

Students study 5 topics, across 3 components (see table below). Students have 3 exam papers at the end of their GCSE course in line with the components.

The topics will be taught in the following order in order to build upon knowledge students gained in their KS3 curriculum for a strong start to their GCSE. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 1 hour’s homework a fortnight. This will be a mixture of directed time, independent research and completing class work.