curriculum intent

We study History to ask and answer questions about people in the past which help us to better understand our present.  We think it is important to develop your cultural capital by investigating historical narratives, debates and dilemmas locally, nationally and internationally.  We aim to make sure that you can evaluate evidence, identify and analyse different interpretations of the past and substantiate judgements that you make – all skills that will be prized in your life beyond Shenley Brook End School. 


The History Team at Shenley Brook End aims to fire students’ curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. The study of history helps students ask and answer questions of the present by engaging with the past. Throughout their time at Shenley Brook End students will find out about the history of Milton Keynes, Britain, Europe and the world, developing a chronological overview that will enable them to make connections within and across different periods and societies. As they develop their understanding of the nature of historical study, the History Team encourages students to evaluate evidence, identify and analyse different interpretations of the past, and learn to substantiate any arguments and judgements they make. Students appreciate why they are learning what they are learning and can debate its significance. The History Team believes that studying History prepares students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and developing an ability to take part in a democratic society. Studying History encourages mutual understanding of the historic origins of our ethnic and cultural diversity, and helps students become confident and questioning individuals.


History teaching is based within a suite of eleven Humanities’ classrooms on the first floor of the school. Each teacher has their own laptop and each classroom has a digital projector.  Each classroom contains resource collections that form the basis of our Key Stage 3 and GCSE teaching. All A Level students have their own textbooks with access to a rich variety of resources in school to enhance their learning further. The History Team has also developed a range of online resources for students to use across all three Key Stages via the school’s VLE – Moodle.


Key Stage 3

In Year 7 and Year 8 students follow a largely thematic programme of study which explores the history of Britain from 1066 to the present day, investigating themes such as power, empire, slavery, equality, oppression, crime, nationalism and technology. Students learn through completing a series of historical enquiries such as ‘Were the Victorians right to be proud of the British Empire?’ Students learn to develop their extended writing skills and to examine, analyse and evaluate a range of historical source material. In Year 7 students are taught History in mixed ability form groups for 4 x 50 minutes per fortnight and in Year 8 for 3 x 50 minutes a fortnight.

We use the following textbooks, alongside a wide variety of other resources in lessons:

  • Wilkes, Invasion, Plague & Murder: Britain 1066-1509 (Oxford)
  • Wilkes, Renaissance, Revolution & Reformation: Britain 1509-1745 (Oxford)
  • Wilkes, Industry, Invention & Empire: Britain 1745-1901 (Oxford)
  • Wilkes, Technology, War & Independence: 1901-Present Day (Oxford)

These are helpful webiste for you to use: www.schoolhistory.co.uk     www.spartacus-educational.com    www.bbc.co.uk/history

Key Stage 4

In Years 9, 10 & 11 students who opt to continue studying History at GCSE follow the AQA History specification (8145). It is a popular choice! Students are taught History by specialist history teachers in mixed ability groups for 6 x 50 minutes per fortnight at Key Stage 4.

The AQA GCSE History Specification is as follows:

Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

Section A: Period studies: 1B Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship

Section B: Wider world depth studies: Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945–1972

Paper 2: Shaping the nation

Section A: Thematic studies: 2A Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day

Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment: Norman England, c1066–c1100

The full specification can be accessed here: http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/history/specifications/AQA-8145-SP-2016.PDF

We use the following textbooks, alongside a wide variety of other resources in lessons:

  • Bruce et al, Oxford AQA GCSE History Thematic Studies c.790-Present Day (Oxford)
  • Waterson et al, Oxford AQA GCSE History British Depth Studies c.1066-1685 (Oxford)
  • Ferriby et al, AQA GCSE History Understanding the Modern World (Hodder)

We recommend the purchase of the following Revision Guide:

  • Jenner et al, My Revision Notes: AQA GCSE 9-1 History (Hodder) - ISBN 978-1510404045

Sixth Form

History is also a popular choice at A Level. Students are taught in mixed ability groups by specialist teachers for 11 x 50 minutes per fortnight. They follow the AQA specification (7042):

Component 1C: The Tudors: England 1485-1603

Component 2N: Revolution & Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953

Component 3: Historical Investigation

 The full specification can be accessed here:


 Students work from their own copy of the following textbooks, in addition to a wide variety of departmental resources:

  • Tillbrook, Oxford AQA History The Tudors: England 1485-1603 (Oxford)
  • Rowe & Waller, Oxford AQA History Revolution & Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953 (Oxford)
  • Sander, Access to History: Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA 1850-2009 for Edexcel (Hodder)

 In addition the curriculum team also offer A Level Politics at Key Stage 5. Students are taught in mixed ability groups for 11 x 50 minutes per fortnight. They follow the AQA specification (7152):