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Sir Jonathan North College

Sir Jonathan North College



History at Sir Jonathan North fires students’ curiosity through discovering the dilemmas, beliefs and choices of people in the past. It helps them develop their own identities through an understanding of history at personal, national and international levels. Students investigate Britain’s relationship with the wider world, and relate past events to the present day. As they develop their understanding of the nature of historical study, students ask and answer important questions, evaluate evidence and learn to substantiate any arguments and judgements they make.

History prepares students for the future, equipping them with knowledge and skills that are prized in adult life, enhancing employability and enabling them to take part in democratic society. Additionally, it helps students become confident and questioning individuals.

History is taught broadly chronologically at KS3 and KS4, in separated themed topics. The thematic learning is underpinned by a number of key skills and concepts. These include chronological understanding; cultural, ethnic and religious diversity; change and continuity; cause and consequence. These second order concepts deepen and broaden a student’s knowledge and understanding of historical events.

For those students who are passionate about history, the team runs an extra-curricular History Club. Annually the group prepares and delivers a whole school assembly for Black History Month each October. A highlight for the group in March 2016 was to win the Heritage Schools Award. 


Throughout Key Stage 3 the history curriculum is developed using a wide range of creative approaches to enhance students’ learning. A mixture of individual, pair and group work as well as using role-play, outside speakers and educational visits help to develop a passion for history. In Year 7 students visit Warwick Castle to enhance their understanding and in Year 8 they travel to the Black Country Museum to develop their awareness of the industrialisation of Britain.

Right from the outset students are trained in key historical skills, teaching them to evaluate historical sources and helping them to develop their understanding of second order concepts. During Key Stage 3 topics are taught in a broadly chronological order with students studying for two lessons per week in Year 7 and one lesson per week in Year 8 and 9. Until the autumn half term of Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups. Thereafter they study in ability groups for the rest of Key Stage 3.

Programme of Study

Year 7

  • Key historical skills, Leicester before 1066
  • The Norman Conquest, Living in Medieval Times
  • The King in the Carpark , Reformation and The Tudors

Year 8

  • The Stuart, Kings Vs Parliament
  • Industrial Britain, The Mughal Empire
  • From Slavery to Equality, Causes of WW1

Year 9

  • The Great War, The Rise of Dictators
  • Communism and Nazism, Living under the Nazi rule
  • The Holocaust, Second World War


‘I enjoy studying history, as learning about the things people did in the past to give us our freedom and rights is something worth knowing.’

Shreya  11.7

‘I like History because I find it extremely interesting. It gives an insight into the past and how much sacrifice certain people had to do in order for us to lead the lives we live today. Pick History and I can assure you it is a decision you will not regret!’

Sara 11.8

‘I like History because I find it very intriguing. It is very interesting to learn about how much people struggled to get us to where we are today. If it wasn’t for History, we would not know about science and technology, war etc. History also helps us understand what we should prevent in the future! I promise you, it is an amazing and very interesting subject. Not one lesson where you will be bored.’

Miskaa  11.3

At Sir Jonathan North, history is a highly popular subject at GCSE. The history course builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired in Key Stage 3 and is designed to help the students understand the ever-changing world in which we live. Throughout the course students discuss and debate different views of history and how the past has shaped today’s world.

Through the various thematic studies, students learn about change and continuity over a long period of time; how sources become evidence and how they are used to conduct research; how the physical features of a site inform the historian’s understanding of an event or development in time.

The College follows the OCR History Syllabus B – Schools History Project, which allows the students to experience different aspects of British and world history. The course is split into five units, all of which are worth 20% of the final mark. Students take three written examinations at the end of Year 11.

At GCSE, history is an academic subject in which students study by using a mixture of classroom sessions and individual research. Reading widely and writing essay style answers are key to this subject. GCSE history is a solid basis for many A level subjects and beyond, in courses such as history, politics, law and economics. Additionally it forms a solid base for many careers as it trains the mind to think and process information, and to develop the ability to look beyond the obvious.

Programme of Study

Year 10

  • Autumn 1 - The People’s Health, c.1250 to present
  • Autumn 2 - The People’s Health, c.1250 to present
  • Spring 1 - The People’s Health, c.1250 to present, The Norman Conquest, 1065–1087
  • Spring 2 - The Norman Conquest, 1065–1087
  • Summer 1 - History around us (Site study – Nottingham Castle)
  • Summer 2 - The Norman Conquest, 1065–1087

Year 11

  • Autumn 1 - The making of America, 1789-1900
  • Autumn 2 - The making of America, 1789-1900
  • Spring 1 - The making of America, 1789-1900
  • Spring 2 - Living under Nazi Rule, 1933–1945
  • Summer 1 - Living under Nazi Rule, 1933–1945
  • Summer 2 - Living under Nazi Rule, 1933–1945

Useful Resources

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


For the GCSE course the textbooks ‘The People’s Health’ (ISBN 9781471860089) and ‘The Norman Conquest’ (ISBN 9781471860867) can be purchased from the Hodder education website (among others).  

Useful GCSE website: 

Top Tips

Top tips to support your daughter in History:

  • Encourage your daughter to discuss the topics learnt at home and read about and watch documentary programmes relating to our topics.
  • Check your daughter is preparing regularly for her history lessons and completes her homework.
  • Help your daughter to find out which revision techniques suit her best and help her get organised.
  • For GCSE History, attend the Parents’ Evening in Year 10 and Year 11 for information on her progress and the History Parent Forum as preparation for the final exams in Year 11.