Because "we all come together to learn", there is a strong universal element to our curriculum: we give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
We know the narrative of human achievement from prehistory till now is at once deeply compelling, deeply engaging and deeply instructional. We yearn to share that with our students, up-skilling them to think independently about the evidence that shapes our understanding of the past.
The content of our curriculum has been chosen primarily to inspire that deep, inquisitive, curious engagement. Valuing students for "who they could become", we challenge them with difficult or controversial topics (such as race relations, moral/social crimes), to produce thoughtful and reflective citizens who will tackle injustice and challenge prejudice. And in order to equip the amateur and professional historians of the future, we grow students' historical skills through enquiry-based depth (eg Whitechapel 1870-1900), and breadth (eg Crime, 1000-2019) studies.
We recognise the vital role History plays in cementing British values and in growing cultural capital. In Key Stage 3, an entitlement curriculum ensures all students study our culturally rich city and its role in the world, the changing nature of British society and governance, and finally Modern World History. Post-14 we revisit the political, socio-economic and cultural developments that underpin how we understand the past.
Given our intent to grow students' historical skills, we deliver our curriculum primarily through the study of historical evidence (pictorial and written). All students (including SEND learners) have access to similar, appropriately-scaffolded resources, quality-assured by a subject lead.
Given our intent to inspire inquisitive engagement, we routinely use a wide variety of resources – digital media/podcasts, artefacts, etc
Given our intent to grow students' cultural capital, we offer trips into our history-rich City regularly (eg students investigate the Trans-Atlantic Triangle themselves). Visits abroad to thought-provoking destinations such as a German concentration camp and the Vatican supplement trips to Debating Competitions, a Mock Trial competition and the European Youth Parliament – underlining the British values we promote.
We measure impact through various assessments (see below) and through an end-of-year student voice survey – eg our 2018 survey showed students felt their voices were heard, reflecting our whole school's inclusive ethos. Our choice of content engenders an appreciation of the Christian and British values we espouse; and by deliberately setting students challenging tasks, we impact on their resilience and confidence.
We are careful to assess 'impact' against our intent as well as against national test outcomes. Year 7 assessment includes a research study and a debate. Summative tests are supplemented in Year 9 by monthly continuous assessments and a source-based exam (in line with our intent).