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At Woodlands we offer students 3 different pathways to gaining a qualification in history: Entry Level History, GCSE History and AS/A-Level History. The KS3 curriculum and Entry Level course is planned in a way that will help students to build the necessary skills to progress onto KS4 and so the topics delivered from years 7-9 and at Entry Level link to KS4 topics to provide students with the best chance of gaining the highest qualification they can in history.

History KS3

  • Year 1

  • Year 2

  • Year 3

  • The Norman Conquest

  • WW1/WW2

  • Weimar & Nazi Germany

  • Medieval Life

  • The Holocaust

  • Industrial Revolution

  • The Black Death

  • The Slave Trade

  • Medicine Through Time

KS3 History is taught over a period of three years. The students develop

their key skills through the topics below, to build a varied foundation of

knowledge on past British History. Students cover a range of skills

including the development of numeracy, literacy, ICT, communication,

and their ability to think and question for themselves; they are

encouraged to develop a ‘history brain’.


The topics delivered at KS3 have links to the key topics for GCSE which

helps to build a foundation of knowledge and is beneficial for those

who progress onto the GCSE course. Learning about topics in the

history (humanities) curriculum that are emotive and controversial,

develops an understanding of how history can be interpreted in

different ways. The topics studied at this level help students to

build upon their knowledge of culture and identity and helps to

develop their empathetic skills. Students will strengthen their

chronological awareness and their overall awareness of the world

around them. Students tend to engage well at this level because

there is a good mixture of visual and kinaesthetic learning which

helps to keep them interested and engaged.


Image by The New York Public Library

History Entry Level

Students studying Entry Level history at Woodlands will usually follow the OCR course and will study the following topics:

  • Germany 1925-55 – depth study (linking to Weimar & Nazi Germany at GCSE)

  • The People’s Health – thematic study (linking to Medicine Through Time at GCSE)


The Entry Level Certificate in history is made up of 100% internally assessed tests and tasks; the students will complete two assessments and will also carry out a historical investigation into an individual or site of their choice. The flexibility allowed through this approach to assessment ensures accessibility for all students. The overall aim of Entry Level history is to encourage students to become responsible for their own learning, to gain confidence in discussing ideas, promote innovation and keep them engaged through interesting topics tailored to their needs.


Another option for Entry Level students, maybe for those who are not at Woodlands for a long period of time, is the short-course history with ASDAN which is tailored to the students interests and needs and is internally assessed.

The Entry Level courses on offer will enable students to:


  • Develop an interest in the study of history

  • Choose their own modules and have a choice over their learning (ASDAN)

  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of the past

  • Investigate historical events, people, and developments

  • Use historical sources.

  • Develop their ability to use language and dates, and vocabulary and conventions when writing about historical periods and the passing of time

  • Learn key concepts in an historical context: causation, change, results, and significance

  • Learn how to use sources to answer questions about the past.

Image by Birmingham Museums Trust

History GCSE

The students at GCSE level study a two-year programme following the Edexcel 9-1 history course. The students will study for and sit three written exams in the following topics:


Paper 1

Thematic study and historic environment

  • Medicine in Britain, 1250-present and The British Sector of the Western Front, 1914-18

Paper 2

Period study and British depth study

  • Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, 1060-88

  • The American West, 1835-95

Paper 3

Modern depth study

  • Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39



The objective of this course is to develop and extend the students’ knowledge and understanding of specified key events, periods, and societies in local, British, and wider world history, and of the wide diversity of human experience. The course aims to engage them in historical enquiry to develop them as independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers. They will learn to ask relevant questions about the past, to investigate issues critically and to make valid historical claims by using a range of sources. Students will develop an awareness of why people, events and developments have been accorded historical significance and how and why different interpretations have been constructed. They will organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in various ways and reach substantiated conclusions.

Rocks and Clouds

“I enjoy the discussions and debates we have in history and find it interesting.”

History A-Level

We are proud at Woodlands to be able to offer A-Level History to our KS5 students who achieve a Grade 4 (D/C) or above in GCSE History. The students follow the AQA syllabus and the assessment criteria for the course is two written examinations at the end of year two, and a historical investigation that is internally assessed. Examinations for AS can be sat after year one and this is recognised as a standalone qualification.


The AQA AS and A-level History qualifications are designed to help students understand the significance of historical events, the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time. The A-Level course helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the past through political, social, economic, and cultural perspectives. The engaging topics available to them throughout the course will provide them with the knowledge and skills they require to succeed as AS and A-level historians.


The A-Level History topics currently on offer at Woodlands are:


  • Component 1 (breadth study) – The Making of a Superpower, USA 1865-1975 (taught by James Hughes)

  • Component 2 (depth study) – The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007 (taught by Claire Walkden)

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