OSSMA learners are explorers of the past and trailblazers of the future.
History at OSSMA is an academic subject rich in powerful knowledge. It provides students with an understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies, relationships between different groups, as well as a sense of their own identity and the challenges of their time. It is the story of the human race and explains the world in which we find ourselves living.
“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton
History at OSSMA:
- Provides students with a broad range of historical knowledge and understanding, including a sense of chronological development over time discovering their place in the time and space, and an appreciation of the people, culture, events and attitudes of societies other than their own;
- Gives students power over their own knowledge allowing them to evaluate critically the significance and usefulness of a large body of material, including evidence from contemporary sources and interpretations of historians; encouraging curiosity, fascination and a drama of the past, learning the mistakes of the past and providing them with transferable skills for future life;
- Enables students to engage directly with questions and present independent opinions about them in arguments that are well-written, clearly expressed, coherently organized and effectively supported by relevant evidence, through regular opportunities for guided and structured extended writing;
- Encourages students to come together as a community to commemorate key historical events, such as Remembrance Day, Holocaust Memorial Day and VE Day. This is equally important in shaping the citizens of the future, by giving pupils an opportunity to consider why we commemorate certain events and what we can do to prevent future injustice.
What sets us apart:
We are incredibly proud of the curriculum we offer our pupils.
- It is a representative curriculum, where all pupils should be able to feel that we are teaching their history, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class or other factors. We aim to tell a realistic story of the past. For example, when studying Victorian Britain we focus on ‘The Five,’ the women who were traditionally classed as victims of the Ripper, as if their own individual stories are unimportant. We feel it is important to give a voice to those who have often been overlooked in a more traditional history curriculum.
- We go beyond the National Curriculum, ensuring pupils have access to recent historical scholarship and encouraging pupils to broaden their horizons. We do this through the ‘Digging Deeper’ resources and the use of a virtual library to pinpoint key resources for further research, as well as through our ‘Meanwhile Elsewhere’ projects that encourage pupils to look at what was happening in other parts of the work during the time period we are studying. For example, when studying English medieval monarchs in class they are encouraged to research Genghis Khan ruling the Mongol Empire at home. This both challenges our pupils and gives them a contextual understanding of world history so that they can make links and comparisons.
- Our young historians are encouraged to articulate their learning, growing in confidence and resilience as they use oracy in the classroom, through policies such as our ‘Lead Learner’ starters.
- We also teach our curriculum through ‘big questions’ to help make sense of the story of the past. In each block, pupils work towards an extended piece of writing that allows them to synthesise the knowledge they have gained as they answer these ‘big questions’.
- Our young historians are encouraged to participate in an Extra Credit Project, where they can take an aspect of a topic studied in class and look at it from a different perspective, allowing them to explore their own creativity as to how they present their findings. In addition, work has to be academically referenced with a bibliography, setting pupils up with the habits they will need as they progress to further and higher education.
- We believe history should be experienced through visits and visitors. Every year we visit places linked to our curriculum, such as the slavery museum in Liverpool and the World War One Battlefields. We are currently adding new visits for next year.
- During remote learning, we have continued to promote our ethos of History being a living subject, by organising experiences for the pupils in place of our usual visits. We have spoken to Holocaust survivors via Zoom, we have “visited” Parliament for a virtual tour with their education department and we have participated in a live workshop from within Windsor Castle, to learn the history of both the castle and the wider Middle Ages. We organised and coordinated events for VE Day, we incorporated the recent Black Lives Matter campaign into our work to ensure pupils had relevant background knowledge of Civil Rights history, and we participated in the engagement activities to help with the morale of our students when we couldn’t be together in school.
- We also won the “Most Inspirational Subject’ competition, voted for by the community!
An OSSMA historian has:
- Excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods, and of historical concepts and processes.
- The ability to think critically about history and articulate their ideas
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge views using detailed, appropriate and specific factual knowledge.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their analysis, explanations, evaluations and judgments.
- A desire to embrace challenging activities enthusiastically, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics with an awareness of the world around them beyond Blurton and Great Britain.
- Opportunities to experience History ‘hands-on’ and in an environment other than the classroom, to help bring History to life, including educational visits. A visit to Berlin will be introduced next year.
History at Key Stage 3
We have three key aims at Key Stage 3, each clearly linked to the National Curriculum:
- Develop a chronological understanding of Britain and the wider world
- Analyse a range of historical evidence
- Use knowledge to make judgements about the past and support them with reasoned arguments
History at Key Stage 4.
History at Key Stage 4 is always a popular option. We follow the AQA specification and cover the following units:
Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World
- Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship
- Conflict and tension: The inter-war years, 1918-1939
Paper 2: Shaping the nation
- Power and the People: c1170 to the present day
- Elizabethan England: c1568-1603
Further details can be found here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145/introduction
In 2020-2021, pupils at GCSE have already completed part of their studies due to the previous three-year KS4. In Years 10 and 11 they will study the following topics:
|Year group||Block 1||Block 2||Block 3||Block 4|
|10||Conflict and tension:
Recap of the Treaty of Versailles and its significance.
What was the League of Nations and why did it fail?
|Conflict and tension:
How did tension rise in the 1930s?
What were the causes of World War Two?
|Power and the People:
How did people in the Middle Ages challenge feudalism?
How did people in Early Modern Britain challenge royal authority?
|Power and the People:
Was the 19thcentury a time of reformers and reform?
Did people achieve equal rights in the 20th century?
How did Elizabeth rule the country?
What was it like to live in Elizabethan times?
What challenges did Elizabeth face, both at home and from abroad?
|Elizabethan England and revision:
Historical site work- Kenilworth Castle.