The History curriculum at The Victory Academy aims to provide our young people with powerful knowledge that they can utilise in their future study of History as well as other subjects. The curriculum will provide students with an opportunity to engage with past societies both within the British Isles as well as globally.  Therefore, allowing students to integrate and interweave the wide ranges of historical voices and narratives as well as give students the skills to analyse and evaluate in an academic format.

Students will be encouraged to enhance critical skills and an analytical frame of mind as students develop ‘second-order thinking’ such as causation, historical change, source analysis, historical significance and interpretations. Having studied history, students will come away with a deeper understanding of how past events have formed the world around them. Cultivating a sense of respect and pride for themselves and an understanding of cultural differences.


Curriculum Structure (Overview)

Year 7

In year 7, students begin their historical journey by exclusively studying themes through time, specifically from 473AD to present day. By adopting such an approach, students begin to develop their understanding of time periods, and their ability not just compare periods across time but explain why things have changed or stayed the same. Each module features a local history element designed to show our students that their Medway heritage and history has a place in a wider story. Furthermore, as students are taken on a thematic learning journey, their knowledge of cultural, social, and political events across time periods strengthens. The topics that we study in year 7 are;

  • Attitudes and beliefs throughout history
  • Power and the people throughout history
  • Migrations throughout history

Year 8

In year 8, history is split between thematic and period studies. The latter simply means that rather than looking at specific themes throughout time, students begin to explore specific eras and periods in-depth and assess their significance. These studies have been designed to build our students knowledge of the wider world and to prompt students to consider the relationship countries have had with each other in both positive and negative ways. Students are also given the opportunity to work on their source and interpretation analysis – a key skill in history. We then, for the latter part of year 8, return to the familiar thematic study. Topics are sequenced in a way that allows students to constantly use their knowledge learnt in previous terms. The topics that we study in year 8 are;

  • The Empire of Mali
  • The Empire of Britain
  • The influence of science and technology throughout history
  • War and conflict throughout history

Year 9

In year 9, students have not only become young historians, able to comment and analyse different topics throughout history, but they are prepared to deal with elements of history that are more challenging in nature. Students are taught about the rise of capitalism and communism between the World Wars and how each economic system has respectively affected their geographical areas of study. Students are then taught the history of oppression and the atrocities that some groups have experienced in the 19th and 20th century. We then finish year 9 with a study into the mystery of Jack the Ripper. The topics that we study in year 9 are;

  • The World Wars
  • The inter-war years
  • Genocide
  • The mystery of Jack the Ripper

Year 10

When starting their GCSE, students then have the opportunity use and build upon knowledge they have gained from Key Stage 3. We teach using modules from the Edexcel history exam board. Students begin their study with the thematic study of Crime and Punishment from 1000AD to present day, learning how crimes, punishments and law enforcements have evolved throughout time. There is also a period study within this module which focuses on the historic environment of Whitechapel between 1870 – 1900. Here students are required to analysis and assess sources from the time period. Students then progress to the next module – the period study of Early Elizabeth England from 1558 – 1588.

Year 11

In year 11, we begin with a modern depth study of Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 -1939, looking at the narrative of Germany after World War I, to the rise of the Nazi dictatorship. This paper also relies on source work and interpretation. The last module studied is Superpower Relations: The Cold War. Here, we look at the tumultuous relationship between the USSR and the USA and how political turmoil almost led to the end of the world.


  • Paper 1 – Thematic Study and historical environment: Crime and Punishment throughout time
    • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
    • 52 marks (16 for historical environment and 36 marks for thematic study)
    • 30% of GCSE
  • Paper 2 – Period and British depth study: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91 and Early Elizabethan England, 1558 – 88 
    • Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes 
    • 64 marks (32 for period study and 32 for British depth study) 
    • 40% of GCSE 
  • Paper 3 – Modern depth study: Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918 – 1939 
    • Written exam: 1 hour and 20 minutes  
    • 52 marks  
    • 30% of GCSE 


What is History?

On a basic level, History is the study of what happened in the past. Historians use evidence to try to understand why people believed what they believed and why they did what they did.

Studying History therefore helps you uncover just how different society, culture, beliefs and politics were in the past, and how we got from then to now.

You can study a wide variety of History degrees, including those filtered by region, period or topic.

Why Study History?

By looking at the history of different cultures, you can build a strong understanding of why certain people act the way they do. For instance, by looking at the history of the USA we can see why race tensions continued on past the abolition of slavery and remain today. In reading the history of India we can see why the Caste system still remains in the subcontinent. This provides you with a broad cultural awareness.

History GCSE or A-level can also be useful for vocational courses or school leaver jobs in journalism, administration, marketing or law.

Studying History provides you with skills that are not confined to the study of the past. Skills of analysis are invaluable in many jobs, and the ability to analyse and prioritise information is vital to decision making. Studying History will develop your ability to think critically about what happened in the past, and how this shapes the lives of people around the world.

What Jobs could you get?

History equips you with the transferable skills that are highly prized by a range of employers. Graduates go on to careers in teaching, government, financial services, arts and media, marketing and consultancy, tourism, retail, manufacturing and engineering, law, libraries, archives and museums, voluntary and social services, IT and communications, medicine, the police and armed forces.  Many graduates decide to progress to postgraduate studies, often entering into research and teaching positions.

Useful Study Resources

Further Reading for History GCSE students

University information for History Degree