Key Stage 4


Why is the study of History important? 


The study of History is important, studying History helps build a wider understanding of the impact of local and world events on the individual. History encourages global citizenship by understanding how present-day issues are rooted in past events. The study of History at Sirius Academy West allows students to draw on a multitude of historical interpretations and encourages students to use both historical interpretations and their study of past events to form their own interpretation of each historical event studied.

Through History we learn to emphasise with those before us who have fought to change the world in which we live in, History enables students to build insight into these turning points of the past to understand how it has shaped and will continue to shape the future. History at Sirius Academy West allows students to expand their knowledge about different societies, cultures, political ideas and to draw their own conclusions about our place in the world. The study of History allows students to travel through time and experience a wide variety of changes to British History and world History to create your informed opinion on where the differences and similarities are between people today.

History Learning Journey – VIEW

  • What will the study of GCSE History teach you?

    History at Sirius has two main aims; to make the student’s successful learners and confident individuals. Our aims are achieved through our exciting and engaging curriculum which enables our students to build an abundance of transferable skills setting students up with the ability to apply such skills to future roles. Students develop written and verbal communication skills, the ability to analyse a variety of evidence to construct a well explained and justified conclusion of each student’s own opinion of past events. In KS4, students build on the social, political, military and religious themes from the foundations developed at KS3.

    Students develop their understanding of secondary concepts of history further by practicing how to analyse and evaluate the causes, consequences, and significance of events in breadth and depth studies of key historical periods. Students analyse and evaluate the usefulness of sources and historical interpretations in studying the past, supporting the development of critical thinking skills. Students consider how different events affected society, the economy, religion, and politics at the time and today.

    Students will build on their key stage 3 knowledge to:

    • Develop and extend their skills in source and interpretation analysis.
    • Develop and extend their communication skills to be able to formulate a convincing argument as a historian.
    • Develop and extend their written communication to describe, explain and evaluate.
    • Continue to build a breadth of understanding for key events in History.
    • Study events in depth to further analyse past events.


    Subject Overview:

    • Conflict and tension between East and West. 1945-1972

    The topic begins by developing understanding of the Cold War and the development of tensions between East and West caused by differing ideologies. The topic progresses to take an in-depth look into the Cold War events of the 1950s and 60s and the increasing tension and distrust between the USSR and the USA.  To complete the unit students are given an insight into how and why Cold War tension began to ease after it reached an unimaginable height during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Students will understand how the development of the Cold War led the world to the brink of a nuclear war and how this was avoided through Détente in the 1970s.

    • Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship 

    Students will begin their study by understanding the difficulties faced by Kaiser Wilhelm in ruling Germany and the effects that WW1 had on German society. Students continue with their study of Germany by developing their understanding of the impact of the financial crisis’ in 1929 and how Hitler rose to power by 1933. The final section in the study of Germany provides students with an insight into life in Nazi Germany and the methods used by the Nazi party to maintain control and achieve their objectives

    • Britain: Health and the People: c1100 to the present day 

    A breadth study approach into understanding the approaches to the causes and treatments of disease as well as understanding how surgery and public health has developed over time. Students will gain a greater understanding of how 7 key factors have influenced the development of medicine.

    • Elizabethan England, C1568-1603

    A depth study of the reign of Elizabeth I, focusing on a variety of key events during her time as Queen of England including her early government, economic and social changes and threats to her reign.


    • Exam Revision

    Exam skill focused lessons utilising student voice and exam analysis to build a unit of study focused on enhancing student’s understanding of key skills and content needed for their upcoming GCSE.

  • How is the curriculum implemented? 

    Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision and aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish to become the very best version of themselves. The History curriculum at Sirius Academy West is engaging and relevant and every student no matter their starting point all are challenged and supported.


    Our History curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work.


    We pride ourselves on quality first teaching with a strong team of Historians who aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum where all students can access the content and have the opportunity to succeed.

  • How can History support your future?

    Many of the skills that we focus on in History lessons at Sirius Academy West can be transferred into student’s study of other subjects. History focuses on the variety of resources to research past events, helping students build in depth knowledge independently of events of local, national, and international importance. Students build analysis skills through analysing and evaluating a range of primary evidence and historical interpretations.

    These skills can also be applied to the present, encouraging students to question sources of information, to ensure accuracy and reliability, to become well-informed citizens. History also supports students in understanding and appreciating different viewpoints, which encourages respect and supports teaching in the Tutor Programme at Sirius Academy West. Students also develop their written and verbal communication, presentation, and listening skills to convey their research and conclusions about events, comparing them to those of other historians.

    Such communication skills are vital in all subjects, but are especially useful in English. In depth, analysis skills will help you to analyse and write different types of text in English Language, and to analyse and compare poems and novels in English Literature. In addition, the nature of History is to understand and form different opinions of events, drawing conclusions and making judgements, which will support Geography fieldwork, science experiments and technology practical tasks where practical results need to be explained, analysed and evaluated.

    The variety of transferable skills built in History set our students up for a successful future. The amount of skills taught in History not only build platforms for future careers but also for everyday life. There’s an abundance of careers our students become well developed for in History such as: Law, Teaching, Journalism, Business, Accountancy, Politics, TV, Radio, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Administration, Museum Work, the Civil Service, Publishing, Data management and Public Relations are just a few of the careers and jobs that will benefit from developed history skills.

Student Testimonial

I choose History at GCSE as I have loved learning about events in the past and how they have shaped the present day and the future. I want to be a solicitor and History has taught me a range of skills such as analysing, forming arguments and examining evidence which will help me be successful. My favourite topic is WWII as I find it really interesting. 

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