Our curriculum is chronological. In Year 7 we begin at the collapse of the Roman empire, and the making of England during the Anglo-Saxon period. We go on to look at England after the conquest, with a focus on the political, social and religious structure of medieval society. The scope then widens to France and the medieval Silk Roads, which involves extended reading from our class texts of Frankopan’s work. We then return back to England to see how these wider connections caused upheaval and change through the consequences of the Black Death. As the medieval world turns to the early modern, our students look at the significance of the European Reformation in the post-Renaissance world. Within this narrative, we ensure that diverse stories are not forgotten, with a study of black Tudors using the work of Kauffman. This once more links the story of England to the wider world.
In Year 8 the story picks up on this narrative of connection, with a study of what the age of discovery really meant for the world. This draws heavily on the work of Abluafia’s award-winning scholarship. The story then returns back to a changing England in the early modern period, with the development of political and religious ideas in the aftermath of the Civil War. The story of England then becomes the story of Britain with a study of how the Act of Union has been interpreted by historians, with students engaging in the work of Colley. It is next we broaden out to the makings of the British Empire with a study of the East India Company, and linking this developing empire with the experiences of enslaved people. As the story moves towards the Enlightenment era students look at how expectations of rights and freedoms changed with a comparative study of the American, French and Haitian revolutions. This leads neatly to abolition and a local study of those who benefitted in Herne Hill from the end of slavery. The theme of changing rights is returned to in our final studies of British industrialisation, and the political ideas developing in Europe after the 1848 revolutions.
In Year 9 the story of rights is continued with an examination of interpretations of women’s suffrage. As we move to the First World War the story becomes one of experiencing conflict. We first uncover a child’s view of the home front during the war through a Herne Hill memoir, before broadening the perspective to a macro story of how the war cast a shadow over the 1920s. This narrative is developed with a study of the causes of the Second World War, with a spotlight on the actions of Neville Chamberlain. The thread of human stories is continued with an examination of children’s accounts of the Holocaust to close this chapter on the story of twentieth-century conflict. As we move towards the contemporary period, the focus becomes far more on a changing Britain. Our next unit questions how swinging the 1960s really were for women and minority groups, before looking at the end of the British Empire. Both of these stories provide key context for our local study on the legacy of the Brixton riots, based on the oral testimonies of our local community. Finally, we close KS3 by examining the pioneering work of Funder’s Stasiland which tells a very different story of the post-war world behind the Iron Curtain.