History - Curriculum Intent
The History experience at Oakbank School is a multi-themed, skill-nurturing learning journey spanning 10,000 years. Students learn about the best and worst of humanity, they learn empathy and they learn about the rights and liberties enjoyed in Britain today and the long, hard struggle to achieve them.
Whether they are studying the Romans (Year 7), the Reformation (Year 8) or the Russian Revolution (Year 9), students will discover, by comparison, about their rights, freedoms and opportunities as British citizens today. They will learn to appreciate that these rights and freedoms are not universal and should not be taken for granted.
Whether they are studying about the difficulties of medieval peasants (Year 7), the plight of industrial-era child workers (Year 8) or the fear that permeated life in Hitler’s Germany (Year 9), they will constantly be encouraged to pause and empathise with such experiences. Such regular opportunities to put themselves into the minds of another will teach them to be kinder, more patient and more thoughtful to their peers and family as they enter adulthood.
Whether they are studying the Crusades (Year 7), the reign of Mary I (Year 8) or the Holocaust (Year 9), they will learn some tough but vital lessons on the nature of humanity. They will realise that intolerance, xenophobia and racism can lead to truly terrible things. They will enter the world more enlightened and ready to challenge such dark traits because they remember from their History lessons what they can lead to when unchecked.
The Oakbank History experience also seeks to create the next generation of historians. Over the course of their three (possibly five) year journey, students are trained to extract information from and analyse sources, to compare the purpose and origin of interpretations and to debate the multi-factor explanations behind most major historical events. Through lessons, the formal assessment programme and an innovative Key Stage 3 homework package they are also taught wider, transferable skills such as working independently to a deadline, the nature of effective revision and how to write coherent and convincing extended answers.
Should students decide to continue their History studies into Years 10 and 11, these themes and skills are explored and developed even further so that by the time Oakbank GCSE History students leave, they will have analysed hundreds of sources and interpretations, debated hundreds of historical issues and be better empowered to go forward as rational citizens of the world.