Gilbert Inglefield Academy

History Curriculum Overview 2018-2019

Head of Humanities Department: Mrs. M. Timberlake
HOD Email Address: 


At Gilbert Inglefield Academy we teach history to fire pupils' curiosity and imagination about the past. With topics that focus on Britain and the wider world we allow pupils to think about how the past influences the present (in a number of contexts). Studying History at Gilbert Inglefield allows students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people at a personal, local, national and international level and encourages a sense of identity and an increased understanding of pupils' own position in their own community and the world.

Through the study of History, pupils are able to develop a range of skills and abilities - particularly those related to finding out about the past, explaining what happened and what people then and now think about what happened. As they move up through the school, their skills are refined and developed through more advanced source analysis and high level thinking skills. The History teaching staff also work hard to support progress in English, Mathematics and Citizenship in all lessons.

 The Humanities department also promotes learning outside of the classroom through the participation in themed days, presentations from external visitors and trips.

Year 5

 The Ancient Greeks

In this unit, pupils study the ancient civilisation of Greece. Pupils gain an understanding of the political and social structures of the Ancient Greeks and conduct a historical comparison of the conflicting sides of the Battle of Marathon (Athens and Sparta). They also study the myths, legends and beliefs of the civilisation through a study of the Gods/Goddesses and also the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. To conclude the unit, pupils investigate the significance of the discoveries of Arthur Evans and assess their importance. This will support pupils learning in English as they study Greek Myths and Legends.

 Crime and Punishment

In this unit, pupils will learn how people were prosecuted and punished in the past. They will study why this punishments have changed over time and conduct historical comparisons of social constructs. This will support pupils learning in English as they study “The Highwayman”.

 The Victorians

In this unit, pupils study Victorian society. They research Queen Victoria and the main features of her reign. They also analyse the experiences of Victorian children in a range of settings (school, work, family life etc.) and compare the lives of rich and poor children in Victorian society. The pupils use a range of source analysis skills to describe and explain Victorian England and to comment on change over time.

 Leighton Buzzard Local Study

In a joint project with Geography, pupils will conduct an historical survey of Leighton Buzzard over time to understand how and why the town has changed. There will be a focus on architectural development as well as social and cultural changes to the town.

 Year 6

 Tudor Society and Exploration

In this unit, pupils conduct an analysis of Tudor society and the monarchs of the period. They gain an understanding of the chronology of the period as well as the main social features of the Tudors. As well as the monarchs, pupils study architecture, food, clothing and entertainment in Tudor society. They then move on to look at Exploration in the Elizabethan era and analyse the main achievements and failings of explorers such as Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake.

 The Ancient Aztecs

In this unit, pupils study the ancient civilisation of a non-European country. Pupils use a range of sources to study and analyse the main features of Aztec society including religion, daily life and societal structures and concludes with a study of the fall of the civilisation. This unit is run in conjunction with a Geography unit on Mexico.

 Leighton Buzzard from Past to Present

In this unit, pupils study the main historical features of Leighton Buzzard and consider how Leighton Buzzard has changed over time. Pupils are encouraged to compare and contrast physical features of a place (in a historical context) and to begin to explain the significance of the development of the town.

 Invasion and Settlement: the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Romans (Britain before 1066)

In this KS2-KS3 bridging unit, pupils conduct of study of the main invaders and settlers to Britain before the Norman Invasion of 1066. Pupils study the four main groups (the Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Romans) of people in Britain and suggest reasons for the invasion and/or settlement in Britain before comparing the features of each cohort of people. Pupils use a range of historical sources to support their learning.

 Year 7

 “1066 and all that jazz”: the Norman Invasion of 1066

In this unit, pupils gain a chronological understanding of the Norman Invasion of 1066 and analysis its historical significance. After an analysis and comparison of the four main contenders to the throne, pupils investigate the ways in which William the Conqueror established and maintained control of England; namely in regard to the Domesday Book, the Feudal System and the development of castles in England.

 Medieval Life

Following on from the “1066 and all that jazz” unit, pupils study the main features of medieval life in England. Using increasingly challenging source material, pupils gain and understanding of: Medieval social structures, religious beliefs and the development of the Church, daily life, the Magna Carta, and the Black Death.

 Native American Peoples: the Plains Indians

In this unit, pupils study a non-European society and analyse the significance of the Plains Indians of North America. Pupils conduct a survey the differing ways of life of different groups of Native Americans and analyse the socio-economic and spiritual reasons for living in specific areas of the continent. By the end of the unit, pupils should be able to describe Native American life, compare different groups of Native Americans and also suggest reasons for the negative treatment of Native Americans.

 Year 8

 “The Religious Roller-coaster”: religious change in Tudor England

In this unit, pupils conduct an in-depth analysis of the political and religious changes of Tudor England. Pupils develop high level source analysis skills to describe and explain reasons for the changes in religion (using historical sources) during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Pupils also study the key political features of Elizabethan England; notably that of the Spanish Armada and the use of propaganda by Elizabeth I.

 “Cromwell: Hero or Villain”: the Stuarts and Civil War

In this unit, pupils study the political unification of Britain and the changing relationship between Crown, Parliament and People under King James I. They should be able to explain how the balance of power shifted from the Monarch to Parliament, the reasons for this, the way it happened and the consequences. Pupils will also learn about the different social groups that existed in this period and the differences (in regard to their way of life, religion, etc.) and their views of the Monarchy (e.g. the Gunpowder Plot).

 Black Peoples of the Americas

In this unit, pupils learn about black peoples within American society. They begin by analysis the British involvement in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (using a range of historical sources) before considering the changing experiences of the black community, as well as changes within America as a whole, as black people moved from slavery to freedom, and towards equality. There are opportunities to examine the varied part played by black people in American life and culture, and to reflect upon the nature of ‘freedom’ in America.