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History and Sociology Intent: -

To develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of the past and see how it shapes the present. Lessons should inspire curiosity through the teaching of key events, people and discoveries.

We will do this by making sure ALL students:

  • Acquire the knowledge that will allow them to understand the context & events of the modern world.
  • Build confidence as learners that will allow them to challenge themselves and others.
  • Build a skills base that will ensure all students can be effective and analytical historians, particularly the ability to explore the past through a variety of perspectives and interpretations, but also skills that can be transferred across the curriculum and beyond eg: Interpretation, inference, communication, literacy and analysis.
  • Develop an understanding of local History/ context
  • Are resilient and reflective through the use of strong feedback and opportunities to improve.

We were pleased with our 2019 exam results. In History 74% of our students achieved a grade 4 or above.

Visual Curriculum Map

Please click the below image to download the full version

Key Stage 3

Students will learn about the past through investigating a series of enquiry questions, some of examples of these are below:

Year 7

  • What was England like before the Normans came?
  • Why did William win the battle of Hastings?
  • How far did the Normans change England?
  • How much power did Medieval Kings have?
  • “Mucky and miserable” is this a good way to describe a peasant’s life in the Middle Ages?
  • What was the impact of the Silk Roads on Medieval history?
  • Rats or rebels, which were more significant?
  • Why did Henry VIII break away from the church in Rome?

Year 8

  • How successfully did Elizabeth I deal with the problems of her reign?
  • African Kingdoms before 1700 – Should the Benin bronzes be returned?
  • What was the impact of European voyages of exploration?
  • What was the impact of the transatlantic slave trade and why was it abolished?
  • What was the impact of the Industrial Revolution?
  • How did ordinary people win the right to vote?
    - Chartist movement in the 19th century
    - Suffragettes

Year 9

  • How did the 2 bullets lead to the death of 20 million?
  • What was the impact of WW1?
  • Why was Hitler made Chancellor?
  • What was life like in Nazi Germany?
  • How can we challenge generalisations about the holocaust?
  • What damage do dictatorships do?
  • How and why did the lives of Black Americans change in the 20th Century?
  • What was the impact of the Windrush generation?

Further information on Key Stage 3 History can be found here:



The exam board we use for GCSE History is Edexcel

Students are examined on the following assessment objectives:

Students study the following topics:

  • Paper 1 - Crime and Punishment c.1066-present day (Britain) (30%)
  • Paper 2 - Early Elizabethan England, 1558-1588 (20%)
  • Paper 2 - Superpower relations and the cold war 1941-1991 (20%)
  • Paper 3 The USA at home and abroad (civil rights movement and Vietnam war) 1954-1975 (30%)

Further information on the History GCSE can be found here:


Enrichment Activities

Each year there are a range of History enrichment activities for both staff and students at Notre Dame. Some of them are outlined below:

Holocaust Memorial Day

In January 2019 Year 9 students participated in a webcast presentation from Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro. They wrote him letters thanking him for sharing his testimony and explaining what they gained from hearing his story.


Museum Outreach

The History Department works closely with local museums and historians.

  • We often take students to exhibitions and workshops at both branches of the Museum of London.
  • The Museum of London also come in to give dramatized presentations of key characters in History such as a Suffragettes (Kitty Marion) and a survivor of the Black Death.


IOE Holocaust Education Development Program

Notre Dame became a beacon school for Holocaust Education in 2012. The school has hosted training from the Institute of Education in Holocaust Education. Staff from local schools across Southwark attended this.