Faculty of:


Head of Faculty:

Ms L. Specchia

Members of staff:

  • Ms A. Miah (Head of History)
  • Ms M. Evans (Assistant Head of Year 7)
  • Mr N. James (Assistant Heaed of Year 11)
  • Ms K. Abed

About the department:

The study of History is crucial for students understanding of the world in which they live; it is by studying the past that we can begin to grasp why major decisions were made and how these continue to influence our lives today.

History is therefore no longer a subject devoted to memorising key battles and dates – the study of History at Stepney Green is at the forefront of our whole school attempt to equip students with the knowledge and understanding necessary to succeed in an increasingly diverse and complex world.

Key stage 3 Curriculum:

Here at Stepney Green we utilise our Key Stage 3 history in order to introduce specific historical skills and knowledge. We have constructed our KS3 so that it moves in a chronological direction whilst moving between diverse themes, countries and the practicing of skills. Our focus is on exploring the themes of Monarchy, Freedom of Rights and turning points in modern history whilst simultaneously teaching the skills of Comparison, Significance, Causation and Interpretation.

We begin the key stage by exploring the nuances of the Crusades. We delve into the motivations of joining the crusade whilst also studying the Islamic world. We then move to British History and look at the Tudor monarchy and the split with the Catholic church. We will identify causation for the break with Rome and look to explain the significance of the changing monarchs during the Tudor period. The next unit sees a focus on the idea of treason and the continuing religious problems in Britain by looking at depth into the Gunpowder plot. We move on to the English Civil War where we focus on the significance of King Charles execution and comparing his rule to that of Oliver Cromwell. We analyse Britain’s involvement in the Slave trade and the causation of the abolition movement. We then look at the birth of modern European democracy and the move away from absolute monarchy with the French Revolution and look at the significance of the industrial revolution and how it then led to the increase of the civil liberties and rights in a state. The culmination of studying the industrial revolution leads us on to studying the First World War and how industrialisation caused a turning point in warfare. We will then learn more about the persecution and the rights that had been established disappearing for minorities when we took an in depth look at the holocaust.

Key stage 4 Curriculum: 

We begin Key Stage 4 with a study of conflict and historical narrative construction. This scheme of work studies the conflict in Israel/Palestine, and was developed with the specialist organisation Parallel Histories. This unit seeks to challenge the way pupils study conflict, moving away from choosing sides, to developing a holistic overview and the necessary skill to evaluate opposing interpretations. The unit is not examined at GCSE, but broadens both the content and skills attained in KS4 history.

At Stepney Green we start teaching GCSE in year 9. For the three years of study students focus on a broad set of papers. For the Paper 1 thematic study we have chosen Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000 present and for the historic environment Whitechapel, c1870 – c1900: crime, policing and the inner city. This paper provides students with a sweeping overview of a thousand years of evolving British crimes and punishment. Students investigate what causes crime to change and in turn the responding change in laws and punishment. For the historic environment we have chosen Whitechapel as we want to provide students with opportunity for a local historical enquiry. In this part of the paper students study the context of Whitechapel in the nineteenth century and then follow the police enquiry for Jack the Ripper and improvements that were made to Whitechapel and the police. For the Paper 2 British depth study we have chosen the reigns of King Richard I and King John 1189 – 1216 which gives students a chance to explore medieval British History with both the reigns of King Richard and King John which includes a focus on the barons rebellion resulting in the Magna Carta. King Richard’s reign includes a section of the Third Crusade and his battles with Saladin for Jerusalem. For the second part of Paper 2, for the period study we have chosen Superpower relations and the Cold war 1941-91. This encourages students to engage with modern history and international relations. Finally, for the Paper 3 modern depth study we have chosen Weimar and Nazi Germany from 1918-39 in which students investigate why the Weimar Republic was unpopular and how this led to the rise of Hitler. Across all papers students will build on their historical key skills from KS3 such as cause and consequence, significance and similarity and difference. In Paper 1 and 3, students analyse sources and evaluate historian’s interpretations to build their own arguments. Whilst paper 2, in comparison, focuses on examining students knowledge of the two periods whilst still demanding that students use the key historical skills.


Key stage 5 Curriculum:

In Year 12 students build on the skills of GCSE through two papers. Paper 1 focuses on the USA and the search for freedom 1917-1996. In this paper key topics such as the political landscape, civil-rights movement, quality of life and cultural development are studied. In this paper students combine knowledge and evaluation to tackle questions, and then interpretation analysis in a section on President Ronald Reagan. In paper 2 students study the Indian Independence movement 1914-1947. In this paper they utilise skills around source analysis and evaluation, as well as questions surrounding causation/impact of events. In Year 13 students study the breadth paper Britain; losing and gaining an Empire. This breadth study build on the thematic skills learned at GCSE, combining studies of patterns such as trade, and depth studies of specific colonial regions. This paper combines all the question types from Year 12; sources, interpretations and evaluation. Students also complete a 4,000 word coursework unit, which is worth 20% of their overall A Level. In this unit we focus on the causes of the Russian Revolution, and how historians have varied in their interpretation of the events of 1917.

Exam Board: Edexcel