sandbach high school

Curriculum Intentions

Curriculum Intentions 

By the time our students leave we want them to be equipped with with critical, transferable thinking skills needed at higher educational levels and in life generally e.g. evaluation, analysis, balanced thought processes. We want to ensure that they have a strong understanding of chronology from medieval to modern, in terms of both British and wider world history. We are developing their understanding of the modern world by equipping them with a strong, coherent knowledge of the past. Lessons are designed to challenge students, be that in terms of literacy or engaging with historical interpretations. 

By the end of Key Stage 3, we want students to develop an enquiring mind having been inspired by a rich and ambitious curriculum. We want them to be aware of their past and society thus developing a sense of their own identity through an understanding of different historical civilisations and eras. They should be able to make links between the past and present, through studies such as the Holocaust, USA and China, so that students can make substantiated judgements on current issues of significance. 

By the end of Key Stage 4, students will have experienced a broad study of historical societies, events and people. Breadth courses such as Health and the People, in tandem with depth studies such as Elizabethan England, provide students with the opportunity to analyse different historical situations. They should be socially, politically, economically and environmentally aware of change over time and the impact on the world in which they live.  

By the end of Key Stage 5, students should have an ability to understand and debate social, economic, political and cultural issues. The A level course inspires independence of thought through a study of the Tudors (Early Modern) and Russia (Modern). The NEA allows students to explore their own historical interests by constructing their own argument based on differing interpretations and historical sources.  

Curriculum Lead

Curriculum Leader Humanities Faculty:  Ms C Wildman  cwildman@sandbachhigh.co.uk 

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 

Year 7

  • The Norman Invasion
  • The Norman Conquest of England
  • Medieval Church and the Murder of Thomas Becket
  • Medieval Life and the Black Death
  • The Renaissance
  • The Tudors

 Year 8

  • The Tudors
  • The Stuarts and the English Civil War
  • The Restoration and the Great Plague
  • The Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • The British Empire and British India

 Year 9

  • The Suffragette Movement
  • The First World War
  • The Interwar Years: 1920s USA and the Rise of Hitler
  • The Holocaust
  • The Second World War
  • The Cold War


Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 

In Years 10 and 11 History is a popular option and promoted as part of the Ebacc. It is taught in mixed ability groups. We cater to the abilities of all students by working closely with the Special Educational Needs team and our whole school Gifted and Talented coordinator. The AQA GCSE specification is offered to students. All students study Germany in the 19th Century, the popular WWI module and the Britain and Health unit. For each specification there is a local study that accounts for 25% of the overall assessment. The local study focuses on Elizabethan England. Students receive 5 lessons per fortnight at Key Stage 4. There are 2 field trips for both specifications that take place in Years 10 and 11. Students are given the opportunity to visit Krakow, Poland in Year 10 and all students visit Thackray Medical Museum in Year 11. GCSE results are well above the national average and our students leave us as well-rounded individuals, ready to meet the demands of the next step. 

Key Stage 5 

At KS5, we cover 200+ years of history, studying both contemporary and modern sources through breadth and depth units. Specifically, we study the Tudors 1485 – 1603 and Russia 1917 – 1953 giving students a secure understanding of British and global history. The coursework element allows students to choose a topic that they wish to specialise in. 

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5 

At KS5, we cover 200+ years of history, studying both contemporary and modern sources through breadth and depth units. Specifically, we study the Tudors 1485 – 1603 and Russia 1917 – 1953 giving students a secure understanding of British and global history. The coursework element allows students to choose a topic that they wish to specialise in. 

For further information visit Sandbach College history course webpage : https://www.sandbachcollege.co.uk/history/


Dear Parent/Carer,

It is with great pleasure that the History Department welcomes our new A level students. A level History is rigorous, demanding and a steep learning curve after GCSE. It is, however, enjoyable and we are proud to deliver such an interesting course.

As Early Modern History is now a two-year course, students will require two essential textbooks for the duration. These are:

  • Oxford AQA History for A Level: The Tudors: England 1485-1603 ISBN-13: 978-0198354604
  • Oxford AQA History for A Level: Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953. ISBN-13: 978-0198354581

We ask that students purchase the books themselves from a reputable source. This will enable students to annotate their own books during their course of study. They may also choose to get an e-book of the textbooks.

The deadline for this is Wednesday 22nd September 2023.

If financial hardship makes this difficult, please contact me directly and we will look at how best to support you and move forward.

Yours faithfully,

Mr D Weaver

Deputy Curriculum Leader of Humanities


We adhere to the following AQA specifications: 

GCSE https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145 


Paper 1: Understanding the modern world (2 hours) 

Section A Period studies: Germany, 1890 – 1945: Democracy and dictatorship 

Section B Wider world depth studies: Conflict and Tension: The First World War, 1894 – 1918  


Paper 2: Shaping the nation (2 hours) 

Section A Thematic studies: Britain: Health and the people c1000 to the present day 

Section B British depth studies including the historic environment: Elizabethan England c1568 – 1603  


There is no coursework for GCSE History. 


A level https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/as-and-a-level/history-7041-7042 


Paper 1: Breadth study (2 hours 30 minutes) 

1C The Tudors: England, 1485 – 1603 


Paper 2: Depth study (2 hours 30 minutes) 

2N Revolution and dictatorship: Russia, 1917 – 1953 


Non-examined assessment (coursework) on a topic of the student’s choice. 

Wider Curriculum

The History Department offers a range of trips for all year groups: 


Year 7 – Medieval Day, Tatton Park, Cheshire 

Year 8 – Tudor Trail, three-day excursion to London 

Year 8 – Blists Hill Victorian Museum or Quarry Bank Mill 

Year 9 – Imperial War Museum North 

Year 10 – Week-long excursion to Krakow, Poland 

Year 11 – Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds 

Year 12 – Weekend Field Trip to Edinburgh 

Year 12 – Bosworth Field 

Year 12 – Manchester John Rylands University Library 

Year 13 – Houses of Parliament/visit from local MP 

Useful Links

How you can support your child at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4: 

  1. Visit sites of historical interest both locally and nationally where possible
  2. Encourage debates and the formation of opinions
  3. Read around different historical topics (fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, journals, online websites)
  4. Enjoy a range of historical films, documentaries and podcasts
  5. Familiarise yourself with the AQA GCSE specifications and topics that we study


Useful websites and links: