History at OSSMA:

  • Provides students with a broad range of historical knowledge and understanding, including a sense of chronological development over time, discovering their place in time and space, and an appreciation of the people, culture, events and attitudes of societies other than their own.
  • Gives students power over their own knowledge allowing them to evaluate the significance and usefulness of a large body of material, including evidence from contemporary sources and interpretations of historians critically; encouraging curiosity, fascination and a drama of the past, learning the mistakes of the past and providing them with transferable skills for future life.
  • Enables students to engage directly with questions and present independent opinions about them in arguments that are well-written, clearly expressed, coherently organized and effectively supported by relevant evidence through regular opportunities for guided and structured extended writing.
  • Encourages students to come together as a community to commemorate key historical events, such as Remembrance Day, Holocaust Memorial Day and VE Day. This is equally important in shaping the citizens of the future by giving students an opportunity to consider why we commemorate certain events and what we can do to prevent future injustice.

What sets us apart:

We are incredibly proud of the curriculum we offer our students.

  • It is a representative curriculum, where all students should be able to feel that we are teaching their history, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class or other factors. We aim to tell a realistic story of the past. For example, when studying Victorian Britain, we focus on ‘The Five,’ the women who were traditionally classed as victims of the Ripper, as if their own individual stories were unimportant. We feel it is important to give a voice to those who have often been overlooked in a more traditional history curriculum.
  • We go beyond the National Curriculum, ensuring students have access to recent historical scholarship and encouraging students to broaden their horizons by using a virtual library to pinpoint key resources for further research. For example, when studying English medieval monarchs, they are encouraged to research Genghis Khan, who ruled the Mongol Empire. This challenges our students and gives them a contextual understanding of world history so they can make links and comparisons.
  • Our young historians are encouraged to articulate their learning, growing in confidence and resilience as they use oracy in the classroom through policies such as our ‘Lead Learner’ starters.
  • We also teach our curriculum through ‘big questions’ to help make sense of the story of the past. In each block, students work towards an extended piece of writing that allows them to synthesise the knowledge they have gained as they answer these ‘big questions’.
  • We believe history should be experienced through visits and visitors. Every year we visit places linked to our curriculum, such as the slavery museum in Liverpool and the World War One Battlefields. We are currently adding new visits for next year.
  • During remote learning, we have continued to promote our ethos of History being a living subject by organising experiences for the students in place of our usual visits. We have spoken to Holocaust survivors via Zoom, “visited” Parliament for a virtual tour with their education department, and participated in a live workshop from within Windsor Castle to learn the history of the castle and the wider Middle Ages. We organised and coordinated events for VE Day, we incorporated the recent Black Lives Matter campaign into our work to ensure students had relevant background knowledge of Civil Rights history, and we participated in the engagement activities to help with the morale of our students when we couldn’t be together in school.
  • We also won the “Most Inspirational Subject’ competition, voted for by the community!

In each year group, students study

  • Plantagenets
  • Women through time
  • African Kingdoms and impact of slavery
  • Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War
  • Industrial Revolution
  • America 20th Century 
  • Russia 20th Century
  • WWI
  • WWII
  • The Cold War
  • The Silk Roads
  • Historical Debates

  • Conflict and Tension: The Treaty of Versailles
  • Conflict and Tension: The League of Nations
  • Conflict and Tension: The Steps to War
  • Power and the People: The Middle Ages, Challenging Feudalism
  • Power and the People: The Early Modern Period, Challenging Royal Authority
  • Power and the People: The 19th Century, Reform and Reformers
  • Power and the People: The 20th Century, Equal Rights
  • Germany before World War One
  • Germany after World War One
  • The rise of the Nazis
  • Life in Nazi Germany
  • Elizabethan England: Government
  • Elizabethan England: Poverty and the Golden Age
  • Elizabethan England: Religious Conflict