Cardinal Allen
Catholic High School



'Those who don't know History are condemned to repeat it.' This quote, attributed to Edmund Burke, underpins our philosophy of History teaching. Pupils at Cardinal Allen are offered a broad range of History studies which always enthuse and interest them and ensure that they leave school with a good grounding in British, European and World History. The broad studies of History that we undertake at KS3 lead to very high numbers of pupils opting to study History further into KS4. History links across the curriculum - RE, English, Geography and even Science link into History. Pupils studying History leave with the ability to analyse evidence objectively, to reach conclusions and to create arguments - all valuable skills.


At KS3 we follow a chronological approach to History.

Year 7

We begin iwith an introduction to the study of History. We then move onto a pivotal event in British History - the events of 1066. Once we have looked at the battles of 1066 and the reasons why Harold lost the Battle of Hastings, we look at how William the Conqueror controlled his new country considering the lasting impact on Britain. A study of life in Medieval England follows, including the Magna Carta & the Black Death. We then look at castles and how their building controlled the country. We end year 7 as we started - with a study of a battle, the Battle of Bosworth field, 1485.

Year 8

We study the Tudors, looking at the different Kings and Queens and pivotal events such as the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. We look at Elizabeth I, the 'discovery' of America and the initial settlements at Roanoke and Jamestown. We consider the defeat of the Spanish Armada. We then move to a study of the Stuart monarchs, looking at the Gunpowder plot of 1605. Following this we look at the English Civil War, understanding why the Royalists lost and the reasons why Charles I was executed. We consider the impact of this period on the way the country is run to this day. We then move back across the Atlantic to a study of Slavery and the Black Peoples of America.

Year 9

We begin by looking at the world-changing events of the Industrial Revolution. We consider the new inventions, life in the industrial cities, the studies of poverty and protest. After the Industrial Revolution we look at the First World War and its lasting impact, moving towards a study of the inter-war period and the rise of the Nazis. This leads to a study of the Holocaust and we finish with a depth study on WWII.

GCSE History

We are studying a new course from the Edexcel exam board, comprising 5 modules spanning a time frame from before the Norman invasion to the Iraq War of 2003. The aims of the course are to be able to show knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of the period covered, to be able to explain and analyse Historical concepts, to be able to evaluate and use sources and make judgements and interpretations about the events studied. There are 3 exams in this qualification. It is a rigorous and exciting GCSE course, designed to stretch and challenge the pupils and build on and deepen their Historical understanding from KS3.

Course Components

1. Anglo-Saxon and Norman England 1060-88

This course comprises 20% of the total qualification and is examined as part of the Paper 2. It covers Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest, William I in power and life in Norman England, 1066-88.

2. Warfare through Time 1250 to present.

This course comprises 20% of the total qualification and is examined in Paper 1. It covers the nature of warfare, the experience of war and case studies on the Battle of Falkirk 1298, the Battle of Agincourt 1415, the Battle of Naseby 1645, the Battle of Waterloo 1815, the Battle of Balaclava 1854, the Battle of the Somme 1916 & the Iraq War 2003.

Additionally, as part of of this paper, there is a depth study on London and the Second World War. This comprises 10% of the qualification and is also examined in Paper 1.

3. The American West 1835-1895.

This course comprises 20% of the total qualification and is examined as part of Paper 2. We will look at the early settlement of the West, the development of the Plains and Conflicts and Conquests. As part of this we look at Billy the Kid, the OK Corral, Wyatt Earp, the Johnson County War, the Battle of Little Big Horn and the Wounded Knee massacre.

4. The USA, 1954-75: Conflict at home and abroad

This course comprises 30% of the total qualification and is examined in Paper 3. We will look at the development of the Civil Rights Movement and protest, progress and radicalism. Additionally, we will look at the US involvement in the Vietnam War 1954-75 and reactions to and the end of US involvement in Vietnam, 1964-75.


After school clubs are provided for keen students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support is also offered on a one to one basis where necessary. Some of the support sessions, clubs and activities offered are:

  • After school classes for year 11 (day dependent on teacher)
  • Revision & drop in sessions at lunchtimes
  • History Club
  • KS4 trip to either WWI battlefields or America.
  • KS3 trip to London in yr 9
  • Holocaust Survivor Day in either yr 9 or 10
  • Castle visit in yr 7
  • Medieval Day


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    The links below will take you to subject specific information outlining the current Key Stage 3 and 4 Course Guide.

  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4

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