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Cromwell Community College



“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Welcome to the History subject page. Below you will find a breakdown of each year group, including what is taught, how we assess, what enrichment opportunities there are and what can be expected in terms of homework. If you need any further information please contact the Head of Department, Mr Pearson, at tpearson@cromwell.cambs.sch.uk.

Click here to see a visual representation of our History curriculum from Year 7 - Year 13

History Curriculum Map - EYFS to Year 13  


Homework is set on a regular basis by the class teacher and can be accessed by logging into your Go4Schools account. 

Here are links to websites to enhance your learning: 

Life in Nazi Germany 


The Elizabethans

Viking Expansion

Crime & Punishment


Ability Grouping

History is taught in groups based on ability from Year 7 to Year 9.

History and Ancient History are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 10 to Year 13.

Teaching Staff 

Mr T Pearson (Head of History)

Mrs S Kirby  

Miss H Ball

Mr M Twigge

Mr J Dudley

Miss Y Rashid



Primary Phase

Children are inspired to research events,  think about people of the past, and especially enjoy all the bits that are gory, nasty or just plain mad (that’s why Horrible Histories is so popular!).  History in the National Curriculum is: ordering events in time; finding differences and similarities; writing and talking about the past; using different sources for information; asking and answering questions. All classes in each year group will do all of these at some point and aim to link ‘then’ with ‘now’. We aim to bring this alive for our pupils in engaging topics that entice pupils to want to find out about the lives of people in the past. An overview of our topics is included at the bottom of this page.

The early learning goals at EYFS are focused on the memories of the child. It may be that they are asked to remember a special event or routine or custom for their family. Children will talk about differences between different family members or different generations.

At Key Stage 1, children are asked to learn about specific people and events that are both within and beyond living history. There are strong links to our local history, events and people in Chatteris. We have strong links with the local museum and over time at Cromwell, pupils will visit the museum often and enjoy visits from Museum volunteers into school.

At Key Stage 2, the curriculum is much more prescriptive. Your child will learn all about the following periods of British History over the 4 years in Key Stage 2.

  • Stone Age
  • Ancient Romans
  • Anglo Saxons and Scots
  • The Vikings
  • A local history unit
  • A period of history later than 1066

Children will also be introduced to some world civilisations in History. 

Key Stage 3

What do we teach?

Please follow the link at the top of this page to view the History Curriculum Map.

How do we assess learning?

Follow the links below to determine if your child is working to secure level:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Autumn Term 1 Autumn Term 1 Autumn Term 1
Autumn Term 2 Autumn Term 2 Autumn Term 2

Key Stage 4


OCR GCSE History J410

What will I study?

This subject covers a range of topics:

You will complete a thematic study:

  • Crime and punishment in Britain, c1250 – present worth 20% of the total GCSE.

Discover how law and order has evolved over 750 years, from the earliest methods of policing, to the brutal trials and gruesome executions. This topic will give a fascinating insight into how our legal system and police force came into existence and the types of crimes our ancestors committed.

You will also complete a British depth study:

  • The Elizabethans 1580-1603 worth 20% of the total GCSE.

Find out whether Queen Elizabeth’s England really was a ‘Golden Age’ and how the so called ‘virgin queen’ dealt with the threats to her kingdom that tested her during her reign.

In addition, you will complete a site study:

  • History Around Us worth 20% of the total GCSE.

This topic will focus on the site of Lincoln Castle in Lincolnshire. The topic offers the chance to discover the many uses of the site, from a Roman fortress to Victorian prison. Learners will have the opportunity to visit the site to further enrich their understanding and experience history first hand.

As well as this, you will complete a period study:

  • Viking Expansion 790-1050 worth 20% of the total GCSE.

The Vikings were creative and enterprising people who played to their strengths and would adapt to secure their goals. The Viking era may seem strange and distant but many of the achievements of the Vikings follow themes that we would recognise today. Trade and commerce, expansionism, religious and cultural change are themes which are still relevant today.

Finally, you will complete a world depth study:

  • Living under Nazi rule worth 20% of the total GCSE.

You will study the impact of the Nazi dictatorship on people’s lives both within Germany and across occupied Europe in the run up to and during the Second World War. Find out how the Nazis achieved total power over Germany before embarking on a conquest of most of Europe.

How will I learn?

You will have the opportunity to indulge your passion for History with a wide range of resources available to you, ranging from engaging lessons from dedicated teachers to a YouTube channel. You will be encouraged to expand your learning through independent learning and reading. 

How will I be assessed?

You will complete three written exams.

Exam 1: Thematic study and historic environment

Crime and Punishment and Elizabethan England. 

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes (40% of the qualification)

Exam 2: Site Study

Lincoln Castle

Written examination: 1 hour (20% of the qualification)

Exam 3: Modern depth study

Living Under Nazi Rule and the Making of America

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes (40% of the qualification)

Click here to view the GCSE History exam specification 

Is there any independent study?

The ability to revise effectively and study independently are vital to success in this subject.

What do I need for history?

A thirst for knowledge and love of history.

Where can this course take me?         

In short, anywhere. GCSE history is a solid basis for many A-level and degree level subjects as well as history; for example, politics, law, economics and sociology.  It also goes well with subjects such as English and languages.  It is a traditional academic subject which is well respected by universities and employers.

There are many career opportunities with history: law and accountancy, travel and tourism, museums, business management, the media industry, libraries and archives, government research, academic research and teaching.


OCR GCSE Ancient History J198

What will I study?

GCSE Ancient History has been designed to help learners develop their understanding of the ancient world and its legacy in today’s society.  The course introduces students to the scarce evidence available to historians and how they are used to justify our belief in modern reconstructions of the ancient world:

Paper 1 – Greece and Persia.

This paper consists of a compulsory period study focusing on the Persian Empire from 559-465BC under Cyrus the Great, Cambyses II, Darius I and Xerxes I. This includes the conquest of Babylon, Cambyses’ defeat of Egypt, Darius’ campaigns against Athens including the Battle of Marathon, and Xerxes’ invasion of Greece culminating in the Battles of Thermopylae (topic of the film 300) and Salamis. The second part of the paper is a depth study on the life of possibly the greatest ever military commander, Alexander the Great.  This explores in detail his character, campaigns, significant events and military leadership.  We will also look at the differing explanations of his death and events surrounding it.

Paper 2: Rome and It’s Neighbours:

The compulsory study for this paper is the foundations of Rome during the period 753-440BC, looking at the kings of Rome and the early Republic with an emphasis on the most exciting events and characters.  This begins with the legendary Romulus and Remus, Sullius’ reforms and Tarquinus’ tyranny, development of the consul and senate, Roman laws and society, finishing with the role of the Army in securing the Republic. The depth study explores the Roman invasion of Britain in AD43 and the campaigns they fought to defeat the Celtic tribes, the policy of Romanisation that led to the development of Britannia as a province, changing lifestyles and infrastructure in a way that we would recognise today, as well as the resistance offered by the likes of Boudicca and Caratacus.

How is this course assessed?

100% exam, both papers are equally weighted.

Click here to view the GCSE Ancient History exam specification 

What can this qualification lead to?

Students can go on to complete A level History and/or Ancient History as well as subjects such as English, Sociology and Philosophy. This subject is an ideal choice at GCSE as it develops a wide range of key skills that are cross-subject such as analysis of factors, reaching reasoned judgments, comprehension and evaluation.

Key Stage 5

OCR History A Level H505

A level history will allow you to study significant events, individuals, and issues. You will look at a range of historical perspectives with a focus on continuity and change over time. The course allows you to develop and apply an understanding of historical concepts.

You will study three units throughout the A level course, focusing on three main historical periods as follows:

  • England 1445-1509: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII The War of the Roses 1445-1461 which investigates the turbulent history of the end of the Plantagenets and the rise of the Tudors.
  • International Relations 1890-1941 offers an understanding of the causes and events leading up to the two world wars which shaped the 20th century.
  • Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992 investigates the struggles of American minority groups, such as African Americans, women, workers and Native Americans to gain equal rights and recognise the ‘American dream’.

In addition, you will complete a 3000–4000-word essay which you will research independently. You will have guidance on choosing a topic and essay title to suit you.

History is a discipline which necessitates vital skills which many employers and universities value. Many who study history go on to join esteemed professions such as the civil service, the law, business management and the media.

Examination Board: OCR

Click here to view the A Level History exam specification