“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are about the future” - Theodore Roosevelt


History at Kings Langley School

Our aim is to develop students’ curiosity about the past through exposing them to a wide range of British, European and World History so students can emotionally engage with stories of the past in order to develop a personal connection with History. We study History at Kings Langley School for the intrinsic satisfaction that can be derived from acquiring knowledge and a deep understanding of the past, but also to provide a greater insight into the modern world and how past events have influenced the current state of affairs. This should help them to develop a strong appreciation of the significance of History to their own lives and the world around them on a personal, national and also international level.

The Kings Langley School History department are dedicated to providing our students with a wide range of in depth knowledge about the past and also developing critical analysis skills which equip them with the tools to learn more about the world around them. We are passionate about delivering engaging and challenging lessons which encourage students to ask questions about the past in order to deepen their thinking so that they can learn important lessons from the History.

Successful implementation of this will provide students with a solid foundation for their adulthood so that they are able to make informed decisions which positively impact society in the future.

Kings Langley History Web page


Ms C Hardingham (Head of Department)

Mr J Dilks

Mrs R Ashraf

Ms S Howley 

Curriculum Intent objectives:

  • To build a History curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of rich knowledge and skills.
  • To increase the understanding students have of the present world in the context of the past.
  • To develop pupil interest in the past, arousing their curiosity so that they possess an intrinsic motivation to learn more about History.
  • To help students develop a sense of identity through learning about the past.


  • Pupils have full access to a knowledge rich history curriculum which is differentiated to meet pupils’ learning needs and styles.
  • Knowledge organisers are used with students to develop learn and re call the meaning of subject specific terminology.
  • Informal and formal assessments - Providing opportunities for repetition to embed knowledge, increasing the chance of information recall and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas. Regular class based tests and the two yearly formal examinations will require students to re call more knowledge.
  • Variety of teaching approaches.


  • By the end of Key Stage 3 pupils will have a chronological understanding of world history from 1066 to the cold war. Pupils will be taught how to communicate their points using a good sophisticated standard of literacy in both their oral and written responses. Students will be introduced to a whole host of key terms and subject specific vocabulary which will enhance their ability to do this.
  • Pupils should identify significant events, make connections, draw contrasts, and analyse trends within periods and over long arcs of time. They should pursue historically valid enquiries including some they have framed themselves, and create relevant, structured and evidentially supported accounts in response. They should understand how different types of historical sources are used rigorously to make historical claims and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed. 

History KS4 Summary  

History has always been a popular choice for GCSE pupils at Kings Langley and consequently we have high numbers of students studying our GCSE History modules. We have selected to study the Edexcel qualification which we teach over a two year period. Staff who teach the GCSE course all share a great deal of experience between them and for consistency students have the same History teacher for the entirety of their GCSE course.

There are four units that students are examined on in the final exam and there is no coursework at GCSE.  All examinations are completed at the end of year 11.

Paper 1 - Medicine Through Time and the Western Front
Paper weighting - 30% of total qualification
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Paper 2 - Superpower relations, the cold war and Elizabethan England
Paper weighting - 40% of total qualification
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Paper 3 - Weimar and Nazi Germany
Paper weighting - 30% of total qualification
Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

In year ten, students study Medicine Through Time (paper 1) and Superpower relations and the cold war (paper 2).

Medicine Through time - Paper 1

Students should develop an understanding of the nature and process of change. This will involve understanding patterns of change, trends and turning points, and the influence of factors inhibiting or encouraging change within periods and across the theme. The key factors are: individuals and institutions (Church and government); science and technology; and attitudes in society. Students study ideas about the causes of illness and disease, approaches to prevention and treatment and a variety of case studies in the following time periods: Medieval medicine, c. 1250 - 1500, Renaissance era c. 1500 - c. 1700, Industrial period c. 1700 - c. 1900 and the 20th Century c. 1900 - present. For the historic environment, we study the British sector of the Western front.

The medicine paper is weighted at 30% of the qualification and it is for this reason that we have chosen to begin the GCSE with this. Starting with this module enables students to study this in depth and revisit it over the two years through revision and assessment prior to the final examinations in the summer term of year eleven.

Superpower relations and the cold war - Paper 2

Paper 2 is examined in two different parts and the first part of the paper is taught from the Spring Term of year 10. Students are taught about the international crisis that nearly bought the world onto the brink of a nuclear war. The course begins in the shadows of Europe in the post war era of 1945, examining how consequences of the war resulted in events unfolding in Europe creating more tension between the East and the West. This course helps students appreciate how political ideology and nuclear arsenal can have a huge impact on international relations. Pupils are taught about significant flashpoints in the cold war including the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, the Cuban missiles crisis and the war in Afghanistan providing them with a greater degree of knowledge about why the modern world exists in the way that it does today. The course ends in 1989 with students analysing the key factors which led to the fall of the Soviet Union.
As stated previously, Paper 2 is split into two modules and pupils study the second unit for this paper in Year 11. 

Elizabethan England - Paper 2

The final taught element is the second module of paper 2. Students sit this paper alongside the Cold war paper and the question format is similar to all others that students will have been taught up to this point. Students will understand the economic, religious, social and political problems faced by Elizabeth I on ascension to the throne as well as the threats she faced from volatile European neighbours. Students will learn to appreciate the significance of religious divisions in this time period as they are taught about the various plots and rebellions against the monarch including the notorious English victory at the Spanish Armada.

Weimar and Nazi Germany - Paper 3

Students begin year 11 with a study of Germany in the ruins of the First World War. They will analyse a range of political, social and economic factors in that era which led to the Nazi party coming into power in the 1930s. Students will have a detailed understanding about, the consequences of the First World War for Germany, factors that led to the Nazis being supported by a range of different people in German society and life under the third Reich. Paper 3 will include sources and interpretations which students are expected to analyse and evaluate using their own knowledge. Skills for these will be taught throughout the duration of the GCSE course. 

History KS5 Summary

We have a successful history of enrolling a respectable number of students on our A Level course. We have opted to continue with Edexcel as our chosen exam board and students enjoy a rigorous 2 year A Level course which develops their historical knowledge of Britain and the wider world.

Year 12

In search of the American Dream 1917/96 - Paper 1

The option is divided into the following four themes:

• Theme 1: The changing political environment, 1917–80
• Theme 2: The quest for civil rights, 1917–80
• Theme 3: Society and culture in change, 1917–80
• Theme 4: The changing quality of life, 1917–80

The historical interpretations focus is: What impact did the Reagan presidency (1981–89) have on the USA in the years 1981–96?

Pupils will need to appreciate the linkages between themes, as questions may target the content of more than one. The four themes identified require students to have an overview of political, social and economic change and aspects of cultural change across the time period. Students need to have knowledge of the specified themes and be able to analyse and evaluate cause, consequence, key features and change and make comparisons over and within the period studied in dealing with factors which brought about change.

South Africa: From Apartheid state to rainbow nation - Paper 2

This course comprises a study of South Africa during its transition from white minority rule in 1948 to the free elections of 1994; a long, and at times, dramatic process in which South Africa was transformed from an apartheid state into a multi-racial democracy: a ‘rainbow nation’. The years 1948–94 saw the emergence of one of the great figures of the twentieth century: Nelson Mandela. His story of discrimination, resistance and imprisonment, followed by release and election as the President of South Africa in many ways mirrors the story of South Africa itself. However, the history of South Africa is a complicated one.

The course is divided into the following four topics, though you will need to appreciate the linkages between topics, as questions may target the content of more than one topic.

• Topic 1 - The response to apartheid, c. 1948–59
• Topic 2 - Radicalisation of resistance and the consolidation of National Party power, 1960–68
• Topic 3 - Redefining resistance and challenges to National Party power, 1968–83
• Topic 4 - The end of apartheid and the creation of the ‘rainbow nation’, 1984–94

Year 13

Britain: Gaining and Losing an Empire: 1763 - 1914

This option comprises two parts: the aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore the development of the British Empire and the part played in this by the Royal Navy and merchant marine. Looking at social, economic and political issues, students will study a series of developments that started with an imperial catastrophe which threatened to reduce Britain once more to a European offshore island, but would then transform Britain's standing in the world so that by the end of the period it had the largest empire the world has known.


The purpose of this coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history in a chosen question, problem or issue as part of an independently researched assignment. The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians. The coursework will be assessed using a centre-set assignment. An assignment framework is provided to support the development of individual assignments.

For support on GCSE or A Level courses, or for access to revision materials, additional readings or past papers for both the GCSE and History A Level course, please visit: www.klshistory.co.uk