The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School images


What we are trying to achieve with our History students

History is a popular and successful subject here at Knights Templar School. Due to a combination of dedicated and hardworking staff and a varied, interesting and well balanced curriculum, students benefit in many ways from their time in our department.

Our fundamental aim is to engage students in their study of the past to maximise their enjoyment of History. We develop their interest in a range of periods of History to enable them to understand the country and the world in which they live in as fully as possible. We aim to enrich their understanding of areas in which they have prior knowledge, to introduce them to new topics and to enthuse them enough that they seek to find out more about the endless and ever changing world outside of the classroom. At its heart, History encompasses many great stories and we hope some of these leave our students wanting to know more about what we have taught them as well as fostering the desire to investigate other areas we do not cover. 

A knowledge of History is crucial for children to become good citizens. We hope that when our students are made aware of current affairs on the television, radio, internet, newspapers or in general conversation, that they are able to put what happens today into context and generally have a better understanding of what happens around them. Maybe they can help avoid some of the mistakes made by our predecessors! 

We also aspire to develop key skills which our students can then go and use outside of the classroom; in their everyday lives; in future studies; and in employment. Literacy is inevitably a crucial area where we seek to help our students. We also endeavour to widen their skills of debate, interpretation and evaluation which are useful to them in a myriad of ways in their lives. We strive to encourage our students to be confident in making judgements which they are able to fully explain and support. Other less obvious areas we seek to develop are their understanding of causation, significance and diversity. 

Finally, we give students the opportunities to see History outside the classroom and we therefore run an extensive range of trips which you can find out more about below. This links back to our primary aim of maximising their enjoyment of our fascinating subject!


Members of staff

Miss. C. Harrison, Head of History and Politics Miss. Harrison joined the school in 2012 and has never looked back. Despite recent changes to the A-Level offerings meaning that her beloved Churchill is no longer an examination topic, Miss Harrison is still particularly interested in modern political history, which has helped significantly with the introduction of A-Level Government and Politics. Like Mr Allman, Miss Harrison is a massive fan of Horrible Histories and also has a thing for stationary!

Mr. A. Allman, Teacher of History and Year Leader Mr Allman has firmly become part of the furniture at KTS. He joined in 2009 and his rapport with his classes is a real strength, skills which are evident in his role as Head of Year. He is an instantly recognisable presence around the school; often seen roaming the corridors with his trusty trademarks; dressed in a waistcoat and clutching a large water bottle! His areas of interest are Ancient History and Modern European History, especially 19th and 20th century Russia and the Cold War. Also Horrible Histories!

Miss. S. Barker, Teacher of History and Deputy Head Miss Barker takes organisation to new levels and all her students quickly realise how lucky they are when they benefit from this! Miss Barker joined Knights Templar School in 1991 and has had a rise that is somewhere between steady and meteoric, moving up to Head of Year, Head of Department, Head of Faculty (Humanities), Assistant Head and now Deputy Head!! Her specialist areas are the US revolutionary period and 19th century British History which she teaches at A Level.

Mrs K. Lardeaux, Teacher of History Mrs Lardeaux joined the school in 2015 and has settled in comfortably. Mrs Lardeaux’s organisation puts even Miss Barker to shame and the History Department will very much be relying on her to find the myriad of things lost on Mr Allman’s desk. Mrs Lardeaux’s interests in both History and Politics mean that she is ideally placed to take on the teaching of our new A-Level course ‘Industrialisation and the People’, whilst her organisational skills will be invaluable to her students.

Ms E. Thompson, Teacher of History Ms Thompson is the newest member of the History Department having joined the school in September 2016. Ms Thompson brings invaluable skills and expertise to the school having previously worked in university admissions, whilst she also completed a PhD focusing on American history, making her a fantastic resource to her GCSE students who will be looking at the USA from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Our Courses


During Key Stage 3, pupils will develop knowledge, understanding and awareness of periods, events and issues in History. This will cover a range of social, economic and political developments.

Year 7:

Autumn Term: Introduction to History – What is History; the study of key concepts such as chronology, interpretations, anachronisms and evidence, and the development of skills such as evaluation and enquiry.

Autumn and Spring Terms: Medieval History (Britain 1066-1500) – The Norman Conquest in 1066 and the establishment of Normal rule. Life in medieval England e.g. towns, villages and the Black Death. The medieval church including Thomas Becket and the Crusades. Challenges to the King such as the Peasants Revolt and the Magna Carta.

Summer Term: The Making of the United Kingdom (Britain 1500-1603) – The Tudors; The rise of Henry VII. The rule of Henry VIII including the break from the Roman Catholic Church and the dissolution of the monasteries. The rule of ‘Bloody Queen Mary’. The rule of Elizabeth I including the religious settlement, ‘Mary Queen of Scots’, the problems of poverty and the Spanish Armada.

Year 8:

Autumn Term: The Making of the United Kingdom (Britain 1603-1750) – The Stuarts including the Gunpowder Plot, the causes and course of the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell and the rule of parliament, the restoration, the Plague and the Great Fire of London. Also the Glorious Revolution, witches and the Scientific Revolution.

Autumn and Spring Terms: The Industrial Revolution (Britain 1750-1900) – The growth of industry with focus on the cotton industry and conditions in factories, mining, changes in transport from roads to canals and railways, the rapid growth of towns the growth of democracy and ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Spring and Summer Terms: Empire and Slavery – The reasons for the growth of the British Empire and its consequences. The Slave Trade; the reasons for it, the ‘Middle Passage’, life for slaves and the end of slavery.

Summer Term: The Twentieth Century World – The causes of World War One, life on the Western Front and the Battle of the Somme, WW1 recruitment, life in Britain during the war and how the war ended.

Year 9:

Autumn Term: The Twentieth Century World – The Treaty of Versailles, its terms and consequences.  The League of Nations, its problems and failures. The rise of Hitler; how the Nazis gained and secured control of Germany, and what life was like in Nazi Germany.

Spring Term: The Twentieth Century World – The causes of World War Two. The events of the War, including Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, D-Day, the dropping of the atom bombs and the Blitz. The Holocaust.

Summer Term: The Twentieth Century World – Genocide in the 20th Century, Civil Rights in the USA, the Arab-Israeli conflict and a review of the 20th Century.

KS4 and 5


Exam board - AQA

This qualification focuses on students developing their insight and understanding of how the world we live in today has been shaped by the past. By looking at both breadth and depth studies, students will have the opportunity to examine social, political and economic changes over time and the specific effects these have had on different groups of people.



Students will take two written examinations at the end of Year 11:

Paper 1 Understanding the Modern World (50% of GCSE)

Paper 2 Shaping the Nation (50% of GCSE)

There is no coursework


Course content:

Students are required to cover:

  • One period study
  • One thematic study
  • One wider world depth study
  • One British depth study including the historic environment

Period Study - America 1920-1973: Opportunity and Inequality (Paper 1) (Y10)

  • American people and the Boom – benefits, social/cultural developments, divisions in society
  • Bust – Americans’ experience of the Depression and New Deal – impact of the Depression, effectiveness of the New Deal, impact of WW2
  • Post-war America – the economy, racial tension and civil rights, social policies/changes


Wider World Depth Study - Conflict and tension, 1918-1939 (Paper 1) (Y10)

  • Peace-making – Armistice, Treaty of Versailles, impact of the Treaty
  • The League of Nations and international peace – formation and organisation, diplomacy, collapse of the League
  • The origins and outbreak of the Second World War – tension, escalation, outbreak of war


Thematic Study – Britain: Health and the People: c1000 to the present day (Paper 2) (Y11)

  • Medicine stands still - Medieval medicine, the medical process and public health in the Middle Ages
  • The beginnings of change – The Renaissance, disease – treatment and prevention
  • A revolution in medicine – Germ Theory, surgery, public health
  • Modern medicine – treatment of disease, impact of war, modern public health


British Depth Study – Elizabethan England, c 1568-1603 (Paper 2) (Y11)

  • Elizabeth’s court and parliament – Elizabeth’s background, difficulties of a female ruler
  • Life in Elizabethan times – Golden Age, the poor, English sailors
  • Troubles at home and abroad – religion, Mary Queen of Scots, conflict with Spain
  • The Historic environment of Elizabethan England – a study of a historic site (set by the exam board) that they are examined on as part of Paper 2 (10% of the overall course)


Exam board - AQA

The structure of the History A-Level qualification has changed and under the reformed course (taught from September 2015) students study a linear A-Level where AS exams are offered at the end of Y12, but no longer count towards the qualification. Instead, the students will study the same topic over a longer time period and be examined on both Year 12 and 13 at the end of Year 13.

Year 12:

Industrialisation and the People: Britain c. 1783-1885 (Y12 runs up until 1832)

The AS course is split into two main sections – Pressure for change, 1783-1812 and Government and a changing society, 1812-1832.

The first section of the course covers the British political system in 1783, William Pitt and his successors, economic developments and industrialisation, social developments and the class system, pressures on the government including the French Revolution and the political, social and economic condition of Britain by 1812.

The second section of the Year 12 course covers Lord Liverpool, the Corn Laws, reform and repression, the Combination Acts, Canning, Goderich and Wellington, Catholic Emancipation, economic developments, the effects of industrialisation on standards of living and the working classes, Luddism, anti-slavery movements and the early ideas of socialism. The Year 12 course then ends with looking at the change in the extent of democracy and the Great Reform Act 1832.

The Cold War, c. 1945-1991 (Y12 runs up until 1963)

The AS course is split into two main sections – The origins of the Cold War, 1945-1963 and the widening of the Cold War 1949-1955

The first section of the course covers the relations between US, Britain and USSR in 1945, growing tensions at Yalta and Potsdam, Soviet occupation of eastern and southern Europe, the Iron Curtain speech, the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, the Berlin blockade, the division of East and West Germany and the formation of NATO.

The second section of the Year 12 course covers US containment, US-Japanese relations, China, Taiwan, the defensive perimeter strategy, support for South Korea, the Korean War, attitudes and actions of the UN,USA, USSR and China, military involvement and settlement. The course then looks at increasing tensions, McCarthyism, isolation of China, FRG and NATO, Warsaw Pact, Eisenhower, Dulles and ‘brinkmanship’, domino theory and the Geneva Conference.

Year 13:

Unit 3 Non-Exam Assessment (NEA)

The NEA makes up 20% of the A-Level and is a 3500-word piece of coursework covering the context of 100 years. We have chosen to focus on the move towards Indian Independence 1847-1947.

Students must include with their work accurate historical context, used to support and evaluate their chosen question. They must also refer to at least two historians’ views and compare, analyse and evaluate them, whilst also supporting their work with at least three primary sources.

Students will be taught the background information they will need for the essay but it is very much up to them to carry out their own independent research and find relevant historians and sources to include within their work. They will receive a bibliography to use as a starting point.

Students will work on the NEA from September, with a draft deadline of October half term and a final deadline for completion of the week before the Christmas holiday.

Industrialisation and the People: Britain c. 1783-1885 (Y13 begins from 1832)

The A2 course is split into two main sections – the Age of Reform 1832-1885 and Economy, Society and Politics 1846-1885.

The first section covers the aftermath of the Great Reform Act, the decline of the Whigs and rise of the Tories, reforms and reactions to social change, pressures for change and the Conservative response to change, economic and social developments and the changing lives of the urban poor.

The second section of the course covers changes in government and political organisation, Gladstone and Disraeli as Prime Ministers, social campaigns and other pressures for change and economic and social developments caused by the mid-Victorian boom. Finally, students will sum up the political, economic and social condition of Britain by 1885.

Year 13 students will then need to revise the Y12 content, which will also be referred to throughout Y13.

The Cold War, c. 1945-1991 (Y13 begins from 1963)

The A2 course is split into three main sections – Confrontation and Co-operation 1963-1972, The Brezhnev Era 1972-1985 and the Ending of the Cold War 1985-1991.

The first section of the course will cover the Vietnam War, Nixon’s policies concerning Vietnamisation and relations with China, co-operation between Kennedy and Khrushchev and pressures on the USSR from Czechoslovakia and the Brezhnev Doctrine.

The second section will cover the USA and SE Asia, the extent of Détente up to 1979, the Second Cold War and the reasons for renewed hostilities and developments in Africa and the Americas including Cuban intervention in Angola and Ethiopia and the impact of US intervention in Latin America.

The third section of the course will cover Gorbachev and the ending of the Cold War, the summits between the USA and the USSR, the collapse of Communism in the Eastern European soviet satellite states, the end of the Brezhnev Doctrine and the significance of events in 1989. Finally the course will cover the ending of tensions in Asia, including Afghanistan, the Americas, Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Africa, Angola and Ethiopia and ultimately the collapse of the USSR and the resignation of Gorbachev.

Year 13 students will then need to revise the Y12 content, which will also be referred to throughout Y13.

Key Websites