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Who controls the past controls the future.”

George Orwell

The History department pursues a knowledge rich curriculum that develops a framework of the past for students, to allow them to place events in their appropriate context. Through debating some of the big questions throughout time, students not only learn about the past but how the past has been studied. This allows students to critically engage with contemporary debates and find their voice within modern Britain.

Key Concepts

Students explore a range of historical events which enable them to build a framework of the past and explore the following conceptual threads throughout their study in Years 7-13.

  • How have people’s lives changed over time?
  • Who has had power and how have they exercised it over time?
  • How have people’s beliefs changed over time?

Key Skills

  • Evidence – Students learn what historical evidence is and how is it used to construct an interpretation of the past.
  • Similarity and Difference – Students learn how to make generalisations like historians and to analyse how have past events have affected diverse groups in different ways.
  • Change and Continuity – Students learn to weigh up change and continuity to develop complex explanations about the patterns of change over time.
  • Cause and Consequence – Students learn how to draw connections between events to develop historical explanations for past events which link events together and precisely analyse the role and importance of different causes.
  • Historical Significance – Students develop an appreciation of how historians measure significance to develop criteria of their own and apply them to past events.
  • Chronological Understanding – Students are guided to weave events together to develop a chronological map of the past which they can use to effectively situate new learning into.
  • Historical Interpretations – Students are inducted into the process of how historians use their own key skills to develop a method and engage in a process of enquiry to develop arguments about the past.

What is taught?

Curriculum Map History

Academic Literacy in History

We want to develop students’ ability to write like an historian. To develop this we:

•        Embed extracts from historical scholarship throughout our curriculum to model the process.

•        Explicitly teach key historical vocabulary during our lessons and beforehand.

•        Guide students towards relevant reading, documentaries & podcasts that link to our units of study.

Mayfield students are encouraged to extend their interest in History by… 

  • Attending the weekly meetings of the Historical Society.
  • Borrowing from our growing history library.
  • Reading our history newsletter.
  • Listening to our termly history podcast.

Enrichment Opportunities

Students are warmly invited to the weekly meetings of our historical society where we broaden students horizons by:

  • Developing aspects of our curriculum in greater depth.
  • ‘Meanwhile, elsewhere…’ exploring the events that have unfolded in parallel to our core curriculum.
  • Developing a deeper appreciation of the historical process. Most recently, our History Society modelled the historical process to research and curate a ‘Festival of Britain’ to accompany the school Platinum Jubilee Celebrations.

Careers Guidance and Support for History:




MGSG Careers