Curriculum History


Our intention in Five Islands History is to grow skilled and knowledgeable historians, using the key principles below to fire learners’ enthusiasm for studying inspiring and worthwhile history.

From the moments when they ‘bump up’ against the substantive content of our exciting curriculum through immersive learning in the Primary phase, to the rigorous analysis that characterises GCSE History and prepares them for further study, we use Essential Questions to drive historical enquiry, grappling with the disciplinary concepts of cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, sources of evidence, interpretations and historical significance.

We are guided in our curriculum design by the expectations of the National Curriculum 2013, ensuring wide chronological coverage of events and wider trends, while developing a powerful awareness among our learners of the position of British history within global developments and the challenges of understanding the lives of real people in the past. We are strongly committed to a three-year Key Stage 3 to give all students access to the rich study of history for as long as possible, while building the crucial historical framework needed to study history as a specialism in Key Stage 4.


Our curriculum aims to encourage learners to become curious, to develop their own opinions based on a respect for evidence, and to build a deeper understanding of the present by engaging with and questioning the past.


The structure and content of the curriculum ensures that students study a variety of periods from a variety of perspectives, understanding social and cultural diversity from the Vikings and Normans to the 21st century.


All the topics studied address knowledge of significant historical issues, covering concepts such as political movements, government, empire, ordinary lives, the migration of people, power and control


Students study the secrets that local artefacts, buildings and oral histories can tell them about the past, engaging with Scilly’s relationship with wider national events such as Roman Britain, the Spanish Armada, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World Wars


The course is based around the idea of historical enquiry, where driving essential questions and the key concepts of the discipline shape the students’ developing thinking, reflecting best practice in school history and the live historical debates around each topic


Our curriculum trains students to think critically about how interpretations of history are constructed, using original sources ranging from 1930s German propaganda to ship excavations in 8th century Norway to interrogate statements about the past.