History at Hartsdown equips students with lifelong learning into the past applied to the present and crucial skills to apply to all areas of work. The aim of studying history is to develop key understanding of our present through the past, without such knowledge, we fail to challenge and develop our diverse society. For this to happen, History at Hartsdown delves deeper into rights and protest, exploring diversity around the world such as India, Africa and America and, crucially, our local history – to truly understand where we lie in the world.

History will offer opportunities to create investigations, embed empathy and develop the reasons behind why things happen and the impact it has had such as medieval religion, the rise of dictators and Wars. Beyond the factual and conceptual knowledge, History at Hartsdown gives pupils the foundations by which all of their subjects are built on, without such foundations, students would struggle to access the real world effectively. History at Hartsdown lies at the heart of what makes us active, diverse and global citizens ready to tackle the world.

History is a subject that requires curiosity and imagination from its students. History helps students to develop their own identity through knowledge of those events that occurred in local, national or international spheres. This helps students to ask questions and to develop different perspectives of the same event.

It is encouraged that students be interested in historical events in a variety of ways, such as through excursions to visit monuments, watching documentaries and films, or talking to family members about historical events. Reading the newspaper is also useful as it helps develop critical analysis and interpret different sources of information.

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 students follow the challenging International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. The study of History is not just about memorising dates and historical facts, but also requires the student to analyse the past effectively. Pupils will travel back in time and dive into the History of England and all of the most significant events that took place in Europe in the twentieth century.

In history we work to help students understand how history fits together, concentrating primarily on the breadth of British and global history. Students will gain an understanding of how our diverse community has been made and their place in shaping society.

To ensure that students enjoy the subject we aim to make history a lived experience using drama, artefacts and experiences such as the WW1 Trenches. Other topics that History will cover will be American and British Civil Rights, suffragettes, the Rise of Hitler, medieval Africa and the conquest of England.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, students complete GCSE History. During this, students study a range of historical eras. Students build on their KS3 knowledge and skills and learn to apply them into the next step of being a historian. The current topics we offer at this level are:

  • Early Elizabethan England
  • Superpower and relations: The Cold War
  • USA Conflict at home and Abroad
  • Warfare Through time

Key Stage 5 (Sixth form IBDP)

History at Hartsdown continues the development of Historians through its curriculum at sixth form in the IBCP course. It enriches students with the opportunities to study a wide range of topics and explore the past as a Historian themselves in internal investigations.

Current topics students delve into are:

  • Rise of Hitler and Castro
  • Causes and effects of WW2 and Falklands war
  • The Rwandan genocide and the intervention in Kosovo


An essential part of students being a historian at Hartsdown is getting them involved in exploring the history in practical ways, through artefacts and trips. We are fortunate to work with the Trench experience in Margate. Students are able to experience a little of what it is like to have lived through WW1.

Trips Abroad
Students have visited Bruges and trenches in France. We also run trips to numerous museums to get students actively involved, previous trips have involved IWM, The Globe and Natural History museum. We are expecting to offer opportunities to visit other important sites over the next few years.

Student Comments

“I love history. Getting to try on world war uniform made war really real”

Year 8

“In  MYP we get to use our skills from English to work on our History. This makes a real difference and I am making great progress.”

Year 7