History 11-16

Why become a teacher of history?

Becoming a history teacher isn’t just about dates and facts; it’s about weaving stories that connect us to our past. In this role, you have the power to ignite curiosity, encourage critical thinking, and shape tomorrow’s leaders. By exploring diverse cultures, significant historical events, and the stories of ordinary people, you’ll inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation for our shared history. Becoming a history teacher is a chance to not only educate but also to empower students to question, reflect, and contribute to a richer understanding of our collective past and its impact on our world today.


Being a teacher of history means you will support young people to: 

  • understand why the world is the way it is today;
  • share your knowledge and interest in the history of the world at a global, national and local level;
  • teach young people to interpret information objectively;
  • support young people to see their own values more objectively;
  • help young people develop appropriate literacy, language and skills of argument.


What are the key concepts that underpin our approach to the teaching of history?

  • Change and continuity
  • Cause and consequence
  • Similarity and difference
  • Significance, which inform the types of questions historians ask about past events, people and situations, and which are sometimes called second-order concepts
  • Chronological understanding, which provides a framework for comprehending the past (ie understanding and using appropriately dates, vocabulary and conventions that describe historical periods and the passing of time; developing a sense of period through describing and analysing the relationships between the characteristic features of periods and societies; building a chronological framework of periods and using this to place new knowledge in its historical context)
  • Interpretations of history, which is about analysing how and why the past has been interpreted in different ways
  • Recognising and understanding what we mean by substantive and procedural knowledge
  • How pupils learn in history, including misconceptions and preconceptions

I really enjoyed the deep academic engagement with the history and substance of my subject. I felt that the expert guidance given really helped contextualise my own knowledge and learning into the reality of the classroom. 

How is our history course constructed?

This course is built on an extensive research base in teaching history and it is closely interwoven with our Central Curriculum Sessions as part of our overall Integrated Curriculum approach. Each year we review all aspects of our courses to ensure that they cover the most relevant components of the subject as well as introducing you to the most commonly taught ideas and concepts. Mentors and specialist teachers in our partnership schools also play a crucial role in reviewing the programme to ensure that it gives the very best preparation for becoming a great history teacher.

Our carefully designed curriculum is structured so that you will have approximately one Subject Curriculum Session a week across the 2024-25 academic year. Alongside this, subject specificity is carefully woven throughout all aspects of the course, including the ongoing assessment process and the optional PGCE assignments, so that all content is relevant to you and your teaching. Subject Curriculum Sessions will develop on the ideas and theory raised in your general Central Curriculum Sessions so that you have expert guidance on how best to deliver strategies and techniques in your specific subject area. 

Our history course prepares you to teach across the 11-16 age range, and you will be formally assessed in those key stages. In addition you will also have the opportunity to observe and teach KS5/ A level in at least one of your placements and your Subject Curriculum Sessions will include training that prepares you to teach KS5/ A level.

The links below will provide you with information about the curriculum and programmes of study for Key Stage 3 and 4 that schools are expected to deliver, these shape the content that your Subject Curriculum Sessions will cover, to ensure that you are able and confident to teach across the full range of topic areas included.


Professional Subject Association

As well as introducing you to a wealth of relevant books, articles and research papers from our own resources and library, you will also have funded access to The Historical Association, the professional body for history teachers. 

Membership will be set up and arranged for you at the start of the course and your Subject Specialist will guide you on how best to use the resources, professional learning community and events from the association to support your subject development and the lessons that you will prepare and deliver.

Meet the Subject Specialist

Katie has been a teacher of History since completing her SCITT training in 2016-17. She has taught at Wheatley Park for over 5 years, initially as her second SCITT placement. As well as being passionate about teaching History in the classroom, Katie has experience as Acting Head of Department, as well as mentoring training teachers both as part of the SCITT.

My initial passion for teaching came from a love of working with young people and seeking to draw out their potential. This still frames my motivation and drive for seeing excellent teacher training, with a particular focus on the fantastic subject that is history! Through the best teaching and learning practice, we equip more and more teachers to go on and help even more young people fulfil their potential. History is a powerful subject which can inspire and help develop young people who understand their context and story, as well as improve literacy and oracy. Through history subject specialist sessions, our curriculum addresses the complexities of both disciplinary and substantive aspects of the subject, moving us all further on the journey to being expert practitioners!

Katie Ridgway - Subject Specialist for history