KS3:History Overview

History at key stage 3

Over the course of Year 9, the students will explore three challenging areas of historical controversy in modern history: the British Empire; the Black Peoples of America and Divided Ireland

1. The British Empire

How was it that, by 1900, Britain controlled nearly a quarter of the world?

In this unit pupils gain an overview of the growth of the British Empire. They learn about how and why Britain acquired a worldwide Empire by focusing on the themes of trade, exploration, war and conquest. Pupils are encouraged to focus on specific people and events, to consider, in depth, various episodes in the history of the British Empire, and to consider the impact on indigenous peoples of the British desire for Empire.

1. Where in the world was the British Empire in 1900?
2. How did overseas trade lead to the building of a powerful Empire of colonies?
3. What part did explorers, adventurers and missionaries play in creating the British Empire?
4. Did the British fight wars to gain colonies?
5. How did British people celebrate Empire Day?

2. Black peoples of America from slavery to equality?

In this unit, pupils learn about black peoples within American society. They are encouraged to consider the changing experiences of the black community, as well as changes within America as a whole, as black peoples moved from slavery to freedom, and towards equality. There are opportunities to examine the varied part played by black peoples in American life and culture, and to reflect upon the nature of ‘freedom’ in America.

1. What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to be a slave?
2. African roots: where did most Black Americans originate?
3. Slavery in Africa: a Portuguese turning point?
4. Sold into slavery: what was the reality of the Atlantic slave trade?
5. Freedom: how was it achieved?
6. From emancipation to segregation: how free were black people?
7. From segregation to civil rights: did the Civil Rights movement bring freedom for black people?

3. Divided Ireland

Why has it been so hard to achieve peace in Ireland?
About this unit
This unit introduces pupils to aspects of the political history of Ireland in the twentieth century. It considers the causes of the partition of Ireland, and how key events in Irish history have been interpreted and represented in different ways by the two communities. The reasons for the outbreak of violence in 1968-9 and the subsequent peace moves are also examined.

1. Why is the past so important to some people in Ireland?
2. Why was Ireland partitioned?
3. Why were there violent protests in Northern Ireland in 1968-9?
4. Why has it been so hard to achieve peace in Ireland?


Each unit will be assessed by a written test. The third unit will also comprise a area of independent research

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One Response to KS3:History Overview

  1. Killi101 says:

    good work!!

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