Curriculum Intent

Curriculum vision/mantra 

The Dorcan Academy’s History curriculum empowers students to find their voice, to stand up against injustice and to be stand out leaders in our ever-expanding metropolis. The History curriculum is not about regurgitating events from the past but providing students with the cultural literacy and the knowledge to evaluate and make sense of the truth. The curriculum disseminates powerful knowledge on the themes of Persecution and Emancipation, Monarchy and Government, Religion and the Church, Imperialism, and expansion, and War and conflict – Tyranny. The Dorcan Academy students will develop the skills to ‘Think like a Historian’, enabling students to have the confidence to question and interrogate socially accepted norms, alongside having the ability to compete and be the very best in society, thus allowing our scholars to leave their mark on history.   

How we aim to achieve our vision/mantra 

We achieve our vision through having high expectations of all students. Lessons are created to inspire, engage, plus challenge students’ preconceptions of the truth through fundamental historical themes and concepts.  Students from all backgrounds are supported through well planned, bespoke lessons with specifically devised activities. Those who need extra provision, to excel, are provided with personalised targeted support. Students are not only taught the skills necessary to succeed at GCSE, but also the skills to succeed in the modern world. Through these clear and coherent actions, we create scholars who can defy the odds, break down barriers and challenge society’s expectations, allowing them to thrive and make a difference in their local and global communities.  

What does a Dorcan Historian look and sound like? 

A Dorcan historian will exude the following characteristics:  

  • Embraces challenge 
  • Confident in word and action 
  • Thirst for knowledge    
  • Word rich 
  • Stands up to injustice  
  • Challenges the status quo 
  • Have conviction in their beliefs as well as being thoughtful, considerate and respectful to those of similar and differing beliefs 
  • Acts as a pillar in society  
  • Open minded and reflective 
  • Emotionally adept in a range of scenarios eg sympathetic, caring and compassionate  


In History last year, 66.3% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 80.7% achieved grades 9 to 4.

What we study – Topic Overview

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 7Migration to Britain through timeUnderstanding the Middle Ages  Understanding the Middle Ages  Understanding the changes in the world 1450-1750Understanding Industrial BritainUnderstanding Industrial Britain
Year 8Native AmericansSugar Empire and slavery through timeWW1WW1WW2 and ChurchillWW2 and Churchill
Year 9Understanding Modern BritainGermany 1918-1932Germany 1918-1932 and The HolocaustThe HolocaustGCSE – OCR B SHP World study – Living under Nazi ruleGCSE – OCR B SHP -World study – Living under Nazi rule
Year 10GCSE – OCR B SHP – World study – The Making of AmericaGCSE – OCR B SHP – World study – The Making of AmericaGCSE – OCR B SHP – Local study – Swindon Railway works and villageGCSE – OCR B SHP – Local study – Swindon Railway works and villageGCSE – OCR B SHP – Crime & Punishment Through TimeGCSE – OCR B SHP – Crime & Punishment Through Time
Year 11GCSE – OCR B SHP – Study in Depth – Elizabethan EnglandGCSE – OCR B SHP – Study in Depth – Elizabethan EnglandGCSE – OCR B SHP – Revision: World study -Living under Nazi rule and Making of AmericaGCSE – OCR B SHP – Revision Local study – Swindon Railway works and villageGCSE – OCR B SHP – Revision: Depth study – Crime & Punishment and Elizabethan England 

How we assess

In History students are assessed in several ways. Students receive regular feedback using the school’s feedback policy: live feedback, review feedback and bridging feedback. Live marking codes are used in lessons to pinpoint areas for development in students’ writing, which they can correct at that time. Quiz questions are used to check understanding and recall knowledge that was learnt in previous lessons. Home learning tasks are created to assess students’ recall of knowledge as well as testing their spellings of Tier two and Tier three words. Formative assessments are used to assess students’ learning and identify gaps that can be closed before summative assessments. Summative assessments are used to check students’ knowledge of different Schemes of Work and their written communication. Students also sit exam papers at the end of topics and during Prelim windows. Whole class feedback sheets are used which identify areas for students to work on to develop further. Students use green pen to correct mistakes and improve their work. Students are formally assessed at the end of Year 11 by undertaking OCR History B SHP GCSE which is externally marked, and students receive a GCSE in the subject if they pass.

Meet the team

Mr Daniel Tanner – Head of History and Character

Miss Alicia Pearce – Teacher of History and Digital Skills

Mr Luke McNee – Teacher of History

Curriculum Allocation

All students study History throughout KS3 at The Dorcan Academy and may choose to continue to follow through to GCSE. 

In Year 7, 8 and 9, all students have 3 lessons a fortnight.

Students in Year 10 and 11 that select History as their global option, or as a second global subject receive 5 lessons a fortnight. 

Enrichment Opportunities

The Humanities faculty offers a mindful art club which provides an opportunity for students to consider their own well-being and strategies for maintaining a positive frame of mind.

Students in history are provided with opportunities to attend after school revision and interventions to accelerate their learning, as well as attend clubs such as ‘The West Wing nuts’ which involves discussions around politics. Students can visit the WW1 battlefields as a part of the Language trip to France.

Students can access support with their revision through signing up for after school or holiday intervention sessions.

A list of books and films linked to the topics covered by the course are available to all students.

The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
Email: enquiries@dorcan.co.uk
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.