A-Level History: Creating an Outstanding KS5 Curriculum

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This new course designed for all teachers of A-Level History, regardless of exam board. The course includes a detailed examination of high-quality curriculum structure, planning, programming, the journey through Years 12 and 13, and includes Key Essentials, Key Concepts, the Wider Curriculum or ‘Super-Curriculum’, assessment, marking, feedback, excellent study skills and habits and finally exam preparation. The need to balance creative freedom with academic rigour will be discussed. Proven curriculum approaches to stretch and challenge able History students as well as curriculum planning for the weaker or under-confident students will be explored. The aim is to empower teachers to re-examine their current KS5 Curriculum, ultimately to improve student attainment at A-Level while at the same time maintaining consistently high standards.


  • Gain a thorough understanding of the key essentials and how to effectively to create a coherent, flexible and enriched History A-Level curriculum
  • Take away methods to establish the key pillars and concepts from the start of the course
  • Learn more about how to build in the ‘wider’; enriched curriculum into your overall curriculum map
  •  Find out more about how to ensure wider, or super-curriculum impacts directly to enhance, broaden and deepen student learning and achievement
  • Strengthen your ability to track and monitor student progress, identifying areas for improvement and intervention
  • Take away innovatory approaches to fuse historical, social culture context into in-depth learning
  • Establish a diverse, broad curriculum, which is cohesive and flows as an active journey through Years 12 and 13

Key Essentials: What makes a Rich and Flexible Curriculum at KS5/A-Level?

10.00 – 10.40am
  • Creating a well-planned, ambitious and relevant curriculum which is thoughtfully implemented and sequenced across Years 12 and 13.
  • Ensuring the content is precisely linked to the examination specification.
  • Key components of curriculum design: examining your current A-Level curriculum
  • Practical ways to ensure a broad and coherent course of study which encourages, promotes and stimulates a cohesive approach
  • Does your curriculum inspire to go beyond the requirements of the examination?


10.40 – 11.00am

Establishing Key Pillars and Concepts At The Start of the Course

11.00 – 11.30am
  • Establish the power of History, how this power works and why
  • Identifying and rectifying gaps in essential knowledge
  • Establishing high academic standards and other achievements in History
  • Building in cultural diversity into your curriculum from the start
  • Historical, social and cultural context – methods and approaches to incorporate into student learning from the start
  • To what extent are you crossing this over into other curricular areas? Maximising the potential of co-curricular links to enhance students’ broader contextual understanding

Creating a Fresh, Innovative and Flexible Year 12 & Year 13 Curriculum

11.30 – 1.00pm
  • Implementing the full journey, integrated, cohesive curriculum map, a key point of which has fluidity, flexibility, capacity and space for inspired learning, for growth – content, skills, the ‘wider’ curriculum, assessment, feedback, rapid progress, study habits and skills, retrieval and recall, exam techniques and tactics into your full, enriched curriculum over the two-year course
  • Developing aural skills for A-Level and beyond
  • Optimising understanding through practical work
  • Ensuring your curriculum builds in the learning space to broaden student experiences and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity – ideas and strategies for maximising achievement
  • Assessment, Marking, Feedback – setting smart targets and embedding assessment into the curriculum planning to make for rapid student progress



1.00 – 2.00pm

Establishing The Wider or ‘Super-Curriculum’ into your Curriculum Programming & Structure

2.00 – 2.45pm
  • Approaches to incorporate the ‘wider’ curriculum into your curriculum – so that enriching experiences have a direct impact on learningand study excellent learning and high standard outcomes
  • From GCSE to A-Level – what should students be able to demonstrate at the end of Year 11?
  • Cultural capital; essential history and philosophy for A-Level historians
  • How to build wider reading into your A-Level History course
  • Stretching able students in higher order thinking, advancing intellectual curiosity
  • Integrating the development and growth of higher order thinking, of intellectual curiosity as part of your curriculum planning
  • Ways to grow thoughtful and resilient learners who enjoy learning through your curriculum
  • Building in enriching experiences appropriate to widen out culture diversity, context, enhanced

Afternoon Break

2.45 – 2.55pm

Measuring The effectiveness of your Curriculum: Achieving High Academic Standards

2.55 – 3.40pm
  •  Using assessment data to identify key areas strengths and weaknesses to foster responsive curriculum planning
  • Maintaining rigorous assessment procedures to promote rapid progress
  • Effective monitoring and tracking systems to ensure the rapid progress of individual and group-wide student progress
  • Incorporating effective feedback techniques into your curriculum teaching and learning cycle to accelerate student progress
  • Implementing intervention strategies to extend higher order thinking in able students and to accelerate learning attainment in weaker students

Excellent Study Skills and Habits, Exam Techniques and Tactics

3.40 – 4.00pm
  • Practical approaches to developing high quality learning and study skills and habits
  • Strategies to promote the study skills and habits of successful students – lesson starters, retrieval and spacing, quality-first teaching to stretch and challenge more able students and support lower prior attainers
  • Specific revision strategies for A-Level History
  • How to use mock exams as formative assessment
  • Encouraging students to drive forward their own learning
  • Working collaboratively with students on key examination skills to give them the best chance of success


London | Wednesday 07 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Keith Milne has over 25 years teaching and examining experience. He is Chief Moderator with a major exam board and has authored and advised on a series of popular books including those detailing how to succeed with the NEA. He is an experienced Head of History and leads a number of courses exploring the routes to success at A-Level History.


  • Heads of History
  • Teachers of A-Level History, both new and experienced
  • Heads of Department or Performing Arts Leaders seeking to improve the department’s overall attainment levels
  • History Teachers interested in enhancing their understanding of a successful and effective curriculum structure for A-level History


  • All teachers of AQA A Level History
  • Teachers looking to improve exam results
  • Heads of History
  • Heads of Humanities

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