The past creates the present. It is impossible to fully comprehend the world today unless you understand history. The aim of the department is to encourage a love of history amongst pupils throughout the school. This is achieved in many ways, all of which are designed to stimulate enthusiasm for the broad narrative sweep of history, while developing an appreciation amongst pupils of the subtleties of source analysis. Learning is augmented by trips abroad, visiting speakers, and regular meetings of the Junior and Senior History Societies.
In the first three years we teach a chronological survey of British history from 1066 through to the 19th century. Major world events are also studied such as the French Revolution. In Year 9 there is a far more of a global approach as the main events of the early 20th century are studied. The concentrated time period allows us to study topics such as the First World War in some depth and develop techniques such as source analysis and extended writing that will be needed if they continue with the subject higher up the school. The syllabus ends in 1945 ready for the GCSE Cold War topic. After the summer exam there is an opportunity for the pupils to do independent research into an historical topic of their own choosing.
The department follows the Edexcel IGCSE course. This comprises the study of 4 topics: The Cold War, Weimar and Nazi Germany, The Russian Revolution and the Arab-Israeli Conflict or the Changing Nature of Warfare. The pupils are strongly encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by doing additional research and keeping a record of how well they understand each topic they cover.
The department follows the AQA linear A Level over two years. The two examined topics studied are The Crusades, 1071-1204 or Spain in the Age of Discovery, 1469-1598 (on rotation) and The Making of Modern Britain, 1951-2007. The rationale is to study two important but very different periods of history which both have an interesting narrative at their heart. The third element of the course is a 4000 word historical investigation into a topic chosen by the pupil.