We encourage pupils to think deeply about human and societal issues through the study of past events in local, national and international spheres.
Our goal is to produce well-rounded, politically and socially-aware young people who can draw parallels between different eras and who understand the relevance of History to the present, allowing them to be active and informed citizens of the future.
We teach a thousand years chronologically at Key Stage 3 from the Norman Conquest to the American Civil Rights Movement, allowing pupils to build a mental timeline and establishing foundations for more complex future learning. At GCSE, we study Health and the People c.1000-2000; Elizabethan England; Weimar and Nazi Germany and International Relations, 1918-39. At A Level, the units we study are designed to give students the knowledge we think they most need as adults in today’s world: The Crusades gives them an understanding of the Islamic perspective and East-West relations so that they can contextualise the modern conflicts of the Middle East; Modern Britain 1937-1997 allows them a political knowledge to underpin their active citizenship as adults; Popular Culture and the Early Modern Witchcraze gives students an insight into how and why a social group can be marginalised, scapegoated and persecuted, whilst the coursework unit on the Cold War is an exploration of a Manichean conflict of ideologies and its repercussions. The Witchcraze and the Cold War units are deliberately aligned so that students draw parallels between the two eras and their remarkably similar processes of alienation of “the other”.
Crucial transferrable skills, such as distillation, evaluation, debate and persuasive writing are continuously applied and strengthened as students discover and engage with the excitement and colour of past events. Assessed work takes the form of essay-writing, exam-style answers, presentations and more creative work which is displayed around the department.