History is all about the telling of stories - big, small and tall, always interesting and often amusing. The History department aims to thread the stories together chronologically in the lower and middle school, to provide a broad picture of change over time. The department operates its own marking scheme which monitors the standard and effort of pupils weekly and on a consistent basis. Examination classes study specific periods and topics with the emphasis on pupils working increasingly by themselves and encouraging more intimate engagement in class.
History is a very exciting subject and a popular one. Generating an enthusiastic and enduring interest in the subject, as well as developing the ability of pupils to think for themselves and arrive at logical and reasoned judgements, are key departmental objectives.
Visits and extra-curricular activity is an integral part of each syllabus taught and outings are arranged for each year group whenever possible. During Years 7-9 trips are organised to Glastonbury Abbey, Torrington and Bristol. A visit to Berlin is arranged in Year 10 as part of study of the Cold War and both World Wars as well as a trip to London to visit key historical sites and museums. We also arrange regular History Society Lectures for our pupils and members of the local community who are interested in historical issues and events.
The History syllabus through Key Stage 3 and on to GCSE is treated as a continuum. In Years 7 and 8 the focus is on the Tudors and Stuarts – from the Reformation in Europe, the early Tudors and Elizabethan England to Cromwell and the Jacobites and the social and cultural history from 1600 to 1740. Year 9 pupils study aspects of the 18th and 19th centuries including the economic, social and political change in England and World War One.
Having established a firm historical foundation at Key Stage 3, the GCSE course focuses on the modern history of the 20th century. Study of historical periods including The Cold War, Germany 1918-45, British History from 1890-1918, and either America 1919-1941 or Russia 1917-41 tests pupils’ abilities in terms of factual knowledge as well as demanding analysis and explanation of events. History is one of the most popular GCSE option subjects and the department is very proud of the excellent results that pupils achieve.