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History Department

We believe that no-one should leave school without having an understanding of their past, which will inform their preparation as future global citizens. With this in mind we are very conscious of the multicultural make-up of our student body and attempt wherever possible to add an international dimension to our curriculum, while at the same time acknowledging our very special local environment.

Our chief aim in the History Department is to stimulate interest and enthusiasm for a subject that we are all totally committed to. We use a wide variety of teaching styles to help each of our students to reach their full academic potential. During lessons they are challenged to think independently, communicate effectively, to judge evidence and come to conclusions and to tolerate the ideas and opinions of others. Our students will also develop the ability to construct arguments, analyse information from a variety of sources and to undertake effective research.   

History is taught to all students in Years 7-9 and is then an option for IGCSE and IB level.  All classes are of mixed ability. There is a strong uptake of History at IGCSE level with approximately two thirds of Year 9 opting to continue their studies. The popularity of History at IB level has increased with the number of students studying IB history doubling since September 2005. We are very pleased with the steady rise in both IGCSE and IB results in recent years. On average approximately one third of IB History students pursue the subject at University by choosing degrees in History, International Relations, or Political Science.   

In order to encourage and inspire our younger pupils we organise an annual Key Stage 3 Historical Fiction competition. This has proved to be an increasingly popular event in our calendar with approximately fifty entries each year. This initiative is well supported by the English Department and also benefits from the frequent visit to school of Caroline Lawrence, the author of the popular ‘Roman Mysteries’ series for children aged 10-14.   

We are very conscious of our special local environment and attempt to exploit this whenever possible. In Y7 our students study the Roman Empire and Y8 students the Renaissance. Both topic areas offer ample opportunities for field trips within Rome and its environs. Weekend trips to Florence also serve to enhance the study of the Renaissance. Heading further afield, our annual Y10 five day trip to Berlin contributes significantly to the study of IGCSE Nazi Germany and the Cold War.  

For more information, please contact Sue McClaren, Head of History.