Why study history?
History is everywhere. It is not only the past itself but the legacies of the past in the present. History connects things through time and encourages students to take a long view of significant events. History encourages an enquiring mind. For example, just what is it that makes an event significant in the first place and why do different people view the same event in a different way?
All people are living histories. They live in societies with complex cultures and traditions that have taken a long time to evolve. Understanding the link between past and present is essential for a good understanding of what it means to be human.
With a range of high quality teachers within the department, we feel we have expertise in every area with which to support your child and help nurture them into conscientious, thoughtful and risk taking historians.
All students study a range of historical periods ranging chronologically from Pre-historic times, Medieval history right the way through to almost present day. British history features strongly with units of study focused on the Tudor monarchy and the home front during World War Two. Students also get the opportunity to explore European history such as the rise of the Nazi’s and the impact of the Great Depression. Furthermore, fascinating explorations of the international slave trade and the scope of the British Empire across the globe place world history firmly in our programme of historical study. The programme of study across the three years has variety and interest for anyone curious about people, places and the decisions we make as a society. There is the chance to get to grips with political, economic and social history, so there will be something for every student to enjoy. Most importantly, we actively encourage our students to challenge historical interpretations. For example, was William of Normandy’s decision making during the battle of Hastings as decisive and brilliant as previously believed? Or did he just get really lucky on the day against a battle weary force? Did Harold cost himself victory?
When students choose history at GCSE they will hone their research skills and ability to analyse original source material in a series of exciting topics newly available. There will be the opportunity to study conflict across the USA. For example, we delve into the American West and assess whether the US government actually committed genocide against the Native Indians. We also study the USA 1954-75, including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, as well as more familiar topics such as early Elizabethan England including Renaissance art and culture, global exploration, piracy, spying and changes to religion. Students’ source skills will improve as they explore case studies during the ‘Crime and Punishment 1000-Present day. For example, we study Hopkins’s witch trials, the Gunpowder plot and execution of Derek Bentley through a diverse range of historical periods to understand the continuities and change that have taken place in the justice system of this country over the last 1000 years.
How will I be assessed?
GCSE assessment will be 100% examination. There will be three in total across the different topic areas mentioned above.