The History Department pride ourselves on making History relevant to all of our students. We aim to inspire students to want to find out more about History so that they can gain a greater understanding of the world that we live in today. Students also learn to think historically and to enquire into the past. As a result, History becomes more than just fascinating stories about unbelievable events and larger than life characters, rather it develops a multitude of skills that are transferable to a host of different situations.
In Lower School, our curriculum is constantly evolving and students investigate a range of different topics from The Battle of Hastings to the present day as well as a selection of wider-world studies. Topics have specific enquiry questions, for example, ‘How did 2 bullets lead to 20 million deaths?’ so that students adopt an investigative approach to their studies in History. Students also complete a number of extended projects, such as the local history project on Romsey Abbey that is awarded a cash prize, thanks to The Romsey and District Society.
In Year 7 students explore interpretations of medieval kings and assess the extent of their power. This then links to their studies of the Tudors and issues of control that this famous dynasty had to resolve, before tracing the origins of the English Civil War.
In Year 8 we move onto the grime, sewage and slime of the Industrial Revolution. Students learn about the African kingdom of Benin and the impact of the British Empire and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We continue our studies by looking at the significance of the American and French Revolutions before evaluating the huge changes which take place in the 20th century brought about by the Suffragettes and the First and Second World Wars.
We begin our Year 9 studies investigating the life of Winston Churchill and analysing whether he was indeed the ‘Greatest Briton’.
Students also discover that the post-war world was full of uncertainty with huge social changes in Britain and strained international relations caused by the Cold War.
After February half-term, we begin to teach our students the GCSE specification, starting with Crime and Punishment through time. However, at all times we aim to react to the historical news stories of the day and encourage students to find out about key events and individuals as they appear in the news. This promotes a culture of discussion and debate in our classrooms.
Students follow the Edexcel 9-1 specification in which they study a variety of eras, countries and themes to ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of British and world history. Topics include Crime and Punishment (c.1000-present day), Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-39), Superpower Relations and the Cold War (1941-91) and Early Elizabethan England (1558-1588). The course is assessed by a 100% terminal exam, which is sat at the end of Year 11.
Facilities and Resources
The History Department has four classrooms. Each room has display boards to demonstrate the excellent work produced by the students as well as keywords, concepts and literacy aids to create a stimulating and learning-rich environment. We also have access to Chromebooks that enable us to provide the students with opportunities to develop their ICT skills in History and access the wealth of interactive History material on the internet.
Trips and Extra Curricular Activities
We run a weekly History Club at lunchtime where students conduct historical research, watch documentaries and play games such as History Top Trumps!
Each year, we take Year 7 students on a day trip to the Tower of London or Hampton Court Palace to support their study of medieval and Tudor England.
I still remember my trip to the Tower of London!"
In Upper School, trips are closely linked to the GCSE specification. Year 10s have the opportunity to take part in a workshop at the National Archives before visiting Whitechapel as part of their Historic Environment study. We also run a three-day residential trip to Berlin to support students’ understanding of Weimar and Nazi Germany and the Cold War.
Mr Brierley is Head of History, you can contact him through this email with the subject line marked "FAO: Mr Brierley Head of History".