The aims of the History Department are to…
- Promote a love of history in order that students may feel intrinsically gratified from learning about the past and to develop a passion for the subject that they take into their adult life beyond education. Visiting speakers to the department in the past two years include Professor Christopher Read, Professor Jo Fox, Dr Tom Davies and Dr Simon Topping.
- Provide opportunity for students to learn about the diverse history of the Island in which they live and that of the wider world. This is done through visits to sites as diverse as La Hougue Bie, the First World War Battlefields, the War Tunnels, a 19th Century London Operating Theatre, Hampton Court, and Washington D.C and Alabama.
- Encourage empathy with people in the past and to see how history helps us to understand the lives of people today. Enquiries are carefully selected to help students see the connection between history and the present day.
- To promote the value of History as a unique academic discipline whilst also encouraging cross-curricular learning. Students pursue an enquiry based approach to learning that is focussed on studying the past through the lens of second-order concepts such as causation, change and continuity and historical significance.
Students are introduced to a wide range of historical content in Key Stage 3. In Year 7 we start with the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest and progress through a range of significant events including the Black Death, Magna Carta, Peasants Revolt, Henry VIII and the reign of Elizabeth I. We include lots of work on contemporary sources and interpretations of the past to encourage students to think about how history is constructed.
Students start the year by carrying out an investigation into human rights and how the concept of rights has emerged over time. Students study the features of the English Civil War, Glorious Revolution, French Revolution and Industrial Revolution. They continue their study of rights with in-depth investigations into crucial periods of History where rights have either been withheld or ignored altogether such as the evils of the transatlantic slave trade.
During year nine, students will study the causes and effects of World War One, the rise of dictatorships, life for ordinary people in Nazi Germany and World War Two. Students also undertake an in-depth study into the events of the Holocaust. In year nine pupils make their GCSE option choices; and as a department, it is very much hoped that pupils will continue their study of history in order to further develop their understanding of their place in the world.
At GCSE, students build further on the skills of historical enquiry gained at key stage three. Assessment is at the end of Year 11 with students sitting one exam on topics 1+2 and another exam on topics 3+4. The History department follows the specification from AQA and over the course of the two years students will study:
1 -Conflict and tension: the inter-war years, 1918-1939
This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different individuals and states including the Great Powers. It looks at concepts such as national self-determination, ideas of internationalism and the challenges of revising the peace settlement. It focuses on the causes of the Second World War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the issues which caused it. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change, as well as how they were affected by and influenced international relations.
2 -Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship
This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – the development and collapse of democracy and the rise and fall of Nazism. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.
3 - Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day
This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of short and long term developments, their impact on British society and how they were related to the key features and characteristics of the periods during which they took place. Although the focus of this study is the development of medicine and public health in Britain, it will draw on wider world developments that impacted on the development of medicine, surgery and public health in Britain.
4 -Elizabethan England, c1568–1603
This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, such as her relationship with Mary Queen of Scots, conflict with Spain and the difficulties of being a female ruler in the 16th century.
The aim of the Sixth Form course is to develop an understanding of the complex interaction between great individuals, socio-economic change and political rivalry in an international context of war and revolution. Those following recent events including race riots in the USA and the different ways states have dealt with Covid-19 will appreciate the significance of such understanding for the world today. In Sixth Form students follow the AQA syllabus.
Students explore Russian history between 1917-1929 examining the decline of Tsarism and the rise of Communism. Alongside this students complete an exploration of the reign of the early Tudor monarchs focussing on socio-economic, religious and political developments. They will also begin their research for the independent study of nineteenth and early twentieth century political reform in the UK with a specific focus on the women’s suffrage movement. There will be an opportunity to visit Hampton Court Palace and hear a series of lectures from eminent university professors.
Students continue their study of Russia and the Tudors. They will learn about Stalin’s rule and also the mid-Tudor crisis and the eventual Gloriana of the reign of Elizabeth I. Students will also complete their independent study relating to nineteenth and early twentieth century political reform in the UK. There will also be the opportunity to attend revision lectures in London.
Key Stage 5 reading list
• S Waller and C. Rowe, Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953, Oxford, 2016 – Core textbook
C Corin & T Fiehn, Communist Russia under Lenin and Stalin, Hodder, 2002
• D Evans, Stalin’s Russia, Teach Yourself, 2005
• O Figes, Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A Pelican Introduction,Pelican Books, 2014
J Laver, The Impact of Stalin’s Leadership in the USSR 1924-41, Nelson Thornes, 2008
• J Laver, Triumph and Collapse: Russia and the USSR 1941-1991, Nelson Thornes, 2009
• S Philips, Stalinist Russia, Heinemann, 2000
• A Todd, The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe 1924-2000, CUP, 2012
• S Waller, Imperial Russia, Revolutions and the emergence of the Soviet State 1853-1924, CUP, 2012
• J Laver, Revolution and Dictatorship: Russia 1917-1953, OUP Spring 2015
S. Waller and M. Tillbrook, The Tudors: England 1485-1603, Oxford, 2015 – Core textbook
C Lee, Britain, 1483-1529, Nelson Thornes, 2008
R Carpenter, The Church in England and the Struggle for Supremacy, 1529-1547, Nelson Thornes, 2009
M Tillbrook, The Triumph of Elizabethan Britain 1547-1603, Nelson Thornes, 2009
I Dawson, The Tudor Century, Nelson Thornes, 1993
G R Elton, England Under the Tudors, Routledge, 1991
J Guy, Tudor England, OUP, 1998