The main aim of the History department is to make the subject a source of pleasure and enrichment, one to which students will want to return for the rest of their lives. A good sense of chronology is important if students are to place new information into context, so our curriculum in the lower schools takes a broadly chronological approach. The quality of such knowledge is another important feature of the department. Our teachers are subject specialists and take pride in the range and depth of their historical knowledge. We use a wide variety of resources and take imaginative approaches to lessons to make history come alive. We also focus on making sure pupils develop the skills they will need to be excellent students of history. We teach them how to critically examine evidence, think analytically about causation, continuity and change, develop balanced arguments and reach supported judgements.
We also look for opportunities to develop our pupils’ historical awareness through extra-curricular activities. In February 2017 we took around 40 IGCSE students to Berlin to enrich their understanding of Weimar and Nazi Germany. This trip took in a wide range of sites of historical and cultural interest, including the Berlin Wall, The Reichstag, the Jewish Museum and The Olympic Stadium.
The department also ensures that girls’ studying History at A Level have the opportunity to hear leading historians talk about the topics they are studying. For example, in December 2016, the Lower and Upper Sixth History students travelled to London for an A Level conference on the early Tudors.
History offers a wonderful spectacle of every type of human being trying to cope with being alive in the times into which they were born. Love, hate, greed, generosity, brilliance, stupidity – all human life is there.
THE HISTORY CURRICULUM
Based in the main school building, girls are taught in purpose-built classrooms. When required for research purposes some lessons may be taught in one of the state-of-the-art ICT suites.