Topics studied over the five years include the Making of Modern Britain 1890-1918, covering the issue of poverty and the Liberal reforms, women’s suffrage and the First World War. At GCSE we cover international relations in the inter-war period 1919-39, the development of the Cold War 1945-75 and Germany 1918-45. The A Level course comprises the Mid-Tudor Crisis and the reign of Elizabeth I, 1547-1603, Russia 1894-1941 and the struggle for US Civil Rights 1860-1990.
We consider the importance of individuals in shaping history whilst understanding the significance of the broader context in which they lived. Students are given an understanding of differing historical interpretations of the past and begin to appreciate the writing of history as a subjective process. They also develop a discriminatory eye for detail, learn how to critically evaluate documents in context and how to construct multi-causal explanations. The work of the department is enhanced by a variety of overseas trips and guest speakers. We have an active History Society, which publishes a magazine, The 1807, with a student editorial board. This publication acts as a vehicle for discussion and debate, and a platform for the commissioning and presentation of articles on students’ wider interests. It also develops editorial, design and desk-top publishing skills.