You all take History when you come to the School. Towards the end of the Key Stage you have to make your GCSE choices. History is one of the choices. It is possible to take two ‘humanities’ subjects, such as History and Geography, if you wish to specialise.
Students begin with a chronological overview of European History and then study a series of themes stretching across time eg.
- Everyday Life
- Beliefs and Rational Thought
- Forms of Government
- Conflict and co-operation
- Discrimination and Persecution
Key Stage 3 is a period of transition.
There are a variety of teaching methods already familiar, such as project work, role-play, discussion and, where appropriate, visits to historical sites eg. Butser Celtic and Roman Farm, Rochester Castle, local History and learning from historical artefacts. Also you start to develop the more traditional skills of learning, note-taking, structured essay writing, as well as evaluation of historical sources.
You also have opportunities to develop IT along with historical skills.
IGCSE Cambridge Syllabus 0977
11 Teaching Sets (nearly 300 students) are currently preparing for examinations in IGCSE or GCSE History. You will cover the British Thematic Study ‘Warfare and British Society c1250 - the present’, including a focus on ‘London and World War Two 1939-45’. We also teach a British Depth Study ‘King Richard I and King John 1189-1216’ and a non-British Depth Study ‘Russia and the Soviet Union 1917-41’. The topic ‘Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91’ is also taught.
GCSE History combines the traditional emphasis on knowledge and recall of historical facts with the development of historical skills, such as the understanding and use of key concepts and the understanding and evaluation of evidence. Students currently have the opportunity to visit the Imperial War Museum to help them grasp the role of war in shaping events, technology and society. Examinations involve essay writing, shorter answer questions and evaluation of historical sources. In Key Stage 4 History we build on the foundations of Key Stage 3 and look forward to the different demands of the Sixth Form.
The department has an excellent record of GCSE exam success. On average since 2000 nearly 63% of over 2,000 students have achieved A* or A grades.
A Level: Edexcel (8HI0/9HI0)
Nearly 100 students are currently preparing for A-Level History exams.
They study a combination of European and British topics. These involve specialised investigations of themes: The road to Unification: Italy 1830-70; Britain 1785-1870 + Germany 1871-1990 (including a coursework essay on the radicalisation of Nazi Germany 1935-41).
Students develop research, analytical and essay writing skills along with the ability to analyse, cross-reference and evaluate primary and secondary sources. Students get the chance to visit Berlin to help facilitate their understanding of 19th and 20th Century German history.
The History Department gains very impressive results, for example since 2007 72% of our 478 students have achieved A*-B grades at A-Level, with 10% of our students achieving the relatively new and prestigious A* qualification. Many of our students go on to study History (and related subjects) at University.