HISTORY (A Level and IB)

History is a highly academic subject which is respected by university admissions tutors, and provides invaluable transferable skills which act as a bedrock for success in many professions.

The study of History provides the tools required for logical lines of fluently expressed thought with substantiated explanation and persuasive conclusions. It allows debate and discussion in its search for objective judgements.

History is taught at A Level with great enthusiasm by subject specialists who have a wealth of research experience. Our History Department consists of one full-time and three part-time specialist teachers. Anne Ockwell, Head of Department, has degrees in History and English and a post-graduate Masters in Education. She has wide experience of conducting historical research, and has a number of historical publications. We are a closely- knit team of enthusiasts, full of zeal for our subject, believing it to be an invaluable part of the school curriculum and lending itself to vibrant and memorable learning for all.

Our dedicated classrooms house our extensive history library and a well-ordered learning environment. We constantly review recent publications and have a well-stocked range of textbooks and historical publications available for the girls to peruse. Historical skills are fostered rigorously and we ensure that historical study is both academic and absorbing.

Our chosen Examination Board for A Level is OCR. We teach selected 19th century British, and 15th and 16th century Spanish History for study in Year 12.  Year 13 students write independent coursework on a chosen historical topic and study Tudor Foreign Policy for the written themes paper. We ensure that not only the best specialist textbooks are available but also an impressive supply of extension reading, both History and Literature, to enhance delivery and study.

Our Sixth Form students are deeply involved with the various clubs and book groups we run, designed to stimulate and enrich and allow the older girls to develop leadership and more advanced analytical skills. We constantly explore History beyond the classroom and point out the important connections between past and present which make our subject so very relevant.

As well as the numerous History trips available for girls throughout their time at school, there is also the opportunity annually for sixth formers to attend the Focus on Europe Conference in Paris and take part in an impressive analysis of current European issues.

We are fortunate that the GDST provides an Annual Oxbridge Conference for students who are making UCAS choices. The Conference alternates between Cambridge and Oxford, and the insight it provides into Higher Education at these world- class universities has been much valued by many of our students.   History is valued by our students as an entrée to many academic courses at Higher Level and, beyond that, to many professions. They have taken up places at Oxford, UCL, St Andrew’s and many Russell group universities in recent years.

The IB course in History is available at both Standard and Higher Levels.  We teach 19th and 20th century World History and supervise an internal assessment. We build on the GCSE course but also introduce new topics such as Alexander II, Mussolini, Mao, and Castro. We ensure that not only the best specialist textbooks are available but also an impressive supply of extension reading, both History and Literature, to enhance delivery and study.

All Subjects