“ We believe that the study of History should be fun but rigorous and we have developed our curriculum to combine both the skills of the historian and the topics which we see as essential for a rounded education.”Mrs Pagnamenta, Head of History
Our department consists of one full-time and three part-time specialist teachers. Our dedicated classrooms house our extensive history library and provide a well-ordered learning environment. We constantly review recent publications, such as Hindsight and History Today and have a well-stocked range of textbooks and historical publications available for the girls. Displays of girls’ work and of trips are constantly shown in order to encourage and stimulate. Historical skills are fostered rigorously and we ensure that historical study is both academic and absorbing.
We currently run two major overseas trips: to the First World War Battlefields with Year 9 and to Berlin with our GCSE classes. Both aim to be memorable and stimulating providing girls with a physical appreciation of the events they study in the classroom and allowing them to make vital connections. We also regularly take year 10 and 12 students to the Chalke Valley History Festival for stimulating talks and hands-on experiences. All girls can attend our lunchtime History Film Club where we show a range of enjoyable and interesting historical films.
We follow a broadly chronological approach at key stage 3 starting in 1066 with the Norman Conquest through to the 1960s and the campaign for Civil Rights in the USA. Lessons aim to be engaging using contemporary source materials and encouraging critical analysis. We want to ensure that women’s voices are heard and have a unit on the Witchcraze and an in-depth study on the campaign for Women’s suffrage and equality.
We have a strong up-take at GCSE with two classes studying the Cambridge IGCSE 20th century World History course. This allows us chronological continuity, looking at International Relations from 1919-1991, and a depth study on Germany. At Sixth Form girls can choose either the IB or A level (OCR) and many students carry on with the subject or related disciplines in Higher Education.
The Department is energetic, with clubs and book groups for all, to stimulate and enrich. Whether re-enacting the lives of medieval peasants or reading Victorian novels with insights into social history or contributing to the understanding of Women’s History, we ensure that our study of History is always thought-provoking. We constantly explore History beyond the classroom and point out the important connections between past and present which make our subject so very relevant.