History Studies are accessed in the History Room and are open to students from Class 3 onwards. The timetable allows plenty of opportunities to follow and develop personal areas of interest, as well as the study of discrete, taught units of study, some of which can lead to an exam course*. Whatever the circumstance, the major focus of any study is always based around engagement in questioning and discussion, as well as developing skills of recording ideas in a range of creative forms. This approach ensures that students have the experience of both the breadth and depth of the topics they meet and the time to enjoy and gain personal satisfaction from investigation and discovery.
When students arrive in Class 3 for the first time, they often ask to access information about British History. Some knowledge of British History helps to give them, as members of a culturally diverse community, a common grounding of a range of the significant themes in history that have helped to shape the United Kingdom. It also goes helps them to begin to understand events in the media and current affairs.
There is however scope and time available to study a much wider range of topics. Opportunities to investigate the ‘seeds of an idea’ are always welcomed, as are opportunities to discuss and challenge ‘big statements’, which may be considered by some as fact rather than opinion. The learning journey is a shared process, the pace of which is determined by all those engaged and lengthened or shortened based on levels of interest and enjoyment. In recent years individual topics as diverse as: ‘The History of Namibia’, ‘Weaponry in World War 1’, ‘The Bloomsbury Set’, ‘Mayan Structures’ and ‘Who killed Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary Queen of Scots?’. (Some of these lessons would be referred to as Individual Studies on the school timetable.)
The History Room is a bright, well-resourced learning environment. Displays of different historical topics and examples of student’s work change regularly to stimulate interest and generate questions.
*A 2-year IGCSE Course is offered to students through Sign Up. We currently use the Cambridge IGCSE (0470) the focus of which is International Relations during the 20th Century.