Through its teaching style, the History Department encourages full participation by pupils in lessons, whether in debates, class discussion, group work or occasional rôle-plays. The focus of class and homework ranges from short-answer responses to essay-writing, with a common emphasis on handling source material. We teach students how to work independently and then to present the results of their study to others.
The department provides all the core resources students require, including textbooks and handouts. All History rooms have an interactive whiteboard, DVD players and VCRs, and extensive use is made of these. Nevertheless, to ensure students' potential is fulfilled and top grades are achieved, we encourage boys to use the School's learning resources network, where academic notes, articles from history journals, past papers and mark schemes can be found. Similarly, the School library houses many texts that cannot necessarily be covered in class time but form essential wider reading.
In Years 7-9 we cover: Romans; Medieval Realms; Black peoples of the Americas;Tudors and Stuarts; Industrial Revolution; World War 1; World War 2; the Holocaust and aspects of the Cold War. At GCSE, students look at: the USA 1919-45 including the Wall Street Crash and New Deal; the USA 1945-1980 including the Civil Rights Movement; the Russian Revolution and China 1911-76.
At A-Level, pupils study British and European history including: Weimar and Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Stalin and the USSR, and 19th-century British political history focussing on the development of democracy in the British political system from 1830-1885.
The History Department offers extensive academic support. There is History Clinic for boys with particular class work or homework issues. Lunchtime and twilight revision sessions are offered for A-Level students, and there are mock interviews for Oxbridge candidates.
Our popular History Club for Lower School boys has a varied programme, from model-making to historical films. The department invites in guest speakers to bring topics to life and organises visits, including a Year 7 trip to the British Museum, a Year 8 visit to Hampton Court and an overnight trip to Ypres and the Somme in Year 9. Sixth Form students visit an A-Level conference on aspects of their course.
Year 12 pupils take part in essay-writing competitions run by several Oxbridge colleges.