In an ever-changing world, History helps to provide context and understanding for global events. We aim to equip students with the skills to review information and interpretations critically, and help them to develop the confidence to formulate and articulate their own judgements.
In addition to a broad and stimulating curriculum across all three key stages, the department provides many different ways for students to further their interest. For example, every year, it runs a cross-curricular visit for Year 9 to France with the languages department which takes in the battlefield of Waterloo in Belgium and sites of the First World War campaign in Northern France, focusing in particular on the Somme. Most of the students will go on to study the Somme as part of a history of warfare at GCSE, and the visit is also an opportunity for some boys to discover where and how some of their ancestors fought. We have also taken A-level students to Russia – to Moscow and St Petersburg – to enrich their understanding of this fascinating country and its turbulent history. They also attend lectures in London by specialist historians.
A very well attended Upper School History Society sees weekly talks given by students on other areas of History of interest to them, as well occasional very rewarding visits by experts in their field. There is also a regular Lower School History quiz club, and the department offers University extension with after school meetings that challenge students to engage with the theory of History and to draw more widely on their knowledge in discussion.