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    There cannot be a better environment for the study of History in the whole of the United Kingdom: Kimbolton Castle, former seat of the Duke of Manchester, where Queen Katherine of Aragon died and Edward Montagu planned his campaign against Charles I.

    Our History Department is dynamic, aiming to arouse an interest in the past, not only for examination success, but beyond the years of schooling.  We foster this by a comprehensive range of visits for every year of the school ranging from the First Form visit to Warwick Castle to Sixth Form historians in Moscow and St Petersburg. 

    Project 1945: Commemorating 75 Years of Peace

    2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2, a time of both celebration and remembrance. VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan) recognised the end of war, a moment of peace, as well as the scale of bloodshed and destruction experienced by those alive in 1945. The current COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown means that many events of commemoration cannot be held as publicly as many would like. Nonetheless, it is an opportunity for us to connect with elderly relatives and friends, to strengthen our understanding of just what it was like to live when such devastating warfare ended. The aim of Project 1945 is to build a real treasure trove of stories, experiences, photos and memories.


    First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils

    Our department shadows the National Curriculum with units from Medieval Realms to the Twentieth Century World.  We complement lessons with day visits to Warwick Castle and Peterborough Cathedral for First Formers, whilst Third Form students visit Duxford and the American Cemetery In Cambridge.  There is a First World War Battlefields trip to Ypres and the Somme in a joint three-day visit with the English Department over the field weekend in October for the whole of the Third From.

    Fourth and Fifth Forms – GCSE optional subject

    We follow the Cambridge IGCSE Option.

    International Relations since 1919. The history of the twentieth century is a thought-provoking and challenging period offering many insights as to how the modern world has been shaped. The course is also designed to hone key analytical skills with the focus on pupils developing their own judgements and drawing links and connections between complex ideas.

    Pupils have opportunities to develop their analytical skills in a coursework topic based on the rise of the Nazis, taken in the Fifth Form, whilst source skills are developed by looking at a range of sources on one aspect of International Relations - the topic of 2019 relates to the extent to USA was able to control the threat of Communism after 1948.

    • Component  1: Core Content: International relations in the 20th Century plus Depth study on Germany, 1918-1945 (40%)
    • Component  2: Source based work, one prescribed topic taken from the Core Content  (33%)
    • Component 3: Coursework. One piece of extended writing (27%)

    Lower and Upper Sixth Form – A Level optional subject

    We follow the AQA syllabus and offer a choice of options at A Level: History 1 and History 2.

    History 1

    • Component 1D: Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603-1702 (40%)
    • Component 2H: France in Revolution, 1774-1815 (40%)
    • Component 3: Non Examined Assessment (NEA) - 4500 coursework essay

    History 2

    • Component 1G: Challenge and Transformation: Britain, 1851-1964 (40%)
    • Component 2N: Revolution and Dictatorship, Russia 1917-1953 (40%)
    • Component 3: Non Examined Assessment (NEA) - 4500 coursework essay

    7th Period Super-Curriculum: We create opportunities to provide greater contextual understanding of the periods being studied by looking at art and literature as well as comparative studies of contrasting societies analysing power and belief structures. This will be done using a mix of departmental specialisms and online courses, such as Open University, iTunesU and Oxford Edu courses.

    Extra-Curricular Activities

    Our department is able to link key historical events to the history of the Castle and we help pupils to make these links using the Castle's Heritage Room.

    We have active Junior and Senior History Societies which includes a programme of visiting speakers, lectures, films and Sunday visits to relevant historical sites in the area.  We hold extra classes for Sixth Form students who are aiming to study the subject at undergraduate level, with particular emphasis on Oxbridge candidates.  The School’s e-learning portal provides an extensive range of stimulus material beyond set tasks and the school library has an extensive history section.

    Regular Trips

    First Form:

    • Day visits to Warwick Castle and Peterborough Cathedral to enhance understanding of medieval life

    Third Form

    • Day visit to the American Cemetery in Cambridge and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford to enhance understanding of the Second World War in East Anglia.
    • Three day residential visit to First World War Battlefields in Belgium and France with the English Department. Includes visits to battlefield sites and major memorials at Ypres and Thiepval.


    • Alternating annual five-day visit to either Berlin or Bavaria focusing on the history of Germany in the twentieth century and the Cold War.

    A Level-related:

    • Visit to Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg - every two years.
    • Visit to Manchester – the Victorian era.
    • Day conferences on issues such as the Russian Revolution.