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.
Head of History
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 visits to Warwick Castle and The Black Country Living Museum for First and Second Formers, whilst over 70 Third Form students visit First World War Battlefields at Ypres and on the Somme in a joint three-day visit with the English Department over the field weekend in October.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – optional GCSE subject
We follow the CIE 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 2018 relates to the successes and failures of the League of Nations.
- 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 focusing on the impact of the Depression on Germany between 1928-1936: (27%)
Lower and Upper Sixth Form – optional A Level subject
We follow the AQA syllabus and offer a choice of options at A Level: History 1 and History 2.
- Component 1D: Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy, 1603-1702 (40%)
- Component 2H: France in Revolution, 1774-1815 (40%)
- Component 3: Historical Investigation (Personal study) of 3500 words on Russia 1855-1956 (20%)
- Component 1G: Challenge and transformation: Britain, 1851-1964 (40%)
- Component 2N: Revolution and dictatorship, Russia 1917-1953 (40%)
- Component 3: Historical Investigation (Personal study) of 3500 words on France 1690-1798 (20%)
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.
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. Our recent visiting speakers have included Dr David Smith from Selwyn College, Cambridge, speaking on Cromwell, and Dr Clare Jackson from Trinity Hall College speaking on Charles II.
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.
- Day visits to Warwick Castle and Peterborough Cathedral to enhance understanding of medieval life.
- 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.
- 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.