History is compulsory in the Foundation Year (Year 9) and is a very popular option for GCSE and Sixth Form courses. The History course for the FY aims to show something of the variety of the subject. The year begins with a brief history of the College, which leads into an examination of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, followed by a comparison with Tsarist Russia which then leads into the origins of the First World War. The war is then studied in detail during the Lent and Summer terms including a study visit to the First World War battlefields in Northern France and Belgium.
The IGCSE course is studied in the Remove (Year 10) and Hundred (Year 11). Pupils study The Peace Settlement on 1919, the League of Nations, Germany 1918-45 and the Cold War. In the Sixth Form, History is available for all pupils at both A level and in the International Baccalaureate programme.
The IB course consists of three examinations papers a document paper, 20c. world topics and a regional study of Europe and the Middle East. In addition all pupils write an Individual Assignment on a topic of their own choice. For the AS course, the units studied will be (from September 2012) on Winston Churchill 1920-45 and The Crusades and Crusader States 1095-1192. A further two units are added for the A2 course; Oliver Cromwell 1599-1658 examined through a pupil Investigation and Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 OR a Medieval option.
Within these courses the department is concerned to make ideas come alive - from early modern kingship, to the nature of warfare, through the great philosophical systems that have shaped our world - nationalism, the varieties of democracy, liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism and communism.
A large number of pupils continue their historical studies at university with over 30 achieving places at Oxford and Cambridge in the last ten years as well as at other leading universities. The department has a vigorous History Society, which organises lectures and visits.
The members of the department represent a wide range of interests and expertise. We have specialists in the Anglo Saxon Monarchy, the Crusades, Stuart England, Oliver Cromwell, the Enlightenment, British Conservatism, the French Revolution, American history, Political ideas, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century British and European History, the Cold War and aspects of Chinese and Indian history.