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There are three key philosophies the History Department subscribes to: enjoyment of the subject; effective and varied teaching; and excellent exam results.

The Department’s objective is to foster a lifelong love of History in all pupils, make it fun to learn so as to bolster numbers taking the subject at GCSE and A Level, and to encourage students to further their historical studies at university.

History teachers focus on stimulating pupils, providing a basic historical framework to extend understanding, promote innovative teaching styles, foster key academic qualities and skills such as a greater understanding of the modern world, and make use of new ICT opportunities to vary the delivery of the syllabus.

History lessons take place in a variety of locations across the College and academic resources are available on the Firefly website and in the Library to aid students’ independent learning of the subject.

Common Entrance syllabuses are followed by Form 1 and 2 students with Form 1 pupils studying Medieval England between 1066-1485 and Form 2 classes focusing on the Tudor and Stuart dynasties between 1485-1666.

More on GCSE History

At GCSE level (following the AQA Board), the course is examined through two examination papers, Paper 1 Understanding the Modern World and Paper 2 The making of Britain.

The first exam paper is split into two sections. One section studies international relations during the inter-war period, looks at the consequences of the First World War and the causes of the outbreak of the Second World War. The other sections examine the fall of Tsardom in Russia and follows the story, through the rise of communism to the end of the Second World War under Stalin’s dictatorship.

The second exam paper focuses upon British History, through a depth study and a breadth study. The depth study focuses upon the Norman invasion of England and as part of the exam each year the pupils are required to investigate a Norman historical site. The site changes from year to year; sometimes it’s a castle, sometimes a battlefield, sometimes a Cathedral. The breadth study tracks the development of democracy in England over an 800 year period and lays a foundation of knowledge that helps to explain modern society and politics.

More on A Level History

The A Level course (following the AQA board) encompasses studying The Tudors between 1485-1603, a more in-depth study of democracy and Nazism between 1918-1945 than provided at GCSE level and the development of democracy in England in the 19th Century.

Students with a particular interest in History can join the History Society which offers a variety of activities to quench young historians’ thirst for knowledge, such as Sixth Form debates and lectures provided by teachers and visiting speakers.


Meet the Teachers

Mr James Frost - Head of History

LLB Law and MA History, University of the West of England Bristol and Secondary PGCE, University of Reading

Mr James Bamforth - Teacher of History, Head of Sixth Form, Head of Classics

BA, PGCE and MA Classics, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge

Mr Matthew Eagers - Teacher of History, Assistant Housemaster of Hesperus, Head of Department for General Studies

BA (Hons) International Relations, University of Exeter

Mr Ben McLeod - Teacher of History

MA (Hons) Medieval History, University of St Andrews and PGCE Secondary History, UCL Institute of Education

Mr Tom Poynter - Teacher of History, Head of Geography

BA (Hons) Geography and Secondary Geography PGCE, University of Exeter

Miss Harriet Waller - Teacher of History, Teacher of Religious Studies, Head of Netball 

BA (Hons) Sports and Social Sciences, University of Bath, PGCE, University of Buckingham