Why Study History?
What other school subject can offer you time travel? You don’t even need a Tardis (although they do feature quite a lot in some lessons). In history lessons you can open a window on the past that lets you into a million adventures. Do you want to find out what makes a good Roman Legionnaire? What was Henry VIII’s daily routine? You can read the private letters of a First World War General and the diaries of a scared child during the Blitz. In history you can develop the skills to look beyond the headlines and express your own opinions in a clear and precise manner; you will also learn how to think and process information at an advanced level. Most importantly you will develop an understanding of the past and through that, the present.
KS3: A Foundation Course in History
In key stage three we teach you all the key skills which are needed to study history. Most of the skills we teach you, thinking, analysis and accurate writing are really useful to all your other subjects. You will start on an adventure which will take you from the Roman empire to the Black Death. By the end of year seven you will be able to look at Dover and explain its significance to the Norman Conquest. In year eight you build on the skills developed in year 7 and move onto the early modern era, the age of great kingship and the Renaissance. If you are good at languages you may find yourself studying La Renaissance – a bilingual two year course in histoire. Year nine brings you into the modern world with the focus on the move into the bloodiest century in recorded history. Peace turns to war and you will now focus on the two world wars and their consequences. Part of your studies will include Holocaust Education, delivered by HET trained teachers and outside speakers.
KS4: GCSE History (WJEC)
The history course offered to our year 10 and 11 students is designed to appeal to everyone. Two papers cover the study of the development of the USA. The first from 1910 to 1929; covering amongst other things the huge influx of immigrants passing through Ellis Island to the life and times of Chicago’s most famous resident, ‘Scarface’ Capone. The second study of the USA focuses on the long term changes between 1929 and 2000. This is studied through two themes, the civil rights movement and the Cold War. Ever wondered how Hitler got into power? This is the next area covered. From early political power to the rantings of a dictator you will discover what happened to the German people from the aftermath of the first to the dying days of the Second World War. Finally the coursework is based on key questions arising from alternately World War One and Two.
KS5: A Level History (AQA)
A level history covers four areas. In year 12 you study the development of Britain from the dawn of the 20th century to the birth of the welfare state. Key questions include did the Liberals win the landslide victory of the 1906 election or did the Tories just fail miserably? Why did the electorate abandon Churchill so soon after leading the country to victory in the world war? You will also study Vietnam and the USA, this popular module examines the Vietnam war from its origins to Nixon’s stalled peace attempts in the 70s. You will learn the significance of Igloo White and the Tet Offensive through a variety of learning techniques from presentations and research to archives, media and seminars. In year 13 you will learn about the Cold War. Arguing about how far the origins go back is a popular seminar topic in the early days of the course, but soon moves on to key aspects such as the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Berlin Wall and the U2 spy plane. Finally the coursework element encompasses a century of warfare, from the redcoats and cannon balls of the Crimean War to the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
KS5: IB History
IB history follows a series of courses which all students must take. Throughout the course students are taught university style, from seminars and lectures to research and archive work. IB history teaches you to be academically independent and to look beyond the classroom. The subject areas studied are, 20th century warfare, International relations between the wars, Russia from the Bolshevik revolution to the Cold war and finally France from the start of the revolution to the rise and fall of Napoleon. All students also complete a piece of coursework in an area of their own choice and can opt to write their extended essay on a historical topic. In the past the extended essay has been the key to students achieving places on History degree courses in Russell Group universities.
Enrichment activities at DGSB
To study history you sometimes need to see the sites with your own eyes. The history department likes to offer a range of trips and visits, from the history on your doorstep to further flung battlefields. The residential trip to Château Molay in Normandy is available to KS3 students as well as other visits and outside guests which enhance the curriculum. GCSE students will participate in a trip which reflects the subject area of their coursework. Sixth form history students are taken to various academic libraries, archives and conferences in order to enhance their learning. Many of these activities directly feed into their coursework and subject areas. 2013 will also see the launch of an international web based project, pioneered by DGSB history students.
The history department has offered a springboard to students following a number of different careers from lawyers to archeologists, post graduate students and teachers. Historians are sort after by many different professions and businesses, thanks to the transferable skills learnt.