‘The past is another country.’ It is there to be explored and in that process we discover much about ourselves.
At RGS we seek to stimulate student curiosity and interest in History through thoughtful enquiry and student focused learning. We aim to broaden and develop our understanding not just of the past but of the present and, in its turn the future. This knowledge allows us to gain both insight and an enduring interest into who we are, where we come from and what we can achieve.
Inside the classroom the style of teaching and learning across all years is creative and invigorating, and teachers deliver carefully planned, well focused lessons that employ a wide variety of teaching styles. These include debates, hot seating, presentations, video clips, recording by students themselves, common task assessments, essay writing, and source analysis. Lessons are designed to encourage active learning and independent thought.
Our learning takes us beyond the classroom with visits to sites of historical significance such as Bodiam Castle, Hampton Court and the First World War battlefields. As part of the GCSE course we offer a trip to Berlin, and as part of the Advanced Level course there is the opportunity to participate in a combined trip with Politics to New York and Washington.
We have a History reading group, and a History and Politics society, both of which meet weekly, and the latter involves presentations by both staff and students, as well as guest speakers.
All students study History up to the Second Form in mixed ability groups. In the First and Second Form the main focus in each year group is outlined below:
First Form (Year 7)
Medieval Realms, The Renaissance and the Reformation, Tudor England
Second Form (Year 8)
Stuart England, Britain 1750-1914, World War 1
For GCSE and A Level, we follow AQA courses. At GCSE this covers international relations, 1919-39, Germany in the Twentieth Century, and a range of further options. In the Six Form students study Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964, Religious conflict in England, 1529-1570, and The growth of American Civil Rights, 1865-1968.
A significant number of students go on to read History, Politics, or combined honours courses at top universities. The department has also enjoyed regular success at Oxbridge.
Course Summary and Specifications
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