History

History is taught to all girls in Years 7, 8 and 9. It is then an option at both IGCSE and A Level.

In Years 7 to 9, the girls follow a course in British history starting in 1066 and finishing in 1918. In Year 7 they learn about medieval life in villages and castles, and also complete a unit on Imperial China. In Year 8 they study the Tudors and Stuarts, and also learn about the French Revolution. In Year 9 the course moves on to empire, slavery, and the radical changes of the 18th century. The girls also study World War One, in conjunction with the poetry course taught by the English Department, and go on a joint History, English and Art Department trip to the World War 1 battlefields of Europe.

At IGCSE, pupils follow the CIE course. This looks at international relations from 1919 to 2001, and also involves an in-depth study of the Great Depression and Germany between the wars. The girls all complete a detailed coursework project as part of the course.

At A Level, pupils follow the OCR course. They study political, social, religious and cultural history from the 16th to the 20th centuries. This covers topics such as the late Tudors, the 16th-17th century witch craze, the Russian Revolution and early communism, and a coursework project on social and cultural change in 1960s Britain.

Beyond the classroom

Trips are an important part of studying History. In the lower school, we take all the girls on day trips to Hampton Court and the Tower of London, and in Year 9 they have a 5-day residential trip to the World War 1 battlefields of Europe in the last week of the summer term. IGCSE pupils have study days on subjects such as Vietnam and the Holocaust. In the Sixth Form, trips go up to London to lectures and exhibitions at venues such as the British Museum and the British Academy. Many girls have been to the cinema for the screening of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old.

The Junior History and Classics Society runs events such as balloon debates for the younger years, while a weekly university group provides an opportunity for girls interested in further study to explore their own interests in greater detail.