History learning starts with the advantage that most people find it interesting. We are also fortunate that being a small private school we have more control over our curriculum. Hence, whenever there are anniversaries of great events - the Battle of Trafalgar, the invention of the tank, the sinking of the Titanic - we can switch to studying them. This flexibility helps bring the subject alive - especially if the event is covered by the media and allows the whole family to engage in the subject.
Because the classes are small we rearranging a day's timetable easy we can go on more trips than other schools to museums such as to the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, the Imperial War Museum in Manchester and the Medicine through time Museum in Leeds.
Our school’s main building is in a 19th-century mill owner's mansion and we can bring this wonderful resource alive into our Industrial revolution studies whether looking at the servants' attic bedrooms and the grandness of the dining room and entrance hall.
In Key Stage 3, we teach the children British History from 1066 to the Second World War. A major theme throughout the course is the development of democracy and British values. We give the pupils the skills to check the reliability and usefulness of information / evidence about an event - very useful at a time of "fake news"!
At GCSE the advantage of the small size of classes means that we can help all pupils progress by addressing their individual needs to a much greater extent than in a state school where classes of plus 30 are, of course, the norm. We study how medicine has progressed and developed since the herbal remedies and bloodletting of Medieval times through the discovery of anaesthetics and antiseptics in the 19th century to the gradual conquering of Cancer in the 21st century; we explain how the monster Hitler was able to gain control of Germany in the 1930s and study the atomic Cold war between the superpowers after World War 2. which ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. We usually have a 100% success rate in this subject.
History is taught by a teacher with 35 years of History teaching experience including helping pupils study History at Oxford and Durham universities. He has been a GCSE marker and for the last three years working for an exam board helping other teachers throughout the country improve their understanding of the demands of the History GCSE.