History is a fascinating subject which requires a combination of skills in order to interpret the past. It is taught as a distinct subject across the Preparatory School.
We offer a broad, engaging and exciting curriculum. By the time a boy leaves in Year 8, he will have completed enquiries drawn from an impressive span of time periods, ranging from the Stone Age to issues affecting the British Empire in the 20th century.
It is our aim within the department that pupils are given the opportunity to reflect upon the purpose of history within their curriculum. From Year 6, boys will begin to develop an understanding that history is not just about narratives and acquiring a body of knowledge, but rather a discipline with a method and process which will allow them to assess the validity of claims across the curriculum and indeed, in life itself. Boys will of course be taught the importance of the narrative of each period under observation, but more importantly they will be taught to ask questions of the narrative itself, so as to develop an awareness that no historical account can be entirely objective.
"The facts speak only when the historian calls on them: it is s/he who decides to which facts to give the floor…"
Over the course of their three years in the Senior School, pupils will also develop a capacity to study the 'human condition' far removed from them in both space and time. Pupils will be made aware of socio-cultural viewpoints that dominated the different periods under study and they will be shown the power of the practice of history to correct popular 'untruths', while at the same debating the very nature of the truth itself.
Throughout their three-year Common Entrance syllabus, pupils will acquire and apply skills and understanding in the following areas; chronological understanding, historical interpretation, historical inquiry, knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past and organisation and communication.