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The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Milan Kundera

An understanding of the past is essential for us all and the ethos of the History Department is to understand how historical forces have shaped the world and impacted on the individual.

In the first three years of the Senior School, the Department aims to provide a course that spans a thousand years, giving every student the opportunity to experience aspects of History from Medieval to Modern Times. By the end of Form 3, students will have acquired an impressive understanding of key events in British and World History, from the Battle of Hastings to the Second World War. 

At GCSE and A level, the main emphasis is on the forces of change in the twentieth century. The College follows the Edexcel iGCSE, which consists of modules on the Cold War, Germany from 1918 to 1945, and the USA in the 1920s. At A level, the College follows the Edexcel specification. The focus is switched to the role of Communism in Russia from 1917 to 1991 and Maoist China from 1949 to 1976, as well as the origins of the First World War for coursework. 

Students are taught History in a lively and energetic manner by passionate and knowledgeable teachers. A range of teaching methods are adopted, from debates to independent research. The overall aim of the Department is to allow students to explore the full richness of the past in a structured and creative manner. 

However, historical learning does not simply reside in the classroom and the Department runs a whole host of trips, such as to Warwick Castle in Form 1 and the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme in Form 3. Older students also have the opportunity to explore the history of countries further afield. In recent years, students have visited Berlin, Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as Washington and New York, to name but a few. The Department has also invited a range of visiting speakers to give talks to students, including a Holocaust survivor, Baroness Shirley Williams, Tristram Hunt (the historian and MP), and other visiting academics.

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