“The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves.” Cicero
“We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” George Washington
“The study of history is the best guarantee against repeating it.” John Buchan
“History, together with Science, is the only valid prism through which to predict the future.” Sir Christopher Meyer.
Four quotations – and four very broad arguments – for the inclusion of the study of History in a broad curriculum. Considering the routes that lead to significant world events can be a means of allowing us to learn the lessons of the past, thereby avoiding repetitions of the same catastrophe.
An historian must be multi-skilled; the study of History will hone a host of desirable and transferrable competences that enhance study in a plethora of other fields. Pupils develop skills of critical inquiry, of analysis and synthesis. They learn how to use source-based evidence to assemble a sharply focussed and detailed defence of a thesis.
The study of History is compulsory for all pupils in Lower Fifth, and is optional thereafter at GCSE and at A-level.
At GCSE, the Department’s objectives are:
- To teach History in such a way as to encourage enjoyment of the subject
- To provide the essential skills and content to allow pupils to be successful at GCSE, and to provide a strong basis for continued study of the subject to A-level and beyond
- To encourage all pupils to participate actively in the study of History at all levels. This includes accessing information about the past, reflecting criticially on the present using historical facts for contextualisation and participating in informed historical debate
- To allow pupils the opportunity to develop their own historical knowledge and understanding through trips and visits to place of interest and relevance
Pupils’ experience is enhanced by visits both local and international. The Department regularly runs a day trip to the battlefields of the World Wars, taking advantage of Canterbury’s proximity to France and Belgium.
The Department is staffed by specialist Historians who bring a wealth of experience and personal interests to the department. Further Details of the course content can be found in The Right Course.