Aims and philosophy
History is one of the central humanities, embracing the study and understanding of all aspects of past human experience, individual and collective, political, social, cultural, economic and religious; the public and the domestic, the material and the intellectual. The sources, primary and secondary, range from the written word and statistical data to the visual arts. Beyond intrinsic academic interest, History provides training in critical analysis, literary expression and the evaluation of widely contrasting evidence. We believe that through the study of History, our students understand their place within Wales, Great Britain and the wider world.
There are five members of staff in the History department, whose expertise covers a wide range of periods from medieval History to the twentieth century.
Curriculum by year-group
History is a popular subject, with, typically, three quarters of the year group taking the subject as far as GCSE, many of whom will continue into the Sixth Form.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) the subject is compulsory, all follow a course based on the development of Wales and the United Kingdom from 1066 through to the twentieth century. In Years 8 & 9, the focus shifts between national and international developments, covering major topics like exploration of the New World, slavery and the First World War. Those who opt to continue with History to GCSE then follow the syllabus, which covers European and World events from the twentieth century; focusing on Russia, Germany & the USA.
In the Sixth Form we follow the WJEC AS and A-level specifications. We focus on European Foreign Policy and the rise of dictatorships in the twentieth century and in contrast the causes, events and consequences of the English Civil War.
The History department prides itself on getting the best out of our students who choose to study History, whatever their ability. Although there are no minimum requirements for students to be allowed to do GCSE History, academic results are good: in 2009, 96% of A-level historians achieved an A* – C grade; and at A Level, 79% of candidates gained an A* -C grade at GCSE.
Outside the classroom
A History club is held every Wednesday lunch time, students are encouraged to pursue their own personal interests with support and guidance. The department organises regular trips and excursions designed to enhance what has been learnt in the classroom for example, in recent years to the New York, Cosmoston, and The Big Pit.