The aim of the History Department is to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in History. Unless children are aware of the past they cannot possibly understand the present let alone read the future! Or as Tony Robinson, presenter of Time Team, once said:

“How do you know who you are unless you know where you’ve come from? How can you tell what’s going to happen, unless you know what’s happened before? History isn’t just about the past. It’s about why we are who we are – and about what’s next.”

At Red House School we closely follow the programme of study set out in the National Curriculum

In Year 4 the pupils study the Tudors and the Aztecs and in Year 5, the Victorians, Ancient Egypt and a small element of Ancient Greek history. In Year 6 the pupils continue the study of the Ancient Greeks and then look at Romano Britain.

In Year 7 the pupils study the medieval period and start looking at the Tudors. In Year 8 we continue our study of the Tudors and then focus on the Stuarts, before moving on to look at Britain from 1750 to 1900. In Year 9 we look at the twentieth century world, including a study of the two world wars and the horrors of the Holocaust. We then spend some time studying slavery and the black peoples of the Americas.

We follow the Edexcel Modern World syllabus for our GCSE course. This involves an outline study of twentieth century world history from 1943 to 1991, an in depth look at Germany from 1918 – 1939, and a document and source study of Britain from 1902-1928. We also do a controlled assessment on civil rights in America from 1945-1968.

By following the GCSE course pupils will understand that History teaches them to think in ways that are not found elsewhere in the curriculum. Pupils are taught to use sources as evidence of how people behaved and thought in the past.  They have to deal with problems like bias and prejudice when handling sources. They have to consider attitudes and points of view that are quite different from their own. Pupils are taught to describe, analyse and explain reasons for and results of the historical events, situations and changes in the periods studied. They will be called upon to make judgements on people or events from the past. Pupils will become aware that an event in the past can be interpreted in different ways. Pupils will be taught to communicate their knowledge and understanding of History, using a range of techniques, including extended narratives and descriptions and substantiated explanations. All of the above skills will provide training for future study, in whatever field, or for employment in a variety of careers.

We see fieldwork as an incredibly important part of History studies, and use trips to help promote and extend the understanding of the topics we cover in the classroom. The department has organized trips to historical locations such as the Durham Light Infantry Museum, Preston Hall Museum, Hadrian’s Wall, Bolton Castle, Finchale Priory, the Royal Armouries and Fountains Abbey over the past few years and fully intends to maintain, indeed extend, our fieldwork provision. We also invite a Holocaust survivor to speak to our Year 9 pupils.