We aim to:
- encourage children of all ages to learn about the past
- help children to develop an understanding of the history of their own country and also the history of other nations and peoples.
Through studying history, pupils are able to improve their ability to analyse, argue and conduct research.
Staff and facilities
The department is staffed by six teachers and occupies five rooms in the Woodsmoor building. Although we issue a large range of books, especially to Sixth Formers, we also have an extensive library in the department catering for all age groups and courses. The school Library has also acquired stocks of books for Sixth Form historians, which are particularly relevant to the coursework topics on American history and for the new A-level.
Subject time per 10-day cycle
- Lower school – three lessons with one hour of homework
- GCSE – five lessons with two hours of homework
- A-level – 10 lessons in Lower Sixth, 11 in Upper Sixth
History in the Lower School
We undertake a preliminary study of evidence before exploring Medieval England. We complete our study of English political and social history with the Battle of Bosworth.
In the second year, we cover two main areas. We look at political developments from the time of the Reformation to the middle of the 18th century, concentrating on the Tudor and Stuart monarchies and we also study the Industrial Revolution. We also study British participation in the slave trade and slavery in the United States. We endeavour to add local references where possible.
Whilst in the third year, we focus on the origins and key events of the world wars of the 20th century. We investigate trench warfare and the experiences of local soldiers in the first world war. We also look in detail at key turning points of world war two, including D-day. The course is concluded with a study of the cold war period.
History further up the school
In IGCSE history we study the following key areas:
- Europe and the world 1919 to 1939, with special reference to the peace treaties, the League of Nations and aggressive nationalism in the 1930s, including the rise of Hitler
- an in-depth study on Germany 1918 to 1945, including Weimar Germany and the Third Reich
- an in-depth study on the cold war 1945 to 1989
- coursework on American history in the inter-war period
The A-level course is linear with examinations taking place at the end of the two years. This gives the opportunity to study periods of History in greater depth and to use a wider range of materials. The new examination provides a broad and coherent course of study over a 200 year period. Students will have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the role of individuals in history and the nature of change over time. History can be studied in combination with any other subject and no prior knowledge is required.
The course is divided into three parts. The Depth Study looks at English History during the reign of Charles I, the Civil Wars and Oliver Cromwell between 1625 and 1660. The Breadth Study covers the rule of the tsars between 1855 and 1917 and then Communist rule between 1917 and 1964. Both courses are newly resourced. All students must also complete a Historical Investigation based on American Civil Rights History.
Links with local history
Pupils are encouraged to investigate war memorials in their home town and to research relatives’ experiences for the era of World War Two unit.
The department has long organised a comprehensive educational trips programme, both at home and abroad
The majority of the Third Year participate in our annual four day trip to the First World War Battlefields of Belgium and France every October half-term. We also organise a large scale trip every Easter either to Europe or the USA. The next major trip is to the USA in Easter 2019 when we are taking 60 Fourth Year pupils. In 2016 our Fourth Year to Sixth Form historians travelled to Washington, Philadelphia and New York and in 2017 pupils in Fourth and Fifth Year visited Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich to see important sites relating to the Kaiser Reich, Weimar and Nazi Germany and to the Cold War. The department will also be taking Sixth Form pupils to the Newark Civil War Centre as part of their studies for their A-level and many pupils who study History go on the Philosophy department organised trip to Auschwitz.
Each trip has important historical and cultural significance. Participants are always guided by local historians and many places of interest are visited. We also encourage sixth formers to attend conferences and lecture days in Manchester.
Clubs and societies
A history society has been formed primarily for younger historians. Pupils have the opportunity to work with artefacts borrowed from local museums and to hear from veterans of conflicts from the last century. We also provide the opportunity to listen to talks given by important historians.
A dedicated band of Lower Sixth historians produce a publication entitled SGS Historian. The publication includes a range of articles, reviews and interviews.
You can read the SGS Historian online:
In the news
- Historians experience an insightful and thought-provoking trip to the Civil War Centre
- Battlefields tour gives pupils important First World War insight
- SGS Historian scoops national award
- Parliament visit whets pupils’ political appetite
- Thought-provoking trip for History and Religious Studies pupils
- Annual battlefields tour helps pupils remember the dead
- Pupils make history with the SGS Historian
- American tour is an eye-opener for History pupils