History is as much about the present as the past. What makes us the way we are? Where do our beliefs, prejudices, political systems come from? A good historian, therefore, needs a healthy interest in and awareness of current affairs and classes will often involve drawing parallels with contemporary situations. Studying History in the Sixth Form will allow you, and expect you, to explore your own ideas and reach your own conclusions. We will teach you how to think, rather than tell you wha t to think and, where possible, classes will take the form of seminar style discussions in which you will be expected to participate. To do this effectively, you will need to learn how to analyse and evaluate, and how to construct clear and rational argum ents to defend your point of view. Successful students will be those who can read critically and write convincingly.
The A level course spans Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History. The aim of the units is to develop specific history - r elated skills such as source analysis and interpretation, critical thinking, targeted reading, research and extended writing, whilst allowing parallels and patterns to emerge by studying human social, economic and political behaviour in a variety of contexts. The course has been designed to balance political, social, modern and earlier History:
- Unit 1: Britain 1625 - 1701 - Conflict, revolution and settlement (Year 12)
- Unit 2: Russia in Revolution, 1894 - 1924 (Year 12)
- Unit 3: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry V II, 1399 - 1509 (Year 13)
- Unit 4: Independent Research on a historical topic (Year 13)
Beyond A level
History quite rightly retains its high status among universities and employers as a rigorous intellectual
discipline that trains the mind. Well educated historians can think clearly, can prioritise, and can argue concisely and convincingly about complex problems - sought after qualities in most fields. A good grade in History will be taken as a mark of an applicant's general intellectual ability, and a capacity for hard work.
In the wider world lawyers, journalists, writers, management consultants, politicians - indeed anyone
who needs to be able to present a point of view - will benefit from the skills learnt through studying History.
It is not a requirement to have taken History at GCSE especially if you enjoyed the subject at KS3 level. Speak to a history teacher if you are considering it without having taken GCSE. If you studied History at GCSE you should have a grade 6 or above.