“It has been said that although God cannot alter the past, historians can; it is perhaps because they can be useful to Him in this respect that He tolerates their existence”. ”
- Samuel Butler, Utopian Satirist, 1901
Why Study History?
At the heart of History are stories, stories about how people have lived and died. Since children love a tale, our philosophy here is to bring them to life and to enthuse the pupils so that they might enjoy learning, gain a good knowledge and understanding of their subject and want to enquire further for themselves.
Over time they are encouraged to learn not to take everything as gospel, as the quote above suggests, and through this knowledge pupils gain a solid understanding of the more basic historical skills such as being able to place key events in chronological order, and to develop such skills as evaluating and interpreting historical evidence both for external exams to senior schools and for future study of the subject.
It all starts in Year 3 with the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece, building on work already covered in our Pre-Prep department. In Year 4 it is hands-on History as we go outdoors to study the Celts and Ancient Britons, making use of the school’s woods and the pupils’ skills learned from Forest School. We have developed a willow and hazel coppice and pupils spend their time wattling and daubing, carding and spinning - and there are plans to add cheese making too! There is also a residential trip which includes an Iron Age day.
We aim to give everyone a good grounding in British History. Continuing with the Romans in Britain, pupils in Years 5 and 6 spend their time in the Middle Ages with meaty subjects such as The Black Death and the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket.
“History is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen.” ”
- Enoch Powell
In Years 7 and 8, pupils start the topics which will form the basis of their exams to future schools. This is the Early Modern Period and pupils gain an insight into crucial events such as the Break with Rome, which helped to form our modern society.
History links well with other subjects, and the study of Elizabethan theatre and Victorian England coincide with topics covered in English. Enthusiasm and an increasing ability to question and evaluate are key factors in History at King’s Hall School.