Aims of the Subject
Our main aims are to show that the study of History is a process of investigation, and to retain the idea that History is a fascinating story. In studying History, pupils should acquire the skills of evaluating evidence and using it to support an argument. They should learn to communicate clearly and effectively, and develop the ability to empathise. All of these skills are, of course, widely applicable in everyday life.
Formal assessment in this subject begins in the Prep School. In Years 3 to 8, this takes the form of continuous assessment with occasional tests. In Years 6 to 8 there is also an exam at the end of each year. In Year 8 most pupils take the academically rigorous Common Entrance exam and the most able pupils sit scholarship exams. In Year 5 a project is normally set at some time during the year.
A variety of teaching techniques are used during the pupils’ time at the school. Story telling is obviously very important in this subject, as is discussion. Re–enactors sometimes visit the school, and trips to places of historical interest are arranged for a number of year groups. We also use such things as role play and we make considerable use of DVDs to convey a visual image of the past.
Use of ICT within the Subject
Interactive whiteboards are used as a presentational tool; for example, it is very useful to have a giant copy of the Bayeux Tapestry on the board when we are looking at evidence for the Norman Conquest. On occasions, pupils will go into one of the school’s computer suites to tackle a worksheet that has been linked to a specific website via a hyperlink. The internet is used for research and we sometimes use word processors to facilitate good presentation.