History is a much loved subject at Kingswood House. We study a wide range of topics to give our pupils a real breadth of knowledge. Our aim is develop a love of History within the boys and encourage them to explore the past and understand the way it has shaped the world we live in today.
In Lower Prep the children start by learning about some important British figures from the past; including Florence Nightingale and Guy Fawkes. They also study the Great Fire of London and look at how seaside holidays have changed in the last 100 years. During these years the pupils develop an understanding of what ‘the past’ is and how it is both similar and different to the present.
The topics covered in Upper Prep include WWII in England, Ancient Egypt, The Romans, The Greeks, Celtic Britain, The Anglo Saxons and The Norman Conquest. The boys learn how to formulate an argument, present different ideas and place events chronologically.
In the latter years of Upper Prep boys begin to write longer answers and understand the importance of looking at both sides of any event. These years are a fantastic opportunity for project work and trips and the boys thoroughly enjoy both. During this time; they build castles, shelters and villas, design weapons, make outfits and create tapestries. They also re-enact the Battle of Hastings on Senlac Hill itself! Trips include days out to Battle Abbey, Bodiam Castle, The British Museum, a Victorian School and Butser Hill Ancient Farm.
In Years 7 & 8 the boys study The Tudors; a fascinating period in English History which still has so many influences on our lives today. They look at the incredible reign of Henry VIII followed by the contrasting successes of his three children; Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. During these years the boys also learn how to; write essays, compare and contrast historical sources and develop a great appreciation on the ongoing importance of History in today’s society. Years 7 & 8 also include trips to The Tower of London and Hampton Court. In 2015 we took the boys to see the war graves in Belgium as part the Centenary Remembrance Day Tributes.
In Year 9 we then move on to Modern European History which represents the beginning of our GCSE syllabus. We begin by looking at the reasons for World War One, moving on to trench warfare and the eventual outcome of the war. This forms the beginning of a study of ‘Conflict and Co-operation:1918-1939’. We then look at the Weimar Republic in Germany and how its failures led to the rise of the Nazi party. This then takes us into an in depth study of Germany 1925-1955 including the beginning of the Cold War. The rest of the syllabus includes looking at War and British Society between 790 and 2010. This gives the boys an idea of war has changed over time but also allows for similarities to be drawn between the reasons and effects of wars and battles which happened centuries apart.
History plays a big part in the curriculum of Kingswood House and we are extremely proud of the passion and love our boys have for the subject.
Year 5 history visit to Butser Hill
Year 5 had a fantastic day at Butser Ancient Farm as part of their History curriculum; it was like going back thousands of years and actually living life in Roman times. We learnt some interesting facts about round houses and Roman Villas as well as taking part in a variety of activities that would have been the norm in those times. We did some ‘wattling’ to make a fence before crushing chalk, combining it with earth and water to finally ‘clunch’ the fence in the same way a Celt would have made the walls of his round house. We also did chalk carving and made some models out of clay.
The Geography department provides excellent opportunities for our pupils of all abilities to discover the wonders of the world; to understand the processes that have formed different environments and assess the impact that we are having on our planet. By making the subject up-to date, relevant and exciting our aim is to get pupils to understand many of the world’s current issues which can only be tackled with greater geographical understanding.
To understand these issues pupils first have to be intrigued and captivated by the places they learn about. We want children to imagine themselves in contrasting environments and acquire an appreciation of just why different places are unique and are worth caring about. Places of all scales are explored and pupils are encouraged to share their own experiences which will help them to contextualise their learning.
Much emphasis is placed on practical work. Fieldwork is carried out in all Years and there are investigations beyond the school gate to coastal, river and urban locations. We want the pupils to connect with the real world and to use all their senses to assess different places so investigations become experiences they will always remember. Practical work provides opportunities for pupils to develop their knowledge and skills and often requires them to work collaboratively, building on each other’s ideas to solve problems.
In class, pupils also learn the value of teamwork, writing reports, delivering presentations and solving problems. Pupils use a wide range of media to display work and this is regularly showcased in an exhibition where pupils are encouraged to be creative and imaginative.
The dynamic GCSE course will continue to explore contemporary themes and issues that affect the real world. Not only will our pupils become competent geographers but they will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to make decisions about their world from an informed perspective.
Geography gives me a greater understanding of the world we live in because we use interactive platforms, fieldwork and discussion to explore different topics.