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 passion for History within the students 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 begin with The Romans and Celtic Britain. Students then look at the Norman Conquest and how that changed and shaped England. Various aspects and events of the Middle Ages are investigated, before looking at all things Tudor! We continue chronologically by looking at the Stuarts, the Industrial Revolution and Female Suffrage. By Year 8 we explore more world history: Slavery, Empire and the two World Wars, concluding with the Holocaust. During this time, the pupils learn how to formulate an argument, analyse sources and apply various historical concepts, such as cause and consequence. These years are a fantastic opportunity for project work, such as building castles and trench models, with a number of day trips to support the learning.
Once students start Year 9 they become immersed in the GCSE syllabus. They start with the (Edexcel) Cold War 1941-1991 unit, which chronologically sits well with their learning from Year 8. Thereafter, they study Early Elizabethan England 1558-1588, Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 and finally the new, exciting thematic unit: Migration – c.800 to the modern day. This includes a special study on Notting Hill. The skills and techniques developed lower down the school are honed and refined further, so that students become fluent in the various questions required for their Senior Studies.
History plays a big part in the curriculum of Kingswood House and we are extremely proud of the passion and love our boys and girls, 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.