History - Ratcliffe College

History – Ages 11-16

Why should I study History?

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey 

History can give you the skills most employers want – whatever job you have in mind.  Through the study of History, you will learn about people, their motivations, and how societies develop and work.  You will cover economics, politics, religion and others areas of life.  History teaches you to think in a combination of ways not found in any other subject.  Historians and students of History have to use sources as evidence to answer questions about the way people behaved, thought and felt in the past, and make judgements about human nature and behaviour.  You will develop a valuable and necessary skill: that of being able to write a report, or essay, which is concise, relevant, supported by evidence and which clearly addresses the question set.  In doing so, you will develop an independent mind: in this sense, history is a good subject for everyone to study.  These factors, combined with the methods of investigation, study and research involved, provide very useful training for a variety of careers. 


GCSE Results

Grades 9/8/7 – 52%

Grades 9/8/7/6 – 68%

Each student scored over half a grade more than their predicted grade demonstrating outstanding progress is made by all of our students. 

We are not the makers of History, we are made by it.

Martin Luther King

What is the philosophy of the History Department?

In the History Department, we think it is important to use different approaches to learning.  A range of strategies are used throughout the curriculum, such as mysteries, the use of interactive which boards, thinking skills activities, role play, model making, PowerPoint, research projects, the use of a wide range of visual materials and other sources, as well as the traditional practices of improving essay and source skills. 

The staff in the Department dedicate themselves to achieving the very best grades possible for our students.  This has been born out in the wide range of extra help sessions, revision sessions and extra-curricular opportunities provided.  This has all culminated in some committed and enthusiastic historians as well as some superb examination grades. 

What skills are developed through the study of History?

History is packet full of higher order skills that employers look for in a candidate.  We cover skills of analysis, evaluation, comparison, significance, prioritisation, description, explanation to name but a few. 

Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

What opportunities for enrichment exist in History?

The History Department provide a wide array of extra-curricular opportunities. Throughout the year a ‘History Performance Squad’ takes place. This is especially to help GCSE students to receive extra support throughout the course. The Department also holds ‘drop in’ sessions throughout the year to provide support for all students from all Key Stages.

There is one trip a year that is targeted at the GCSE and A Level syllabi.  In past years we have visited New York, China and Munich.  We will now be visiting Berlin every other year with a weekend trip to London in between years.  

We provide support for students preparing for examinations, along with support for students completing prep with weekly ‘drop in’ sessions.  

The Geography and History Departments also combine for the Model United Nations Society, an exciting initiative which culminates in an international schools’ conference at Kingswood School, Bath. Students have the opportunity to learn about and debate important, often controversial issues such as human rights abuses, disarmament and global security. 

Through the study of History, you will learn about people, their motivations, and how societies develop and work.