The study of history in the 21st century has changed dramatically from the experience most of us had in our own schooldays. Gone are the long hours of reading endless texts and the agony of learning all those dates! The modern child has a variety of learning experiences in which to explore why and how events took place in the past. These include learning from videos, DVDs and ICT based learning. Teachers use textbooks that are full of charts, diagrams and imaginative worksheets as well as practical skills.
The essential aim of history is to encourage the children to observe history in everyday objects such as coins. They should notice trends and formulate their own opinions. In a world in which people are bombarded with information, history teaches us to organise, analyse and prioritise the weight of information that we receive. Children will learn to recognise the value of the different media through which information is imparted to them.
In Pre Prep the aim is to use the children’s own experiences to study the past. Children explore topics on ‘Toys’ and ‘Seaside Holidays’. They will also go on to learn about people in the past such as Florence Nightingale and famous events including ‘The Great Fire of London’. History is taught formally in the middle years of school. The children recognise the subject as a separate academic study. Topics on the Saxons, Victorians and Egyptians help to prepare the boys for the next stage of their development. The Year 5 to 7 study a broad sweep of history from 1066 to 1666.
This important period traces the development of our country from a feudal society to a society that shows the foundation of many of our modern laws and cultural inheritances. In Year 8 the pupils will be taught the background to many of the topics in modern history: WW2, Stalin and the1930’s. This will prepare them for their important exams and give them a taste of the work that they will be doing in their next school.
Following this course from start to finish will mean that every boy will have some knowledge of every period of history. They will be prepared for future study. Above all they will have an interest and they will have developed skills that will help them in their future life.