Seven years of History at Dauntsey's will take pupils from the Norman Conquest to the Cold War, and often the Gulf Wars, developing critical life skills along the way.
Pupils are taught how to express themselves on paper and verbally, how to harness factual evidence, how to master large volumes of historical information, and how to spot the lie in any historical source. Our exam results testify to the success of the department, while the high take-up at IGCSE and A level demonstrates history's popularity at Dauntsey's.
There are, of course, plenty of reasons to study history but we hope very much that we engender and encourage in our pupils a passion for the subject, a better understanding of the world around them and a fresh perspective on their place within a changing world: ‘Brexit’ and the Trump presidency are a case in point.
History is a popular IGCSE and A level subject at Dauntsey's. It is undoubtedly a subject that has retained its status as a "gold standard" A Level in recent years, and those who opt for history find it an unvaryingly stimulating and challenging experience. The department is accommodated in a bright and attractive suite of rooms, which includes four classrooms, a display area and a seminar room. There are six members of staff, all of whom are specialist history teachers.
The department has a very lively extra-curricular life, with teaching in all years supported by a range of trips and visits. The tour of the battlefields of the Western Front is one of the most popular trips in the school, while the A level specification offers the opportunity for a major Sixth Form trip to Paris. In the Lower School we welcome historical re-enactors, and take a trip to Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey in South Wales.
The History Society hosts a termly series of lectures, given by a wide range of speakers from academia and beyond, and in recent years we have welcomed Professor Simon Dixon, Dr. David Starkey, Professor Ronald Hutton, Professor Alexandra Walsham and many others in recent years. The lectures are free and open to all.
As a subject history is particularly well served by the internet, and recent investment in ICT has enabled us to bring the fruits of the internet into the classroom - YouTube is now a regular feature of our lessons! There has also been considerable investment in recent years in the History section of the School Library, and pupils now have access to many of the most recent studies in a wide range of historical areas – especially through the world class JSTOR academic journals online database: this all enables our pupils to access the most up-to-date historical thinking and research – crucial in their Upper Sixth Historical Enquiries.