What is the importance of the subject? Why should pupils be studying it? Why should they care about it? How might the subject link to the real world/ real life scenarios?

It is reasonable to expect that anyone studying history has an interest in the past – but that is not the only reason. History helps create thoughtful people and good citizens. By studying people and societies, students learn what it means to be human. They learn the value of ethics, empathy, diversity and social justice. They learn the risks and dangers of certain ideas. They learn about the timeless issues and problems that affect human societies, both past and present. This equips history students to understand and work with the people in their own world. Studying history also creates thoughtful and active citizens who are willing to participate in the political process or in their own communities. Many history students are endowed with healthy scepticism, willingness and a capacity to question their own world, and perhaps find ways to make it better.

A high-quality history education will also help students gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Teaching will equip students to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement. History helps students to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

Students will:

  • Know and understand the history of the British Isles as a coherent, chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Understand the significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Gain and deploy a historically grounded understanding of abstract terms such as ‘empire’, ‘civilisation’, ‘parliament’ and ‘peasantry’.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short- and long-term timescales.