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History

Course Aims:

"The function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of the present."

E. H. Carr (Historian and Writer)

History is actually one of the most commonplace subjects: it is all around us. Its popularity in books, films and television testifies to its instant appeal, reflecting our enjoyment in a good story, a hunger for knowledge of the past and a desire to develop our understanding of where we have come from.

The study of History not only provides the opportunity to understand the past but also valuable training in the skills of research, empathy, comprehension, as well as an analysis of a wide range of material, to reach a reasoned interpretation and/ or opinion.

At Bentley Wood we believe that History teaches so much more than just some 'dusty old facts from the past' and we aim to provide an experience that will stimulate our students and develop a life-long interest in the subject. Employers and academic institutions place a high value on skills developed through the study of History. In particular, they are impressed by the ability of Historians to research, analyse and present information. Above all, History helps us to think logically and put forward reasoned arguments.

History is a well established subject which can serve as an appropriate academic springboard into a wide variety of courses in higher education and a diverse range of jobs. History graduates are recruited successfully into a considerable range of occupations, which include the law, administration and management, buying, marketing and selling, accountancy and computing as well as teaching, librarianship and journalism. Discerning political leaders and employers have always valued the training history provides.

Our world is littered with fellow historians who have achieved success in a variety of areas, from television to politics, acting to singing: TV presenter Louis Theroux, Ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Hollywood actress and model Miro Sorvino, Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and of course ex history teacher Sting.

We hope that our history students at Bentley Wood will go on to do great things in the future too.

Year 7

In Year 7 we start with a generic investigation called ‘What is History?’ This aims to develop an understanding of key concepts: chronological understanding; cause and consequence; change and continuity; significance; cultural, ethnic and religious diversity; and the ability to analyse and evaluate interpretations. Students then move on to utilise their understanding of these key concepts through historical enquires into conquest and control, why people went on long journeys; and who had power in England. Within these enquires students explore Norman England, the Chinese and Arab Empires in the Middle Ages, and the Tudors and Stuarts. As part of this study students visit St. Albans Abbey and Hampton Court Palace.

Year 8

In Year 8 students continue to develop their love of history whilst also developing their understanding of the new GCSE. Students in Year 8 consider the history of freedom through the American and French Revolutions and the Slave trade; the development of Empire with a key focus on how the British Empire affected the rest of the world; WW1 and WW2 with a key focus on how these major events impacts all people. As part of this study students visit the Imperial War Museum.

We actively encourage all students to develop a love for history through their reading. As a result we have put together a comprehensive fiction book list to support students throughout Year 7 and 8.