"We need history. Without it, we are like foundlings left on the doorstep of the future.” James Irvine
History is about the people and events that shaped the Modern World. As well as being fascinating and exciting, it enables you to continue learning about the past through your studies, and come to a far better understanding of the present.
If you really want to understand what is happening around you today, study the history of the Modern World. History particularly develops independent thought and analysis. It teaches you to organise and present ideas very clearly.
"History is really interesting. I find studying something that had an impact on us today yet it was sometimes thousands of years ago really amazing. It teaches you to analyse and helps you think about both sides of the story. If you have any inclination in studying it, just go for it, you have nothing to lose!"
We want girls to be fired up with intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm. We make sure that girls have a good historical background before specialising for GCSE and A level. We aim to introduce them to our national story as well as giving them a sense of international history.
We want girls to learn specific skills in the historian’s toolkit:
We also aim to enhance literacy skills:
"History is really fun as we learn of what has shaped the world today and it has really helped improve my essay writing for my other subjects, it is also great as we get to argue a lot!"
Year 7 - Focus on Medieval History
Girls will learn about Historical Sources and Chronology. This might involve solving mysteries!
Year 8 - Focus on Tudors and Stuarts and Industrialisation
We study Political, Religious and Social changes, Henry V11 and the establishment of the Tudor Dymasty.
We will aim to sharpen their understanding of source evaluation and develop skills of synthesis, analysis, essay writing and note taking.
Year 9 - Girls develop the skills they will need for GCSE but we aim to cover aspects of modern History outside the GCSE syllabus
Girls learn to write analytical essays, evaluate sources, produce documentary films and study local History.
They will study:
A Level OCR - We aim to give our students an introduction to early Modern and Modern History, rather than a narrow focus on Modern History
We have three teachers in the History Department with a range of specialist interests. We spend time working alongside students not only in the classroom but with 1:1 sessions outside of lessons.
We have extensive collections of books relating to the topics we cover and wider historical debate as well as subscribing to The Historical Association and History Journals.
We have extensive clip collections, films and online textbooks. We use movie maker, research tools and other relevant software, MOOCs and Podcasts.
We have facsimiles of a number of historical sources as well as shared costumes with the Drama department. Antiquarian books are available to the sixth form as well as a number of history based games.
We work very closely with the Library who frequently produce tailored book boxes for lessons and research IT links to relevant sites for us. They train pupils in relevant research skills.
A number of our students have gone on to read History or related subjects in recent years at a number of Russell Group Universities including Oxford, Exeter, Warwick, Durham, Cardiff, UCL.
Keep up to date with History at MSJ by following @msj_histpol on Twitter.
We hold regular Oxbridge Discussion sessions; these take place during the Lower Sixth and then weekly in the Autumn Term. These will include discussions about historical subjects and wider reading as well as preparation for HAT.
Girls attend lectures at neighbouring schools as well as A Level lectures in London. We also have an annual lecture at MSJ by a visiting academic. Recent lectures have been on Soviet Communism by Chris Ward and the Pre –Reformation Church by Dr Benjamin Thompson, The Russian Revolution by Martin McCauley.
We organise trips to the USA, the 1st World War Battlefields and Berlin.
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