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Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it

George Santayana

This quote says it all; History is both an important and highly relevant subject. Whether on a personal, local, national or international level, both our identity, values and what we hope for in the future are largely defined by what we have been in the past.

As History teachers at Wisbech Grammar School we aim to develop in our pupils both a solid understanding of the past and an enquiring attitude into the causes and consequences of past events. As a department we examine many of the great and dramatic events in History, such as the Battle of Hastings, the French Revolution and the building of the British Empire. We examine many of the famous personalities of History, from national heroes like Lord Nelson to dictators and tyrants like Hitler and King Henry VIII. Alongside the famous we also try to consider the lives of the ordinary and the downtrodden with studies on medieval peasants, African slaves and British women.  We examine the horrors of the 20th century in considerable depth, including both world wars and the Holocaust.

As a department we strive to bring to life every period from History through varied and creative teaching. Pupils are given the chance to engage in a range of exciting activities, including role play, debate, trips and the handling of museum artefacts.  We want our students to be shocked, be surprised and above all be inspired by the past.

Course Content

1st Form; Medieval Realms - English History from 1066 to 1500.

2nd Form; Tudors, Stuarts, British Empire and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

3rd Form; French Revolution, WWI and WWII.

AQA GCSE History 8145

This course includes a period study on Hitler’s Germany, two depth studies on WWI and Norman England and a thematic study on the battle for democracy in Britain.

AQA A Level 7041/7041

The course is built around two detailed studies on the rise and fall of the British Empire and the Birth of the USA. A short coursework unit is completed on 19th and 20th century German History.

Trips and Enrichment

The History Department believes that trips and visits are an excellent way to enhance the educational experience of our students and to bring History to life. Our 1st Form pupils enjoy an annual trip to Castle Rising which supports work on castles in the Middle Ages. 3rd Form pupils visit the battlefields in France and Belgium to enhance their understanding of Britain’s role in the Great War. Pupils in the Lower 6th Form have the opportunity to visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland as part of an educational experience offered by the Holocaust Educational Trust. The department has also run enrichment trips with the Psychology department, taking 6th Form pupils to Poland, Germany and Finland.