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I Am Known: I Am More

History

History informs us about how the world we live in has been shaped

History is a study of the actions of mankind and an explanation of why events were caused and the consequences of them. History at The Oratory supplies students with a range of transferable skills that are highly sought after. Students will develop their powers of argument, of selecting and evaluating evidence and opinions, of determining importance and significance. These skills are invaluable in future study and in a variety of careers where writing reports, analysing situations, and presenting arguments are required.

 

Think Critically And Creatively

We are committed to helping students explore significant events, individuals, and ideas, while developing essential skills. At every level, students are challenged to think critically and creatively, to work collaboratively, and to understand the power of all forms of communication.

About

History at The Oratory is taught across all year groups and is optional from GCSE level and above with students going on to study History or associated courses at University. Studying History helps inform us of how the world we live in came about: why different countries have different types of governments; why tensions exist between and within countries; why there is considerable diversity in wealth, culture, ethnicity within countries. Within the department, emphasis is placed on evaluating the strengths, usefulness, and value of sources as evidence, and on understanding and assessing the methodology and interpretations of historians. These skills of evaluation and analysis are greatly sought after, not just by traditional professions such as the law, the civil service, education and journalism, but also in the world of management and even in the financial sector, where the ability to analyse and explain trends over time and to make a compelling case for adopting a new strategy or product play into the hands of the skilled historian.

Meet the Head of History

I studied History at the University of Liverpool and was awarded a 1st class degree. My particular areas of interest are based around the Cold War, particularly regarding America’s foreign policy in the 1960s and 1970s. I passionately believe that History has an important role to play in educating young students. Studying History helps inform us of how the world we live in came about: why different countries have different types of governments; why tensions exist between and within countries; why there is considerable diversity in wealth, culture, ethnicity within countries. I appreciate the skill set required to be a historian and the wider role it can play. Within the department, emphasis is placed on evaluating the strengths, usefulness, and value of sources as evidence, and on understanding and assessing the methodology and interpretations of historians. These skills of evaluation and analysis are greatly sought after, not just by traditional professions such as the law, the civil service, education and journalism, but also in the world of management and even in the financial sector, where the ability to analyse and explain trends over time and to make a compelling case for adopting a new strategy or product play into the hands of the skilled historian.

Mr Mikey Hennessy, Head of History

Curriculum

A Level

At A Level, students study the Edexcel course. Papers 1 and 2 will focus on revolutions: the conflict between the Crown and Parliament in the 17th century and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in the 20th century. Paper 3’s study of Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA, and the coursework topic on the Holocaust, will focus on diversity. By the end of the 2 year course students will be able to compare causes and consequence of change and revolution across three different countries (Britain, USA & Russia) and across two different time periods (Early Modern and Modern). They will be able to analyse change and development over time and understand the nature of historical significance. 
 

Course content

Assessment

 

Paper 1 (30%)

Britain 1625-1701, conflict, revolution and settlement.

2 hour 15 minute examination.

 

 

Paper 2 (20%)

Russia in Revolution: 1894-1924.

1 hour 15 minute examination.

 

 

Paper 3 (30%)

Civil Rights and Race Relations in the USA, 1850-2009.

2 hour 15 minute examination.

 

Coursework (20%)

The Holocaust.

3,000-4,000 word essay.

 

GCSE

At GCSE level, students study the Cambridge IGCSE course. This focuses upon understanding the nature of the Modern World. Students will study a 20th Century depth study on the USA and will then gain an understanding of the key events in International Relations in the post-war world, examining the League of Nations, the collapse of international peace in 1939, the development of the Cold War, America’s involvement in Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, Soviet control of Eastern Europe and the various con´Čéicts in the Gulf States. In the Fifth Form, students will complete coursework on the significance of Thatcher’s political career  before undertaking an in depth source-based study on one aspect of international relations. 

Other year groups

In 1st and 2nd Form, emphasis is placed on developing historical skills and techniques. In the 1st Form, this is based on events from 1066-1485, with specific topics including the  Norman Conquest, the barons' rebellion against King John, the Black Death, and the War of the Roses. This is developed further in the 2nd Form, focusing on the Tudors and Stuarts and an in-depth look and religious change in the medieval period and the Civil War. In the 3rd Form, the syllabus focuses on Nazi Germany, including Hitler’s rise to power, and significant turning points of World War 2. This is an important year in laying the foundation for the IGCSE course as students are taught the skill set the help through the course. 

Co-Curricular

The History Department is active beyond the classroom. Throughout the school year, we run a number of different trips and workshops. This includes visits to the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace for 1st and 2nd Form students. 3rd Form students engage with talks and workships with the Holocaust Educational Trust and 6th Form students have the opportunity to visit Parliament. The History Department is proactive in leading whole school assemblies, notable around Black History Month.  

History Competition

Each year the department runs a History competition for Year 5 and 6 primary school age students named after Old Oratorian and Victoria Cross recipient, Adrian Carton de Wiart. Described in a BBC article in 2015 as ‘the unkillable soldier’, Carton de Wiart fought in the Boer War and in WWI and was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for bravery in battle for his actions at the Battle of the Somme. The department receives over a 100 entries from a wide range of schoos, which take on a number of different forms, from full-length essays to documentary-style videos. Recent themes have included, ‘Buildings of Historical Significance’, ‘Places in History’ and ‘Local Heroes’.

Beyond the Course

History at The Oratory supplies students with a range of transferable skills that are highly sought after. Students will develop their powers of argument, selecting and evaluating evidence and opinions and determining importance and significance. These skills are invaluable in future study and in a variety of careers where writing reports, analysing situations, and presenting arguments are required. We are committed to helping students explore significant events, individuals, and ideas, while developing essential skills. At every level, students are challenged to think critically and creatively, to work collaboratively, and to understand the power of all forms of communication. 

 Latest News

1st Form History's visit to The Tower of London

1st Form History's visit to The Tower of London

 


 

 

 

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The Oratory School
Woodcote
Oxfordshire
RG8 0PJ

Tel: +44 (0)1491 683500