The study of History requires a sense of curiosity. The mystery of how and why events in the past happened raises questions as to what could have happened if those events had resulted in different outcomes. We look at the cause and consequence of revolutions throughout time and students consider how the strong views demonstrated in these revolutions still permeate the world today. Students are encouraged to explore and evaluate the role played by important individuals in the shaping of the world we live in today. Students also reflect on varying interpretations of the past and how these interpretations have been arrived at. Questions on such interpretation form an integral part of assessment at A Level and GCSE. Artefacts used in lessons can bring us closer to people and time periods we study. We invite Simon Jarman MBE to deliver sessions about the Western Front in which students can touch artefacts that were used one hundred years ago on the battlefields.

Here at Abbotsholme we encourage our students to be reflective learners, to raise questions and explore opportunities to overcome barriers within their learning. Understanding events in context is vital when we look at topics such as slavery, the Holocaust and the Suffrage movement. All students at the school visit the WWI battlefields in France and Belgium during their studies in KS3, and there is opportunity to visit family members who died in the war. Students also lay a wreath at Menin Gate on behalf of the Old Abbotsholmians who died in WWI. Reflecting on the decisions made by individuals, governments and communities is central to the study of the Holocaust, the British Empire and the World Wars. An excursion for Year 8 students to the Slavery Museum in Liverpool is organised with the Life, Religion and Citizenship department.

Students study change and continuity over time within a variety of topics, notably in our Medicine through time module at GCSE. This looks at the social issues and individual needs which have shaped the healthcare which we recognise and rely on today. Students will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of British culture and vice versa, through topics such as Empire and Industry. Students’ ability to exercise leadership and demonstrate responsibility is promoted through team learning activities in many History lessons. Sharing understanding, knowledge and ideas is crucial in order that students make informed, well-reasoned arguments based on fact and primary sources.

Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of, and empathise with, people from different cultural backgrounds through opportunities to investigate British rule in India and the abolition of the Slave trade. Students will examine how other cultures have had a major impact on the development of British culture (for example the Norman Conquest) and industry. Students develop a better understanding of Britain’s parliamentary system when we study the events before, during and after the English Civil War. Students at KS5 complete a module on Britain 1900-1951.