Subject Lead for History: Mr Chris Wickington
History by Mr Chris Wickington
I loved exploring history across a wide range of time and connect many missing links in our understanding of the world. Our A-Level covers not just more modern topics but looks at how government and society functioned in the Late Medieval Period, Early Modern Period and in 20th century Russia. I also find it remarkable how much we can connect with these different times and places with the modern day.
Why Study History?
History is as much about the present as the past. What makes us the way we are? Where do our beliefs, prejudices, political systems come from? A good historian, therefore, needs a healthy interest in and awareness of current affairs and classes will often involve drawing parallels with contemporary situations. Studying History in the Sixth Form will allow you, and expect you, to explore your own ideas and reach your own conclusions. We will teach you how to think, rather than tell you what to think and, where possible, classes will take the form of seminar style discussions in which you will be expected to participate.
To do this effectively, you will need to learn how to analyse and evaluate, and how to construct clear and rational arguments to defend your point of view. Successful students will be those who can read critically and write convincingly.
The A level course spans Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History. The aim of the units is to develop specific history-related skills such as source analysis and interpretation, critical thinking, targeted reading, research, and extended writing, whilst allowing parallels and patterns to emerge by studying human social, economic and political behaviour in a variety of contexts. The course has been designed to balance political, social, modern, and earlier History:
- Unit 1: Britain 1625-1701- Conflict, revolution, and settlement (Year 12)
- Unit 2: Russia in Revolution, 1894-1924 (Year 12)
- Unit 3: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII, 1399-1509 (Year 13)
- Unit 4: Independent Research on a historical topic (Year 13)
Beyond A level
History quite rightly retains its high status among universities and employers as a rigorous intellectual discipline that trains the mind. Well educated historians can think clearly, can prioritise, and can argue concisely and convincingly about complex problems - sought after qualities in most fields. A good grade in History will be taken as a mark of an applicant's general intellectual ability, and a capacity for hard work.
In the wider world lawyers, journalists, writers, management consultants, politicians - indeed anyone who needs to be able to present a point of view - will benefit from the skills learnt through studying History.