From the Norman Conquest to the Battle for Berlin, from the Black Death to Bird Flu, History deals with the substance of life and death throughout the ages, and helps us to understand not only why mistakes have been made but also how they have been avoided, thus enabling us to avoid them in our own time. However, this is just one of many benefits of studying History.
History develops verbal and written communication skills to a very high level – these skills are highly marketable commodities in today’s job market. History graduates can hope to find employment in many spheres of work, from journalism and human resources, whether in commerce or in industry, to law and advertising, the media or politics. History graduates like Jonathan Ross and Louis Theroux, Sacha Baron-Cohen and Shakira are well-known personalities, whilst David Sainsbury (CEO Sainsburys), Anita Roddick (founder of the Body Shop), Anthony Hudson and Charles Smith (former CEOs of ICI) have made their names in industry.
History at Wellington is taught using a variety of methods, ranging from the traditional to the unconventional. The Department is very well-resourced, with a wealth of both textbooks and more substantial texts. Students can also access resources online, both on the School’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and via the Home Access Portal (HAP). Plenty of audio-visual material is also used to add further variety to lessons.
There is a wide range of educational visits every year, including Chepstow Castle (Year 7), the Big Pit Museum (Year 8), and the Battlefields of World War One (Year 9). Where possible, there are trips abroad to destinations such as Berlin and Auschwitz. Students at Sixth Form level also have the opportunity to attend one-day History Conferences at top universities. Re-enactors visit to bring the history we study to life – whether it be the Hundred Years’ War, Iron Age craftsmanship, or the English Civil War.
At Key Stage 3 we follow a course which is broadly in line with the National Curriculum as it stands at the moment, followed by AQA GCSE History. Students study the USA 1920-73, Conflict and Tension in Asia 1950-75, Migration and Empires c790-present day and England 1272-1307. At A Level we deliver the OCR syllabus – England 1035-1107, Germany 1919-63, Russia 1855-1964 and a Coursework essay on a topic of a student’s choice. Many students choose to continue their studies at university whether as a straight History degree, a Joint Honours course, or even as part of an intercalated degree in Medicine.