History Department

We develop our pupils to have enquiring minds – learning the lessons from history to build a better future

History aligned

What is History?

  • History is the study of the past and the important people, events and places that have shaped the world that we live in today. It offers students the opportunity to critically analyse evidence from the past as well as interpretations of that evidence in order to build their own view of what has shaped the local, national and international stage.  They will be able to describe periods of change and continuity whilst making comparisons between different periods and societies.  

Why is this subject important? 

  • History is essential in helping pupils to make sense of the world around them. 
  • The ability to critically analyse evidence that comes from working with sources, helps the pupils to make informed judgements. This is essential in a world where they have access to unlimited information that is not always easily verifiable. 
  • History enables them to argue their own opinions with greater confidence and more sound reasoning. The evidence used to make such judgements will come from a greater understanding of their world in the context of what has gone before. 
  • History supports students' understanding of literature giving them the context within which it has been created. For example when the students come to study Romeo and Juliet in Year 9 they will already have an understanding of the patriarchal nature of England at the time and the themes of power that come through Shakespeare’s iconic play.
  • The study of the Reformation in a Catholic School is essential in helping the students to understand the challenges faced by Catholics within the country and why England broke away from Rome. It should also support an understanding of the new religion that was created by Henry VIII and implemented by Elizabeth I. 

What is the purpose of the subject? 

  • For students living in a multicultural city such as Birmingham it is essential to understand the reasons why we have such diversity but also that this is not a modern phenomenon. Studying the British Empire enables the students to see the impact that Britain has had on the world and why people from many nations have come to consider Britain their homeland. By looking at Britain from the Roman period through Anglo-Saxon invasion and the raids and settlement of the Vikings it becomes clear that the very fabric of Modern Britain is a consequence of conquest, empire and waves of immigration.
  • The Industrial Revolution has helped to shape modern day Britain and students living in Birmingham should have a clear understanding of the essential role played by Birmingham as ‘The City of A Thousand Trades’. They should be able to look at the famous statue on Broad Street and tell the stories of the influencers who shaped the city. 
  • As essential as it is for them to understand Birmingham’s place in modern history it is perhaps just as important for them to understand the history of their own locality. They should know the central role that ‘Kingstanding’ had in the English Civil War.