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History is a very successful and popular subject in S. Anselm’s College. We aim to encourage an appreciation of the past and its legacies, rediscovering how the world has evolved, exploring the origins of modern political and social problems and developing pupils’ skills of critical analysis.

Emphasis is placed on academic research, developing independence of thought and the ability to argue a case with clarity and precision both on paper and in class discussion. Teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies and resources to engage and enthuse pupils, extending their knowledge and understanding of specific historical events, periods and societies. The department is famous for its vast array of trips and enrichment activities, including day trips to historic places and museums, and history tours both home and abroad. In Kinder (Year 9) spend three days in Oxford as well as two days in London. The College also organises an optional tour of Northern France and Belgium for all year groups, retracing the steps of those who fought in the Great War and World War 2.

Year 9

At S. Anselm’s College the Year 9 History course, studied by all pupils, makes an in-depth study of the Victorian era, considers the economic, political and social contexts. We explore some of the great industrialists and their innovations, before acknowledging the downsides of the Industrial Revolution such as the poor working conditions and the issue of child labour. From this platform the pupils are then introduced to key critical questions of these times such as whether the British Empire should be a source of pride, whether or not slavery was part of the success or failure of this time and what Jack the Ripper tells us about Victorian cities. Pupils also have the opportunity to investigate historical sites locally and further afield, which encourages them to put real history into context. To gain a flavour of Victorian Britain the Year 9 pupils visit important local sites such as the mills of Cromford and explore issues surrounding the trans-Atlantic slave trade at Wilberforce House in Hull, where pupils have the opportunity to participate in a lively debate in the Guildhall itself.

GCSE History

History is an optional GCSE subject at S. Anselm’s College. We follow the WJEC Eduqas GCSE (9-1) Syllabus which is a two year course comprising of two major components, as follows:

Studies in Depth

  • In depth British Study: Empire, Reform and War: Britain, 1890-1918
  • In depth world study: The Crusades

Studies in Breadth

  • Period Study: the Development of the UK, 1919-1991
  • Thematic Study: Changes in Crime and Punishment in Britain

Class-based learning is reinforced and brought to life by visits to the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham and the optional visit to the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium.