The History Department seek to promote a broad and deep understanding of the past.
History at Francis Holland School is not just the learning of a series of dates and events – although they are important – rather we aim to inspire every student to achieve a wider and deeper understanding of the past and therefore of the contemporary world, while developing key skills of critical analysis and good judgement. We develop students’ understanding of the nature of change and continuity, of causation in history, and the relative significance and interplay of causal factors involved in events.
The department is run by Miss Emily Boon, supported by Miss Dorian Adams, Ms Wendy Grimshaw, Mrs Rachel Sawyer and Miss Maartje Geussens. Their collective expertise covers a wide range of periods from Medieval History to the 20th Century.
The passion and commitment of the History staff make it an extremely popular subject with girls achieving excellent results both at GCSE and A-Level.
The Department believes that each student should have a thorough knowledge of a broad sweep of history even if they do not take the subject at IGCSE. Therefore its Key Stage 3 course comprises a wide and varied curriculum which includes:
Students will use and develop their skills of note-taking, source evaluation, discussion, debate, and essay writing. There are many opportunities for independent research, group work, the use of ICT, debate, and project work.
At FHS the greater majority of students choose to continue their study of History to IGCSE level. The course again provides breadth and depth, allowing pupils to develop a broader knowledge and understanding of the past, and improve their skills of analysis, enquiry, interpretation, investigation, communication, and argument. It offers considerable variety, in that pupils study British, European and world history, examining topics both in depth and thematically:
The course, which is entirely examination-based, provides excellent preparation for the study of History at A-Level.
The History Department offers a two year linear course covering British, European and world history. This provides the breadth that we know is valued by universities and avoids a narrow focus on the twentieth century, while providing analytical depth in each key period. In this way girls are well prepared for undergraduate studies, with History being a popular choice of degree.
The A-Level is made up of 4 units, 3 of which will be assessed in written examinations at the end of the course, and 1 coursework unit. These units complement our IGCSE and Key Stage 3 courses and offer considerable variety in terms of perspective and depth of study.
Paper 1: Breadth Study with Interpretations
England, 1509 – 1603: Authority, Nation & Religion
Paper 2: Depth Study
The Dutch Revolt, c. 1563 – 1609
Paper 3: Themes in Breadth with Aspects in Depth
Ireland and the Union, c. 1774 – 1923
Paper 4: Coursework
China in the Age of Mao
Students have opportunities to develop analytical and critical skills, learn how to construct structured arguments, address historical claims and debates, and reach judgements by analysis and evaluation. The style of lessons is very different from IGCSE as we like them, as often as possible, to be seminars where students can offer their own views and discuss their own research.
The department has a classroom equipped with an interactive whiteboard and the latest computer and projection equipment to enable a variety of teaching methods. Pupils benefit from presentations by staff and other girls using images and resources from websites, videos, CDs and Powerpoint.
Your daughter will benefit from an extraordinarily well equipped library section which supports and enhances teaching and learning, especially at A-Level. Text books are well provided for at every level and sixth formers can access the departmental intranet for notes, further reading suggestions and activities for extension purposes.
The department holds a library induction for A-Level students each year to guide on the selection of reading material and how to study at advanced level.
The benefits of experiencing history outside the classroom are enormous. We take advantage of our historically rich central London location by organising a wide range of visits all designed to enhance what has been learnt in the classroom. For example we visit:
The History Discussion Group meet from time to time to discuss issues and ideas.
The Sixth Form History Discussion Group is a joint venture between the History Department at FHS Sloane Square and FHS Regent's Park where we debate various historical controversies over tea in a museum.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.