At Arnold House, History is studied throughout the School and is a popular subject amongst the boys. A well-established curriculum offers variety and depth.
In Years 1 and 2 boys are introduced to History as part of the Topic lessons and study themes such as houses and transport throughout the ages. “Proper” History begins in Years 3 and 4 with studies of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome and then the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. In Years 5 and 6 the programme is quite varied and encompasses work on European exploration and settlement of the New World, the History of the United States and the Twentieth Century. We are the only school in the country that studies US History at this level and the boys gain much from this venture. During their studies of the Twentieth Century the boys undertake in-depth projects on the two World Wars. The Year 7 and 8 syllabus is given over to the period needed for Common Entrance: The Middle Ages, which encompasses key events in England’s History, such as the Norman Conquest and Magna Carta . In addition to this, scholars work independently on the causes of World War One and the Cold War. After Common Entrance there is the opportunity for the leaving boys to look at the turbulent events in modern America: the Civil Rights Movement, the assassination of President Kennedy and the events of “9/11”.
A variety of teaching methods are employed that use the best of traditional and modern approaches. Great emphasis is put on the “narrative” of History, but up to date technology such as interactive whiteboards and the Internet are used widely to support this aim. All handouts from Y5 onwards are written by us and tailored to the academic needs and aspirations of our boys. Lessons also encourage empathy and an appreciation of the differences and similarities between the past and the present. A sense of citizenship is also fostered by a clear study of British History, put into European and world context.