We encourage an appreciation of the past, promoting the enjoyment of its rediscovery, and develop the critical skills our boys need to interpret historical sources and foster an appreciation of their cultural heritage.
We have a strong focus on academic research and developing independence of thought.
For example, in Year 8, every pupil visits the Blackden Trust to discover how archaeology can help historians find out about the past, whilst Year 9 boys undertake an internet-based exercise focussing on the assassination of President John F Kennedy. We have a dedicated History library, open to all boys.
There are plenty of opportunities for boys to develop their interest in the subject beyond the classroom. The Lower School, Middle School and Senior History Societies meet weekly, featuring talks by pupils, members of the department and distinguished outside speakers. Furthermore, the Middle School History Society hosts an annual debate in the School theatre. The department publishes its own journal, The Shoardian, which is written and edited by the students. An example of an issue can be viewed here.
The department is famous for its vast array of trips, including day trips to castles and museums, and history tours (home and abroad), taking in the battlefields of northern France and Belgium and sites in North America. All boys in Years 7-9 go on a day trip as part of the History course. Lower Sixth historians get the opportunity to attend a course-related lecture in London.
Members of the department are active outside of school, and in recent years have published articles, written textbooks and delivered training for other History teachers.