Year 7 students visit St Albans Cathedral as part of their study of the Medieval Church. In Year 8, students extend their knowledge of the Tudor period with a visit to the Tower of London. In Year 9, all students are invited to visit the Battlefields of Ypres in Belgium, as part of their study of the First World War. In Year 10, students consolidate their knowledge of Germany and warfare with a visit to the Imperial War Museum. The History Centenary Club is also well attended.
All Sixth Form students are invited to enter a variety of academic competitions. These include The Vellacott History Prize and The Robson History Prize organised by Peterhouse College and Trinity College, Cambridge. Other competitions include St Hilda’s College Oxford History Essay Prize Competition and a national competition focusing on the ‘History of Parliament’. History students are also keen participants of the school’s Debating Club, which enters national competitions organised by Oxford University, Cambridge University and the English Speaking Union.
In the Sixth Form, students attend a variety of academic lectures, which are usually held in London.
As part of our commemoration of the Centenary of the Great War, the History department oversaw a very successful co-curricular week in the Michaelmas term of 2014. The department also hosted two lectures by notable academics; Dr Stuart Halifax, a post graduate of Oxford University, lectured on ‘Essex and the Great War.’ Dr Elizabeth Bruton, an experienced speaker on the BBC and visiting Fellow of Oxford University, spoke on ‘Wires and Wireless’, an overview of the development of different systems of telecommunications – telegraph, telephone, and wireless – during the war, including the work of the Marconi Company in Chelmsford.
In 2015, 100% of students achieved A*-B grades at GCSE; 100% of students achieved A*-B grades at A Level.
For the past 5 years, the department’s results have consistently surpassed national results; most recently achieving 50% more A*-A grades than the national average at IGCSE. 18 papers were marked at 100/100 (2014).
History is a popular option choice both at IGCSE and A Level, with many students choosing to read History at university. In 2015, Alexander Harker gained three A* and one A grade and secured his place to read History at the University of Cambridge.
Head of Department
Mr P Bray BA (Dunelm), MA (Dunelm), GTP (Head of Humanities)