Welcome to the History Department

‘The more you know of your History, the more liberated you are.’

Maya Angelo

Through the development of the language of the past, students become effective communicators of the present. History is an academically rich subject grounded in powerful knowledge of global, national and local events which have shaped the social and cultural world around us. At Toot Hill the study of History allows students to understand and analyse the cyclical nature of historical events and the powerful themes we see recurring allowing students to make connections across time and topics equipping them with the skills to interpret current events in a historical context.

We go beyond the National Curriculum and choose to teach topics which offer a better understanding of the world today. For example, we have embedded greater political history within our curriculum, so that students gain a greater understanding of the current political system in Britain, and can engage more in politics once they leave Toot Hill. Examples of political history we choose to teach include the French Revolution, the birth of British protest through the Chartists and the Luddites, and the greater demand for female representation from the Suffragettes to the Women’s Liberation movements of the 1960s. Similarly, we choose to teach a diverse range of stories, focusing now on the Windrush Generation, Black Civil Rights movements in the UK and abroad, and the Stonewall Riots, to emphasise the importance of the unique struggles faced by BAME and LGBTQ+ communities. Finally, we have also chosen to go beyond English history alone, focusing on Britain, through a focus on Northern Ireland and Wales throughout our course, and also by studying at the globalisation of History by observing parallels. This is best demonstrated as we focus on the growth of Lutheranism in Germany, and compare this to the English Reformation. Our curriculum is designed to shape our students to become well-rounded, tolerant and empathetic global citizens.

By studying History, students will be become independent researchers and learners through the extensive wider reading that comes through the completion of personal studies, and through the critical evaluation of contemporary sources. Through their work with sources and historians’ interpretations, students are encouraged to act as Historians, not only within the classroom but outside too, as this allows them to become discerning readers, equipped with the ability to identify bias in the news and social media. Our students become critical thinkers, able to understand and appreciate a wide range of viewpoints on an issue, debate the different arguments, and ultimately establish their own moral compass. With the study of History students become strong enough to stand up for what they believe in. We facilitate this through an embedding of political history throughout our course, preparing them for life beyond school. Through a study of global History, students are enabled to appreciate world cultures, which enables them to celebrate differences and embrace diversity.

September 2021

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