Head of Department: Mr Trehy
Teachers: Mrs Appleyard and Mr Bryant
The Burnham Grammar School History department has always encouraged high intellectual standards and a recognition that the skills needed for history can be developed over time and are not inherent to particular types of students. Writing and producing responses to questions or problems posed, is a process. Successful work is not completed in a single moment of genius or inspiration, but is developed over a series of steps and often learned skills. Above all else, history helps to train our minds to think in a complex, rational and logical manner.
History also places a particular stress on the development of independent thought and requires excellent communication skills, namely high levels of literacy and oral presentation. All students but especially in KS4 and KS5, will be expected to work independently to think for themselves and to engage in a good deal of wider reading and research. Students will often have to present the results of research both independently and in the wider context of class and group discussions.
There is also a fundamental to need to come to terms with unfamiliar periods in history in a way that facilitates reflective and adaptable skills, including empathy and imaginative insight. Students need to be able to assess past events in a critical manner and not merely “tell the story”.
History at this school as a whole, offers various different types of learning at different levels and in a wide range of subject areas. The Burnham Grammar School History department is unusual in offering a comparatively wide range of periods for study. Courses and topics vary from general overviews at one extreme such as the Cold war in Year 10, to in-depth studies at the other such as the development of the French Nation State during the 16th Century in Year 13. The former encourages understanding of historical process, with its mix of continuity and change; the latter develops the analysis of documents and other material, developing research methods.
What we study at Burnham Grammar School:
- The three-year GCSE course (running from September 2016) will study Germany from 1890 to 1945, Elizabethan England from 1568 to 1603, the outbreak of World War II from 1918 to 1939 and a thematic British Study on Power and the People from 1170 to the present day.
- The two-year GCSE course (only running between September 2016 and June 2018) will follow the same template with one exception. It will begin with an examination of the Cold War between 1945 until 1972. This will be instead of an examination of why World War II broke out. The decision to follow this path has been made with the management of staff and resources in mind, as well as building on the significant amount of work done on this topic in the last two years
- The 2016-17 Year 8 are currently studying the Industrial Revolution 1750 to 1900. This runs for a semester until the February half term. From that point, Year 8 students do an in-depth study of the outbreak of World War I, trench warfare, the trench diary research module, the outbreak of World War II and the major events of that period as well as a home front magazine research module.
- Year 7 students from 2016-17 will study the Medieval Realms course until the summer term. This covers various aspects of life in the middle ages and covers such events as the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the Peasants revolt as well as religion, village and town life and the Feudal System. At the beginning of the summer term Year 7 will begin studying the Industrial Revolution 1750 to 1900.