The history boys
Our school vision includes the desire to ensure our boys have the knowledge, skill and confidence to become fully engaged citizens in the community. A key element of that is to ensure they understand context, and in particular historical context. I managed to see some of our boys engaged in history lessons this week. They truly were engaged, as the enthusiasm was self-evident. The department provide a challenging curriculum to better understand the history of Britain and the wider world. From arrival in Year 7, boys follow a chronological narrative, starting from the earliest times to the present day. There are a vast range of artefacts and sources our boys explore, to bring the subject alive.
Under the dynamic leadership of Mrs Anderton, our enthusiastic staff endeavour to instil a passion for history in the boys. A vital part of that is developing an understanding of how individuals and attitudes have shaped the nation, and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. In doing so, we invest in the cultural capital of our boys. Through Key Stage 3 they learn skills to make connections, draw contrasts and write own structured accounts such as written narratives and analyses.
History is a very popular option choice at KS4, and boys develop wider understanding through topics including: Medicine through Time, Superpower Relations and the Cold War, Early Elizabethan England and Weimar and Nazi Germany. By using a wide range of sources, our boys engage in historical enquiry and develop a more sophisticated way to organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding. We hope that moving forward our boys will maintain their interest in studying the past, and recognise how it can so strongly influence the future. It is a key understanding to take with them after they leave West Hill.
Various individuals have been attributed with variations of an aphorism; “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. We have a responsibility to equip our boys with the understanding and appreciation to learn from the past in order to make the future better, not as a brief encounter, but a lifelong commitment.
Posted by Mr Owens on 14 May 2021
Category: Headteacher's Log Book