‘The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.’ Theodore Roosevelt
The History Department boasts a wealth of enrichment opportunities available to students from Years 7 to 13. Indeed, as a hugely popular subject at Berkhamsted, we see many of our students go on to pursue the subject well beyond their school careers. Old Berkhamstedians who have read History at university have later thrived in the world of law, journalism, government, academia, the military and more.
History students are well supported in their studies by the wealth of resources we have access to. These include BBC History Magazine, Modern History Review Magazine and the Churchill Archive, to name just a few. Additionally, we have online subscriptions to platforms including History Today and Massolit, used frequently when engaging in research projects in Key Stage 3 and examined coursework in Key Stages 4 and 5.
Outside of the classroom, there are a variety of activities on offer. To further develop their understanding of the subject, students are encouraged to read widely; we are lucky to have an extremely well-resourced Library at both Kings and Castle campus. The department runs two different clubs for those looking to explore areas not on the curriculum, including a historical films club and a historical research club.
For aspiring young historians, there are also a number of competitions to enter each year, including a Key Stage 3 Historical Fiction competition and a Sixth Form competition judged by acclaimed historian, Roger Moorhouse. Further external competitions run by prestigious institutions are promoted throughout the year to those in Year 12 and 13.
Every year, students are given the opportunity to attend after-school lectures delivered by prominent historians on topics relevant to our school curriculum. Past guest speakers have included Professor Stephen Tuck, BBC broadcaster Helen Castor and historians Thomas Penn and Tracy Borman. For those looking to study History at university, the department also runs a tailored Oxbridge Programme to support individuals in their applications and to provide another forum to share their passion for the subject.
For the vast array of trips run by the History Department, please see the departmental photographs taken from different places around the world, including Normandy, Berlin and Moscow!
The History Department hopes to cultivate your interest, spark your curiosity and grow your enthusiasm for the subject through the enrichment opportunities on offer.
‘I loved how supportive the History Department were of those wanting to continue studying History beyond Year 13. They were encouraging and passionate about helping us with our applications.’
‘I really enjoyed the History Coursework as it allowed us to pursue our own research outside of the classroom and go beyond what we were taught in lessons.’
‘History lessons are fun and engaging. I like discussing ideas in class and looking at views from all sorts of different of different perspectives.’
‘I love how involved we all are in History lessons.’
‘I feel that I have made progress in History this year because we covered topics that I was unfamiliar with, such as the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Cold War. This has helped me to gain an insight into the history of other cultures, rather than just British culture.
‘My reasoning has definitely improved over the course of the year as I can now construct arguments and engage effectively in debates.’
‘Doing independent projects in History has really helped me to improve my research skills.’
‘The Holocaust survivor talk put on by the History Department really brought what we had been studying in the classroom to life.’
‘I think that discussing ideas as a class but at the same time using OneNote works well, as we can put down our ideas but also hear other peoples’ views, as we would if we were in a ‘real’ classroom.’