Aim: To excite and enthuse the students, to raise the profile of History within the school and to help students develop their subject knowledge and prepare for university.
Background: There was no school club or organisation that was completely based on History, and by creating one it was hoped the uptake at GCSE and A Level would improve together with the quality of students’ work in the Sixth Form.
- The History Society was set up in 2010
- In 2011, in need of a clear structure and vision, the society was re-established to be led by five key student leaders in order to nurture their independence and ‘ownership’ of their learning
- Students completed regular presentations based on personal research
- Student membership expanded to include younger students following a recruitment surge by the society leaders. This worked well insofar as nurturing expectations and improving the quality of discussion from the younger members
- Students helped to organise three trips to places of historical interest: The British Museum, the National Army Museum and the Natural History Museum
- Hooded jumpers were printed and sold to members which raised the profile of the subject and the society
- Guest speakers were invited to talk about their experiences of both the British Army and the Royal Navy
- Students aged 11-16 carried out debates and presentations every week and included ‘starter’ activities and reading materials as part of their work
- Students discussed historical novels, debated historical issues and planned a trip
- Students debated key historical issues, in costume, on ‘Open Evening’ in order to raise the subject profile and showcase their passion for the subject
- History Society students were invited to join the GCSE trip to Berlin (Weimar and Nazi Germany)
Evidence: Governor feedback, student surveys.
- Members expressed their increased confidence in the subject and in presenting to others
- Students noted that their learning had been considerable and that they enjoyed learning beyond the classroom
- Increased contact with universities and external (and internal) speakers added diversity to the work of the group
- Uptake figures for GCSE and A Level remain high: History is the most popular option subject
- Of the five History Society founders and ‘leaders’ who left the academy in 2013, three are studying History at university, one is set to begin a teaching course in 2014 and one continues to support the society
Contact: Philippa Edwards, History teacher