Head of Department – Mr Chris Bartlett
Mrs Lindsay Bryant
Dr James Blackwell
Mr Simon Cane-Hardy
To not to know what happened in former times is to continue always a child. Cicero
Despite its reputation, History is not just about learning dates. Historians at Prior Park College develop the ability to think logically, debate and discuss rationally, be creative and improve literacy.
History is highly rewarding. It is the study of significant historical developments over a period of time, and the study in depth, of a period of major historical change or development and associated primary evidence. Pupils are encouraged to think for themselves and to have their own opinions.
Teaching methods within our department are wide ranging and dependent on the topic material. Activities include card sorts, analysis tables, ‘quiz-quiz trade’, lotus video sheets, living graphs, crosswords and word searches. There are also regular debates and presentations that enable students to grapple with controversial issues that they study in History and demonstrate the strength of their own arguments. In recent years, Sixth Form students have benefitted from the expertise of visiting speakers who have spoken about topics such as the untold history of the Twentieth Century and the work of a professional historian.
The History Department offers opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom. Prior Park students visited Krakow and Auschwitz in December 2017, while in October 2018, another History trip will visit Berlin to study its unique position in twentieth-century history topics studied by GCSE students. There are other local trips to the Chalke Valley History Festival for Lower Sixth students, productions of Hitler on Trial for Upper Five historians and a castle visit for the Lower Three pupils. These trips help bring the study of History alive, fostering a love for the subject that expands the classroom experience.