History

The study of history should enable students to make sense of their own experiences by being able to place them in local, national and international contexts and help them to understand the society and world in which they live.  It makes a major contribution to preparation for citizenship through the consideration of a wide range of societies and political systems.  In addition it contributes to economic and industrial understanding through the study of different ways of managing economies and factors influencing economic and industrial development or stagnation and decline.  History has links with most other subjects: it provides the context into which works of art, music and literature as well as scientific developments can be placed; it involves the study of the nature of a wide range of religious beliefs and their effects on different societies as well as the importance of geographical factors in influencing developments; much use is made of the written and spoken word, playing a part in the development of literacy.

At least as important are the intellectual skills developed through the study of history which should help students become flexible and able to adapt to a rapidly changing society. Students gain an awareness of the complexity of causation in human affairs, the varied impact of change and the diverse ways in which people respond to situations. The ability to evaluate information critically is central to the study of history and with this comes an awareness of the uncertain nature of interpretations even when based on a range of evidence.  Students have to learn to think for themselves and to prepare coherent arguments.