The History department offers an exciting and diverse curriculum to inspire a fascination with the past and understand how it shapes our world today, and girls are encouraged to challenge, evaluate and share their ideas.

Head of Department: Mr William Lane

Pupils in Remove (Year 7), Lower Fourth (Year 8) and Upper Fourth (Year 9) study history as part of the compulsory curriculum. We offer a broad range of courses ranging from Medieval England to the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.

The Department has been at the forefront of developments in secondary history teaching for a number of years. At GCSE, pupils follow the AQA History specification  – a course which covers aspects of twentieth century world history, as well as the development of democracy in Britain over a 1000-year period and an in-depth study in the reign of Edward I which includes the study of a specific historical site.

In the Sixth Form, girls take the AQA A level course. The core course covers Tudor England, studying the reigns of monarchs such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, alongside twentieth-century China, covering the communist revolution of 1949, Mao’s dictatorship, and its aftermath to 1997. In addition, girls study a 100-year period which lies outside the taught course and undertake a Historical Investigation on a topic of their own choosing from within it. Periods for study include the Age of the Crusades, Enlightenment France and twentieth-century America.

This gives them the opportunity to research an area of historical debate and leads to an essay of up to 3,500 words. Pupils learn to work independently, whilst being supervised by a member of the department.

Overall, our courses provide pupils with a thorough understanding of the political, economic, social, religious and cultural issues of the past through an understanding of contemporary perspectives and historical debate.

A large number of pupils go on to study the subject at university in order to develop a wide range of careers in finance, law, the arts and teaching.

Further information about the teaching and learning of history may be obtained by contacting the Head of Department, Mr William Lane.

Visits & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House, is to come and experience it for yourself – arrange a visit or join us for one of our Open Mornings?