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The History Department is committed to helping pupils explore significant events, individuals and ideas whilst developing essential skills. The breadth of courses and qualifications ranges from Medieval England to Global Issues, whilst both A level and IB History allow for individual choice of coursework subject. At every level pupils are challenged to think critically and creatively, to work collaboratively and to understand the power of all forms of communication.

Reading is an essential part of becoming a successful pupil of History. We are lucky to be very well resourced, not least in our subject library in Grosvenor. We are always looking for opportunities to bring experts and academics to school, and for our pupils to learn experientially. We run an annual trip to the Chalke Valley History Festival as well as foreign visits that are linked directly to the curriculum.

Tom Strongman
Head of History & Politics


All pupils take History in the D year. Approximately two thirds of the year then opt for IGCSE History, a course which focuses on Twentieth Century world History.

In the Sixth Form, pupils can opt for A level History, IB History or Government and Politics A Level.

History iGCSE (CIE)

The course will furnish candidates with a detailed knowledge and appreciation of twentieth century history, in both world and British contexts. The ability to evaluate and assimilate information and to deploy it effectively on paper should also be significantly improved by the end of the two years.

History A level (OCR)

All pupils take two courses in the first year – i) Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest and ii) Apartheid and Reconciliation: South African Politics 1948–1999. They also begin the process of planning their individual coursework.

In the second year all pupils have a choice of three courses: i) English Government and the Church 1066–1216 ii) The Changing Nature of Warfare 1792–1945 or iii) Russia and its Rulers 1855–1964.

Government and politics A level (Edexel)

This is an increasingly popular option at A level and requires no prior knowledge. Pupils study for three papers:

  • UK Politics
  • UK Government
  • Comparative Politics – with the Global option.

We are in the process of planning our first Economics and Politics trip to the USA, and also benefit greatly from the input of both our international pupils and our annual teaching fellows from the University of Virginia, USA.

IB History

Pupils prepare for two or three papers (standard level or higher level) and write an Internal Assessment.

In Year 1 they focus on i) Rights and Protest in USA and South Africa and ii) Authoritarian Leaders, with Higher level pupils starting their in-depth European studies.

In Year 2 they study Independence Movements (Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan) and continue their European studies.


Latest News
In Detail

History & Politics in Detail

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    Congratulations to Dylan for winning the D history essay competition and Theo and Izzy for coming close runners up. Well done on a fantastic achievement.


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    A great day visiting Balliol College with potential Oxbridge candidates. A fantastic insight into the application process. @BryanstonPol


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    History is full of examples of kind and good gestures...