History is an important subject in a number of ways. Naturally, our shared past provides modern society with context and cohesion, allowing students better to understand the social, political, economic, spiritual and cultural world in which they live. Moreover, history is a compelling story that is capable of engaging people of all ages and interests. Above all, however, history is an intellectual and academic training course. It is an analytical subject which demands that students identify, analyse and evaluate evidence, and reach independent judgements in answer to complex questions, which then have to be communicated clearly, coherently and convincingly. Gone are the days when studying history simply comprised learning names and dates; it is a much tougher subject now!
In the lower years at Lucton, we focus largely on British history. The Prep and Middle Schools study a range of topics from Roman Britain to post-World War II Britain. From Year 9 onwards, studies are divided equally between British and World history. British history is treated more or less chronologically from the Industrial Revolution onwards, while World history focuses on key turning points such as the causes of World Wars I and II, the Russian Revolution and the German Reformation.
At all stages, discussion and debate are strongly encouraged during lessons, and students are invited to explore and communicate their understanding of history in many ways. The work is further lightened by trips to places as diverse as the National museum of Wales at St Fagan’s, the battlefield at Bosworth, the Commandery at Worcester, Ironbridge, the Ypres Salient and, in the Sixth Form, cultural centres such as London, Berlin, Rome and Florence. Expectations are very high indeed and our students have risen magnificently to the challenge, judging by the public examination results over the past few years, but we always aim to enjoy ourselves along the way!