Why study history?

History is an important subject. It enables the student to engage critically with the world and more importantly it helps to foster a sense of understanding of the world. The curriculum that the pupils follow reflects this philosophy. In First to Third Forms, pupils learn about Britain and its relation to the wider world from 1066 to 1945. The focus is on how living and ruling changed over time. The curriculum concentrates on the United Kingdom, but topics such as the Crusades, Spain and the Armada, the French Revolution and the British Empire are also studied.


The Head of History, Mrs Amanda Sunde, read Modern History at Sheffield University. She has a keen interest in British fascist movements of the twentieth century and twentieth century dictatorships. She likes to travel and has led the History Department on many successful overseas School trips to Belgium, Berlin and Russia.

Bob Carr has been in the department for over a decade and collects biscuit tins. His grandfather was the chairman of Carr’s, the water biscuit company, on which many a cheese around the world has rested, and over time he has put together a formidable collection of Carr’s memorabilia, even lending some to the BBC. He read History at Durham University and takes a particular interest in the Great War 1914-18.

The last full-time teacher is Richard Plowden, who read History and Politics at Newcastle University. His postgraduate research was on the nineteenth century British Empire and this continues to be an active interest. He has spent much of his life working in outdoor education and management training.

Lastly, there is the Deputy Head, Jeremy Farrell, who gives his services to the department on a part-time basis. He loves cricket and taught the current England Test captain how to play.

GCSE curriculum

At IGCSE the focus is very much on the modern world and we use the Cambridge International Examination board. This includes a study of the peace treaties that followed the end of First World War; how the League of Nations attempted to bring peace and order to the world; the road to the Second World War; the Cold War and the USA 1919-41. 

A Level curriculum

At A Level we follow the AQA syllabus and offer a study of Russia from 1864-1965. We also study Britain from 1950-2007 as well as the Tudors as a coursework module in the second year of study.

Further opportunities

The department runs many interesting and fascinating local trips to places such as Dover Castle, Chatham Dockyards, the Battle of Britain museum at Hawkinge, Bodiam castle, Battle, Hampton Court Palace, the Imperial War Museum in London and at Duxford. Further afield the department has run trips to the battlefields of Belgium, and to the cities of Berlin, Leningrad and Moscow. The department also takes pupils to A Level study days in London where pupils hear the most up to date research from academics such as Orlando Figes, Dominic Sandbrook and David Starky.

Mrs Amanda Sunde
Head of Department


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