“We discover the past together”
The aim of the History Department, an exceptionally strong team of teachers, is to excite and enthuse the students.
Dr J Nicholas – Head of Department
Mr M Beer – Deputy Head
Miss L Francis
Mrs N Harper (maternity leave)
Mr D Harris (maternity cover)
Miss S Miller
Dr F Murray – Head of Politics & Oxbridge Applications
Miss H Strickland
Mr P Taylor – i/c Law
Mr C Walton
We open proceedings with a ‘tour through the second Millennium AD’, with the Battle of Hastings re-enacted at the outset of Year 7. We then move through the English Civil War and Slavery in Year 8 and conclude with the horrors of Auschwitz and Hiroshima in Year 9. The momentous events of the 20th Century form the focus for a Modern World Study at GCSE. Incorporated into this is a trip to the battlefields of the First World War in Belgium and France.
For the past 13 years History students in Year 11 have had the privilege of meeting and listening to a Holocaust survivor, as part of their GCSE coursework programme. Mr Arek Hersh MBE of Harewood survived the horrendous event living in numerous Ghettos and camps across Poland, Germany and Czechoslovakia, the most notorious being Auschwitz between 1944 and 1945.
Students have the opportunity to listen to Arek’s story as well as question him on his experiences. Many leave the event in awe and visibly moved by what they hear. This, for many, is their most memorable experience at St. Aidan’s. This was summed by one of our students this year who said to Arek as he left ‘thank you so much, it was a privilege to meet you’.
In the Sixth Form the emphasis is on contrasting the achievement of democracy and freedom in Britain and America with the dictatorship of the Third Reich.
Government and Politics are also taught in the Sixth Form and a trip to Parliament and the Cabinet War Rooms/Imperial War Museum is offered to Sixth Formers.