"The function of the historian is neither to love the past nor to emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as the key to the understanding of the present."
E. H. Carr (Historian and Writer)
History is one of the most commonplace subjects: it is all around us. Its popularity in books, films and television testifies to its instant appeal, reflecting our enjoyment in a good story, a hunger for knowledge of the past and a desire to develop our understanding of where we have come from.
The study of History not only provides the opportunity to understand the past but also valuable training in the skills of research, empathy, comprehension, as well as an analysis of a wide range of material, to reach a reasoned interpretation and/ or opinion.
At Bentley Wood we believe that History teaches so much more than just some 'dusty old facts from the past' and we aim to provide an experience that will stimulate our students and develop a life-long interest in the subject. Employers and academic institutions place a high value on skills developed through the study of History. In particular, they are impressed by the ability of Historians to research, analyse and present information. Above all, History helps us to think logically and put forward reasoned arguments.
History is a well established subject which can serve as an appropriate academic springboard into a wide variety of courses in higher education and a diverse range of jobs. History graduates are recruited successfully into a considerable range of occupations, which include the law, administration and management, buying, marketing and selling, accountancy and computing as well as teaching, librarianship and journalism. Discerning political leaders and employers have always valued the training history provides.
Our world is littered with fellow historians who have achieved success in a variety of areas, from television to politics, acting to singing: TV presenter Louis Theroux, Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Hollywood actress and model Miro Sorvino, Coldplay's lead singer Chris Martin and of course ex history teacher Sting. We hope that our history students at Bentley Wood will go on to do great things in the future too.
In Year 7 we immerse students in academic historical study through enquiry from their first few lessons. They start in line with the National curriculum in 1066 studying William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of England. They study themes of power and control and learn skills of analysis and evaluation through studying contemporary source material from the period. Then, Year 7 move through a journey of medieval cultures across the world including the impact of religion in medieval England, and a study of medieval Arabic and Chinese Empires. They also look at the experience of different cultural groups in England, focusing on Jewish and Black history. Towards the later part of Year 7, students study the transformation of power from Monarchy to the people in England, the Reformation and the Renaissance, and they finish by looking at 17th and 18th century Revolutions in the age of Enlightenment.
Students in Year 8 consider the development of Empire with a key focus on how the British Empire affected the rest of the world. They study the trans-Atlantic slave trade, India and Africa with a focus on the Empire from the perspective of both Imperialists and Colonists. They move on to look at the outbreak of War in the early 20th century, the international relations between the wars and the impact of WW2 on Europe finishing with a study of Genocide across time. Year 8 Students complete their KS3 study of history with a unit on local history where they consider how their local area fits into the context of events from medieval times to the present day.