History is an ongoing debate about the past. At Eltham College, we aim to equip our Sixth Form historians with the tools to reach their own conclusions on complex historical questions, by developing their ability to analyse evidence and craft convincing arguments. Through their lessons and wider preparatory reading, students not only develop a detailed understanding of past societies but also their ability to evaluating the competing interpretations of other historians.
Students who choose to study History at A Level will follow the Edexcel syllabus. This requires candidates to study four modules, two units in the Lower Sixth and two units in the Upper Sixth.
Currently these topics include a depth study on Italy between 1911-1946 and a breadth study on Germany from 1918-1989 in the Lower Sixth. In the Upper Sixth students complete a breadth module on Britain and Ireland 1774-1923 and a coursework element on the historical interpretations of the Holocaust. The course is assessed through this internally marked coursework assignment, and three examination papers at the end of the Upper Sixth.
Students are encouraged to undertake their own wider reading for each lesson, and we aim to teach our Sixth Formers in a style akin to undergraduate seminars. This allows students to question what they have read, air their ideas, test theories, and challenge competing interpretations. As well as the examination board textbooks, students are provided with a range of historians’ work to deepen their understanding of the syllabus content, and are also encouraged to make use of the excellent text and electronic collections in the Mervyn Peake Library to support their learning.
Trips, activities and clubs
All students are encouraged to get involved in the Senior History Society which organizes talks on a range of topics, and encourages students to debate complex historical questions beyond the confines of the syllabus. We also currently offer a trip to Poland in the Lower Sixth to complement students’ study of the Holocaust.