The overall aim of the Humanities Faculty is to ensure that History is taught in such a way as to be both enjoyable and stimulating, enabling students to be intellectually stretched, while acquiring useful transferable skills and also maintaining their interest in the subject both in school and beyond. The following specific departmental aims reflect those of The Vale as a whole.
- To encourage students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the events and people that have shaped the past and, in turn, the world they live in.
- To instil a long lasting love of the subject. History lessons are ‘fun’: we aim to be lively, exciting and dynamic, with enthusiastic teaching using a variety of methods and materials.
- To enable students to become historians by assisting the development of lively, enquiring minds that question and construct rational argument. Students gain experience of historical enquiry, narrative, analysis, questioning, opinion-forming, debate and presentation of their findings. We work to develop powers of analysis as well as the ability to understand complexity, and how factors interact to determine the course of events.
- To challenge our students to address issues of interpretation and problems of evaluation. For example, we encourage understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and awareness of its varying utility and reliability, and also impress upon students the need to compare sources, to match them against other knowledge and to ask whether the evidence is representative and verifiable.
- To be relevant to today’s world: we aim to highlight the skills pupils are developing. We make links to contemporary events and encourage pupils to deploy their general knowledge and wider understanding in getting to grips with past times.
- To ensure a sense of progress and development, both in skills and in the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, for students of all abilities. In History lessons expectations are high: a strong work ethic is developed and rewarded, with students challenged to produce clear and well-organised written work.
- To enable pupils to develop an awareness of themselves and of their own attitudes and encourage respect for those of others.