Skip to main content

The History Department in Downside fosters a sense of a living, adapting tradition in continuity with its past, aims to encourage a passion to explore that past and the past more generally. This is done through both the writings of other historians (secondary works) and the material produced by those who are the object of study (primary sources). Pupils will be introduced to the causes and consequences of events that have occurred in the past, typically human decisions. They will be stimulated to develop an enquiring mind and a willingness to think critically and – hopefully – discover an enjoyment in reading and research. The study of History as an academic subject has many benefits. Most obviously, it develops an understanding of the background to our own times and human character. It encourages the skills of synthesis and an analytical approach to information. Above all, it helps pupils to evaluate what they read and to take an objective view of the past: it is part of the search for truth.

From 1st Form to 5th Form Pearson Edexcel is the chosen provider and Exploring History at KS3 (Years 1 and 2) and the GCSE at KS4 (Years 3-5) covers a broad range of historical periods and topics. These include the reigns of Richard and John 1189-1216 (medieval), Spain and the ‘New World’ 1490-1555 (early modern), Medicine through Time 1250- present, and Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939 (both modern). At A Level there is a free choice of coursework topics, including two papers on Religious Conflict and the Church in England during the Tudor period, and a study of America from 1865 to 1979. History is a useful, interesting and demanding subject among the humanities, and graduates of History can be found in many different walks of life. At A Level in 2022 results were 67% A*-A, some of the best in the school.

Head of History


This site uses cookies. By accepting cookies you can optimise your browsing experience.
Privacy Policy