The History Department has four dynamic and experienced full-time members with a broad range of expertise. The Department houses an excellent library which is exceptionally well-resourced.
We aim to secure high exam grades for our students and to enhance their appreciation of the importance of history. We seek not just to widen knowledge but also to develop skills of critical analysis and of source evaluation; likewise, there is a strong emphasis on communication, research and literary skills. Independent thinking is encouraged and discussion and debate form an integral part of our lessons.
In Year 9, pupils focus on the 20th century, including the Great War, the Russian revolution, political ideologies and the British system, Britain’s role in WWII, the Holocaust, US Civil rights, apartheid in South Africa, 1960s Britain and terrorism.
At iGCSE Level (CAIE Board), we follow a lively and exciting course in 20th Century world history. The colour, drama and relevance of the period are particularly appealing to students of this age group.
The course features a Depth Study on Germany 1918-45 and International Relations from 1919-c.2000. This includes the post-WW1 peace settlement and its aftermath, the collapse of international peace in the 1930s, the onset and development of the Cold War, including the crises in Korea, Cuba and Vietnam, and events in the Gulf.
At A Level (OCR Board), students can choose from two courses, Early Modern or Late Modern. The Early Modern course covers Portuguese and Spanish Exploration and Discovery, the early Stuarts and th Catholic Reformation as well as a coursework Essay. The Late Modern course covers the French Revolution and Napoleon, Germany 1789-1918 and Britain 1931-97, plus a coursework essay.
Pupils wishing to take the International Baccalaureate course, at either the Standard or Higher Level, cover the history of the 20th century.
Students of all ages are encouraged to attend and participate in the popular Lisk History Society which caters for all year groups. In keeping with the Lisk motto, ‘Don’t just learn it – live it!’ A Sixth Form committee helps to run the events which include talks, quizzes, plays, debates and an annual parade.
One of the best ways to bring History to life is to experience it firsthand by visiting significant areas of interest and hearing firsthand accounts from the people involved. There is an arranged visit from a Holocaust survivor and illustrious guest speakers in the past have included David Starkey and Ian Paisley.
A number of local visits are arranged while trips around the world have included an annual WW1 battlefields visit, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Spain, Berlin and Auschwitz.
A large number of Taunton School historians have pursued the subject at university, a notable number at Oxford and Cambridge.