An incredible effort from the @_CollegeHouse_ boys. We are aiming for 700 kilometres on the ergo as a group. We are raising money for The Kikunduku School Project (GAP AFRICA). @ShiplakeCollege @BurrHouse @SkipwithHouse @EverettShiplake @WelshHouse @ShipOrch @Gilson_House Posted about 11 hours ago


The History Department is staffed by four enthusiastic teachers who enjoy sharing their passion for the subject with Shiplake pupils. Studying History enables pupils to better understand the world and the people around them, whilst stimulating intellectual thought, conversation and debate. A varied and stimulating curriculum is taught throughout all year groups, focussing on significant historical periods in the UK and around the globe which have shaped the world as we know it today. The subject develops a variety of highly valued skills including extended writing, drawing conclusions from multiple sources, researching, presenting and public speaking.


The History Department is housed in the modern Humanities Block in the main teaching area of the College site. There are two classrooms dedicated to History with some lessons taking part in other classrooms within the building. Classrooms are full of attractive learning displays and resources which are regularly updated in accordance with teaching content.

Each classroom has a data projector and screen installed for interactive learning. In addition to textbooks and historical accounts, professional videos are often incorporated into lessons to further expand on particular areas. Pupils often complete work digitally on their own devices connected to our high speed wireless network.

Additional Opportunities

Students are given the opportunity to visit Berlin at the end of Year 10 which is a fantastic way to learn more about the Nazis and the Cold War. History pupils often contribute to whole school assemblies and other initiatives around the College; for example Remembrance Day or exploring the history of the College.

History pupils are also regularly used as subject ambassadors on open days and parent visits. They are often heavily involved in the College’s Exemplum Docet Society. Further information can be found our clubs and societies page.


Key Stage 3

Lower School classes have one History lesson per week, and largely follow the national Key Stage 3 syllabus. This suitably prepares pupils wishing to continue studying the subject at GCSE. Following the Year 9 intake, the cohort is split into five academically differentiated sets to allow pupils to receive support appropriate for their level of understanding. A broad range of topics are studied to give pupils a flavour of the subject and determine whether it is right for them as they move up the College. 


When asked for words to describe their GCSE History lessons, our Year 10 pupils responded with: “Interesting, important, relevant, fun, challenging and not as hard as I expected it to be.” Perhaps this sums up the subject better than a teacher ever could!

GCSE History further explores where we have all come from and where we are all going. It continues to develop a range of skills which are beneficial across the curriculum. History at Shiplake will follow the Edexcel IGCSE specification. Pupils are taught in small, mixed ability sets, and the subject aims to develop skill that are highly valued by employers, such as focused reading, extended writing, using sources, debating, researching, presenting and public speaking. There is no controlled assessment for the qualification. At the end of the two year course, pupils will sit two 1.5 hour exams, which are likely to be based on Germany 1918-1945, the Cold War, the Fall of Communism in Europe 1979-1991 and China 1911-1989.

Sixth Form

Many pupils who achieve a ‘B’ grade or above at GCSE continue studying History in the Sixth Form. A Level historians are encouraged to develop a sense of enquiry, challenge views and dedicate time and effort to research the past. Across the two years, pupils study three units, covering Revolution and Dictatorship, Stalinist Russia and The Tudors, England 1485-1603. The final unit is an internally assessed coursework task, where pupils choose between two topics of historical debate.

In order to be successful, pupils are required to effectively communicate their knowledge and understanding, and must explore the significance of events individuals, issues and societies over time.

The vast majority of pupils go on to university, selecting arts degrees such as History, English, Languages, Economics or Politics. A number of professions including journalism, law, conservation, tourism and politics use historical skills directly, while pupils can apply the skills indirectly to many other careers. The ability to be objective, critical and balanced in our everyday lives is perhaps the greatest contribution which the subject has to offer.