Why is History important?
History is important because it provides us with an understanding of the world we live in today. By delving into the past of our local area, Britain and the wider world we can gain an understanding of society, politics, the economy and religion. History teaches us why some civilisations survive while others fail, why humans go to war, why there are divisions in society and how individuals have worked to change the world for the better. Studying history helps to build a range of transferable skills. For example, it helps develop analytical skills, critical thinking, good factual recall and the ability to convey a strong argument. More than anything history is important so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past. In the words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
What does a good student look like?
A good student in History comes to lessons with an open mind. They listen carefully to their teacher and to other students in their class. They debate ideas respectfully, using evidence to justify their argument. A good student in History doesn’t take evidence at face value. Instead, they will consider the value and limitations of sources and interpretations. When writing about the past they will lead with argument and support with evidence, structuring their work in paragraphs and including key vocabulary. Finally, they will be inquisitive about the past and will ask questions to deepen their knowledge of the topics taught.
What can I do at home to help me achieve in this subject?
At home you can read widely, including historical literature such as Private Peaceful and the Diary of Anne Frank. You can do wider research of the topics we are studying using websites such as BBC Bitesize. There is also a wealth of historical documentaries on BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube as well as historical podcasts available online. During school holidays you could visit local historical sites such as the workhouse at Southwell or museums like the National Civil War Centre in Newark and the National Justice Museum in Nottingham. You can also keep up to date with current events by reading newspapers or watching the news.