What is History? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past. History at St Leonards is vibrant, thought-provoking and, above all, fun. We endeavour to instil in our pupils a love of History, but also help them to understand how events of the past have shaped, and influence what happens in society today. We ensure that our pupils have a love and understanding of History by covering a wide and varied range of topics from Year 7 to Year 13.
St Leonards is a wonderful place to both teach and experience History. We have medieval ruins literally on our doorstep and we start our Year 7 syllabus focusing on the School’s history and St Andrews. The pupils also get to experience our wonderful archives for their Year 8 summative assessment on “What is History?” The History Department has a tradition of collaborating with other departments within the school, particular with during the MYP in Years 7 - 9. We also love to involve other staff, parents and Seniors (former pupils) in our curriculum and projects wherever possible. In the past, we have held “pop-up” WWI exhibitions in our excellent QML Library using artefacts kindly loaned to the department from a parent’s private collection, in addition to the School’s own special collections. Pupils were able to look at original Western Front offensive maps, uniforms, medals and photography. We also used this an opportunity to collaborate with the English Department on war poetry. In the Summer Term, you will find our Year 9s interviewing Seniors from the 1940s to the 2000s on their experience of life at St Leonards for their Oral History Projects.
Our syllabus aims to embrace the internal ethos of the International Baccalaureate and help pupils to gain an understanding of the experiences of people, cultures and events around the world. Our Year 8 MYP syllabus ranges from 18th century Scottish History to Ancient Egypt to the implications of the Crusades. In Year 9, our pupils investigate the legacy and impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the Civil Rights Movement, and an in-depth group investigation into the Kennedy Assassination.
In Years 10 & 11, our pupils sit the Cambridge IGCSE syllabus which is an excellent preparation to progress on to either the IB Diploma or Career-related Programme. In Year 12 and 13 our pupils tackle topics such as the Causes and Consequences of 20th Century Wars, Authoritarian States, and Russia from Alexander II to the death of Lenin. The programme is designed to complement and to give students an understanding of world events in context.
Above all, a history pupil at St Leonards is encouraged to question, reason and articulate intelligent responses. We want our pupils to engage in robust debate and ask thoughtful questions. We engender a love of History in our pupils and truly embrace the international mindedness of the International Baccalaureate.