Our first job in history lessons at The Towers is to ignite a love of being nosey about the past and a fascination for how others used to live. Once the fire is lit we can set about developing a whole host of skills that can be applied not only to our subject but to many others across the curriculum and to life in general. We believe history should be enjoyable as well as engaging and aim to make history lessons fun, factual and fast-paced, whilst supporting those who may struggle with the discipline with a range of approaches. These all mean that at The Towers, we want history learning to be the next chapter in encouraging girls to engage in history and heritage throughout their lives and to be passionate about the past. This will hopefully mean that increasing numbers of Towers girls will make the past a part of their future – at work and in their lives to come.
History is taught by the Senior Dept by Mrs J Doughty and Mr K Newman. We work with the Junior School over history provision, sharing good practice and advising on KS3 & 4 requirements. At KS3 we start in the Middle Ages, and progress mostly chronologically to the 20th century, where the girls study the Womens’ Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. Our local study is the development of Brighton and our international studies are slavery and the Holocaust. Our KS4 Edexcel topics include Medicine and Health, Early Elizabethan England, Germany 1918-39 and the Cold War.
Trips, extra-curricular support and enrichment work compliment classroom studies and recent trips include Bodiam, Penshurst, the Battlefields, hospital sites and cemeteries of WWI in Belgium and experience a Civil Rights Day in Year 8. Students are matched with historical fiction and media such as interactive GCSE history plays and workshops where the girls get to meet the actors to support their learning throughout the programme of study, and we encourage leadership in public speaking, library management, history event organisation and creation, heritage tourism, in theatrical history events and our girls have helped design GCSE resources linked with these for schools all round the country. Our key aim is to work on memory enhancement and greater knowledge recall with a range of lively techniques. We also support those who struggle in history with a range of techniques, extra resources, clinics, tutoring and intervention. We also realise that the transition to A level can be daunting, so we provide a range of activities such as enhanced reading and preparation. We also love our girls to get involved in campaigns with local organisations that celebrate those with local links, such as Hilaire Belloc and Jane Austen. Local history is a big part of life at The Towers. All of this helps our students go onto gain excellent GCSE results and so we are very proud that our last cohort scored 100% at grades 4-9 and 84.2% 7-9. 7 of our 19 girls scored a grade 9.
We hope the end result is a love of a fantastic subject, a whole host of historical knowledge and the ability to communicate and reason effectively in a world that often struggles to do both!