History Gifted & Talented

Blundell’s History Department seeks to extend the most able students by ensuring they have the opportunity to explore and discuss academic issues.  This policy is part of wider aim to stimulate an enthusiasm for historical study amongst all students. The department does not assume that an enthusiasm for academic enquiry is solely the preserve of the most able, and all pupils – irrespective of their ability – should be catered for if they take an active interest in History.
There are, however, certain programmes in place designed to extend and challenge the gifted and talented. Below is a summary of the department’s programme to stretch and challenge.

Year 9

There are two opportunities for major independent work in Year 9. Extended projects are set in November and pupils may choose from a range of topics associated with World War One. A prize is rewarded for the top three projects. The importance of independent research is obvious and a real benefit to the pupils, as is the opportunity to explore an area of interest in real depth.
More able pupils are always provided with additional articles/books/DVDs if it is felt they should be exploring an issue more rigorously. The numerous subscriptions of the department help enormously in this respect.

Year 10 & 11

GCSE students benefit from the numerous subscriptions of the department. Articles concerning different issues are always circulated to stretch the more able. The on-line subscription to History Today is particularly valuable, as are the regular editions of GCSE Hindsight magazine.

Year 12 & 13

Able students with a keen interest in History, Politics and Philosophy are encouraged to attend extension seminars. These are of great benefit in supporting university applications for History or other associated disciplines. The full programme is outlined below.
Year 12 and 13 students are also encouraged to take advantage of the on-line subscription to History Today, History Review, and BBC History Magazine. Relevant articles are circulated by staff. These resources are invaluable and provide the students with extensive research material.

History Society for all age groups

The History seeks to provide academic enrichment in a variety of ways. Events, presentations, lectures, and debates are organised at various stages of the academic year. Students of all ages are urged to attend. The department hopes to stimulate pupil involvement by encouraging student-led events.

Advanced Extension Programme for History Extending the more able in Years 12 and 13

The what and the why of History:

  1. Introduction to the Advanced Extension Award. What is required?
  2. What is History? Why is it important to study History?
  3. What History should we study? Should there be a national curriculum for History?
  4. Counterfactual History.
  5. Public/popular History. Myth, heritage History, film and TV.
  6. Periodisation/categorisation

Types of History:

  1. Individuals, biography, greatness. Are individuals the prime movers of History?
  2. Political History versus grassroots and social History.
  3. Marxist view of History.
  4. Local History/family history/gender history.
  5. Progress and Whig History.

How do we know about History? Can we know?

  1. Objectivity and historical ‘truth’.
  2. Postmodernism
  3. Types of sources and their limitations.
  4. Interpretations of History
  5. Epistemology and methodology.

Features of History:

  1. Change and continuity. Evolution and revolution.
  2. The role of war
  3. Empire
  4. Power and authority
  5. Political ideologies: liberalism and democracy, communism, fascism, dictatorship. Impact of differing political regimes on historical study.