History is thriving at Caldicott- the very nature of the subject makes it incredibly appealing to boys. After all, what other subject allows them to study battles, weapons, tactics as well as ancient civilisations, ranging from the Aztecs to the Romans?
During their time at Caldicott, the boys study a period of History that stretches from the Ancient Egyptians right up to the Second World War, with all the key events in between covered at some point.
A traditional prep school education has always focussed on the narrative side of History, and this is the basis from which we start. The boys are excited by the strange tales of the past before moving onto learning the key skills of analysis and conclusion building.
Recently, much has been made of the need to provide children with a chronological framework within which they can place their historical knowledge. At Caldicott, the boys approach their Common Entrance exams with a clear chronological framework in mind, having begun their course of study in the 4th form with the Battle of Hastings in 1066, before moving through British history and ending up on the eve of WW1 in 1914 at the end of 6th Form.
Several methods are used to imbue the boys with a love for History, ranging from teacher led discussion, role-play, battle re-enactments and source analysis.
The boys also engage in debates, pitting one side of history against another to allow them to empathise with the men and women who made decisions in the past.
Much of the History curriculum is backed up by trips. These allow the boys to visualise and often lay their hands on the history that they have been studying in class. Recent examples include tours round the Tower of London, a visit to the National Army Museum and a day out at the RAF Museum.
Further afield, the History department recently led a tour of the battlegrounds of WW1, which allowed both boys and fathers to find out about relatives and old Caldicottians who had fought and died on the Western Front.