Our History Department

Department Overview

It is our belief that History plays a key part in every student’s education, whether or not they choose to take it at GCSE or A Level. It develops essential questioning skills, an understanding of the past and the ability to question information and formulate an opinion of their own rather than merely accepting information without reservation.

A History department ought to be a dynamic department, leading the way in terms of incorporating new techniques and methods into its already excellent everyday teaching. In line with this belief we built a 35 metre life size replica First World War trench, complete with sandbags, duckboards, dug out and mud in the college grounds. We then researched the lives of old Shebbearians who had died in the war and found records of their time in college.

We aim to ensure that students arrive excited about the lessons and leave enthused, having been challenged and pushed to achieve their full potential.  In order to achieve this, we believe that lessons must be well organized and prepared in order to meet the needs of every child in every class and appeal to every learning style. In order to prepare our students for the future and as independent learners we seek to encourage autonomy in their learning.

This information was then used in lessons to bring to life the horror of the war and the importance of remembering their sacrifice. The Times sent a video reporter to record an evening in the trench with Year 9 students, including dinner and a gas attack. It featured on the front page of the Times Online on Remembrance Day.


The History Department is currently located in 1 full time teaching room with an Interactive Whiteboard, store cupboards, class sets of mini whiteboards and display boards and various part-time classrooms which are similarly equipped. We have a well situated corridor display area. There is another small storage room, in which textbooks, stationery, assorted resources and videos/DVD’s are kept. Our accommodation is well organised and tidy, with resources easily accessible to staff and students. In addition the History department has a life size replica First World War Trench to be used by all Key Stages and by other departments in order to promote cross curricular links.

In the Classroom

We employ a variety of classroom practices, which lead to the study of History being highly interactive.  Students are taught to be inquisitive, considerate of the opinions of others and self- reliant.

The focus of many departmental discussions is the experience of students and their response to activities in lessons.  We consider outcomes and results.  Through this we are building a shared, departmental bank of lesson plans and resources.  These will then be converted into revised schemes of work.

The variety of learning methods we use from Year 7 to Year 13 are intended to ensure progression and a logical development of knowledge, understanding and skills. We promote individual enquiry, pair work, group discussion, group presentations, empathetic activities, class debates, activities in which students learn how to develop historical arguments, construct essays and support their views with evidence.

Research is a vital component of our methods. We are committed to the development of ICT as a teaching and learning method.  As part of this use of the Internet has become an important tool for student and teacher research.  Such a variety of information is available for research tasks that students can prepare more thoroughly for presentations and homework. We have a Youtube Channel and Departmental Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Our 4th and 5th Form Curriculum Guide gives full details of all GCSE subjects – please download this document from the Senior Curriculum page.

A Level

Full details of A Level subjects can be found on our 6th Form Subjects page.

WW1 trench built by pupils on the campus of Shebbear College:-