“I came, I saw, I conquered. ”
- Julius Caesar
Why Study History?
In his classic of military history, The Face of Battle, former King's pupil Sir John Keegan wrote that the historian "… ought also to get away from papers, and walk about his subject wherever he can find traces of it on the ground …"
Exploring the past through travel is a fantastic reason for studying history - an ambition that we encourage all King's historians to fulfill. And there are many other excellent reasons for studying history at King's. Our pupils:
- Develop a better understanding of the present by learning about the key events that have shaped our modern world
- Achieve skills of critical awareness about the reasons why historical events have taken place
- Weigh up the evidence and reach balanced conclusions about a wide variety of human issues
- Learn to communicate ideas and arguments clearly and effectively, both in discussion and on paper
- Realise that there are many different viewpoints about the past and understand the need for tolerance
- Enjoy the opportunity to find out more about people in all walks of life and what motivates them
The department is on the first floor of the History and Science Block. There are three classrooms, two seminar rooms and a specialist history library. Data projectors and PCs are in all classrooms and an IT suite of 20 computers is nearby.
The department is particularly rich in resources, with full collections of the Illustrated London News and Punch Magazine at the top of the list. Former pupils and members of staff have generously donated a large number of books and magazines in recent years. The school library also houses an excellent range of books on a variety of historical topics.
GCSE History results have been outstanding for many years, with a 96% pass rate in 2015 (60% A*/A/ grades). In 2016, nine candidates scored 90% or higher in all four GCSE modules.
Similarly, A Level history results have continued to be impressive, with a 100% pass rate at A2 and 100% A*- C in coursework (2016).
As a result of our wonderful facilities, many King's historians have gone on to study history at leading universities, as well as related degree subjects such as war studies, politics, archaeology and law. History has also provided an excellent basis for careers in areas such as law, public relations, business, publishing, teaching, civil service, psychology, accountancy, the armed forces and broadcasting.
And the Rest is History...
The Keegan History Society exists to promote discussion and lively debate about a wide range of historical matters. Meetings have been addressed by a variety of visiting speakers, including leading historians Sir John Keegan, Richard Holmes and ancient historian (and Mayor of London), Boris Johnson.
Sir John Keegan, who sadly passed away in August 2012 and whom the society is named after, was an eminent military historian, BBC Reith Lecturer and former pupil of King's.
Sixth Form historians regularly present papers at the society, with recent entries including Henry Cole on the Mormons, Pippa Smith on 'Punishments in Tudor England' and Harvey Dryburgh on 'The Knights of St. John.'
History highlights have included a trip to the Palace of Westminster, Churchill War Rooms and Banqueting House in Whitehall.
Jamie is our Head of History. She was second in the history department at Wellington College before her family relocated to Somerset. She gained her degree in Canada before completing an MA in American Studies at KCL.
Kirsty enjoys a broad range of historical interests, from medieval to modern history. Her passion lies in the 20th century where she has been able to focus on post-war Germany and Britain.
Will's interests include military history, ranging from the Persian Invasions of Ancient Greece to the more recent World Wars. Due to his background, he has developed a specialist interest in amphibious landings throughout the ages.
Richard has wide ranging historical interests, from the Renaissance to the present day. He currently teaches Russian history as well as 20th century international relations.