The History Department at City Academy aims to encourage and cultivate an appreciation for the complexity of the human experience. History itself can be conceived of as a grand narrative authored by countless individuals across time and space. It is therefore important to recognise and acknowledge our shared humanity with those who have come before us. This is called the historical consciousness, which leaves us ‘with a simultaneous sense of our own significance and insignificance’, as we ponder our own time and place in contrast with individuals, societies and empires of the past. Socrates stated ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’ which recognises the importance of reflection and how this helps us synthesise ideas and reach judgements about our thinking. It is through self-reflection and critical analysis that we become more engaged with the events, historical figures and ideologies of the past, which in turn influences our ideas and decisions that guide our actions in the present, propelling us forward with a cultivated set of tools needed to discuss, critique and build a better future.
In History lessons, students will engage in the theories of epistemology, crafting questions such as, ‘how do historians know about the past and how can we know events happened with absolute certainty?’ Lessons will primarily analyse the pieces of evidence that historians use, drawing upon academic scholarship and investigations of primary and secondary sources to develop a stronger understanding of contextual knowledge and the ability to reach overall judgements about validity and usefulness. The History curriculum will follow a pattern designed to cultivate an in-depth understanding of declarative (Dates, events, names) and procedural knowledge (essay structure) that will embolden students with the knowledge they need to make sound rational arguments about the impacts of major historical events, propositions put forward by the world’s most eminent historians and the validity of various historical sources.
The History Department wants students to leave school with the knowledge and abilities necessary to actively engage in public discourse. We value a skilled, critically aware, and informed citizenry; individuals who possess a background knowledge of but not limited to global affairs, important eras in British history and key events which occurred throughout the twentieth century that have led us to the present. Students will have a strong historical consciousness, allowing them to form opinions, engage in discourse, question, critique and implement change in society.