Mission Statement

"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." -Paul Harvey

"Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward." -Søren Kierkegaard

"The aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture of the world, to give us a new way of looking at things." -James Joll

"The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempting us to destroy it or repaint it." -Milan Kundera

Do we study the past because it helps us understand the present? Or because it is just fascinating in its own right? The History department hope that the courses you follow with us will show you how interesting and how important the past can be, and why people still argue about it so much. We also want you to develop your skills of judging evidence, understanding causes, explaining complicated events and debating controversial issues.

Courses Offered & Unit Work

Year 9 - 'Events that changed the world' (non-exam course)

Year 10/11 - GCSE History: 

GCSE History (edexcel, History A)

Unit 1: Medicine in Britain c1250 to present day

Historic Environment: The Western Front in WW1: injuries, treatment and trenches

Unit 2: Early Elizabethan England 1558-88

Unit 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

Unit 4: Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991

Unit Work

Department Highlights

The History department at the Duchess’s School has run a regular 5-day tour to the WW1 Battlefields in Belgium and France for GCSE students in year 10 and hopes to run a similar tour either to Belgium or to Berlin to fit in with the new GCSE history course, giving them a better insight into some of the key events of the 20th Century. We have also taken part in a “Suffragette Day” at Beamish Museum to explore the reasons why people supported and opposed the campaign for Women’s Votes. Year 13 history students have the opportunity to apply to take part in the “Lessons from Auschwitz” project run by the Holocaust Educational Trust which centres around a trip to the former Nazi death camp in Poland.

Staff Contact List

Ms L Smith (Head of Humanities Faculty)


Mr M Booth  (Head of History)

Mrs R Doctor