King's College School

Coeducational Independent Prep school in Cambridge



Department Aims & Objectives

History Department Motto : 'Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child!' (Cicero)

Welcome to King’s College School, Cambridge History Department

The History Scheme of Work at King’s College School, Cambridge aims not only to teach children about past events but also seeks to develop the processes and skills by which children can evaluate major events and developments of the past and present. At King’s the study of history is not seen as merely the acquisition of information, but also as a subject crucial to the development of the individual pupil's self-knowledge and analytical skills. The department aims to bring history alive, making it relevant to today’s world.

Barcelona History Holiday Easter 2012

Students at King’s have the opportunity to engage in research, evaluate arguments and develop presentational skills. History at King’s is not a subject confined to the four walls of a classroom; we want our pupils to experience the past by reliving it in trips, activity days and roleplay. For 25 years there has been an annual History Holiday. An Easter trip to Barcelona with 27 students was highly successful.

The History department resources (Years 5 - 8) are located in the Head of History's classroom. There is a departmental library of over 1,000 books, a comprehensive selection of worksheets and videos, and growing collections of CDs, DVDs and artefacts. Many major topics have Power Point presentations, software is frequently used.

Our aims: 

  • to pursue academic excellence;
  • to create an excitement and curiosity about the past, and an interest in learning about it for its own sake;
  • to develop a sense of chronology;
  • to use and develop an understanding of different types of evidence as part of historical enquiry;
  • to develop opinions, argue a case and make informed judgements based on evidence, always bearing in mind that historical verdicts are provisional and challengeable;
  • to use imagination, especially in writing about history and interpreting it;
  • to encourage openness and responsiveness, and specifically to develop a healthily critical attitude towards historical documents and other evidence;
  • to encourage tolerance (religious, cultural and political) and diversity by learning of the history of other social groups, societies and cultures;
  • to ensure that students taking CE or Scholarship exams are sufficiently prepared.


By the age of 7 (end Key Stage 1) students should be able to :

1) Understand ideas of 'past', 'present' and 'future'

2) Understand that there are many types of historical evidence

3) Talk and write about the past factually and empathetically.

4) Use evidence to ask and answer questions.

By the age of 11 (end Key Stage 2) students should be able to :

1) Understand that evidence about the past may be interpreted in different ways

2) Write imaginatively about the past without obvious anachronism

3) Explain the reasons for actions and events in the past

4) Compare and contrast features of past and present society

5) Distinguish between a primary and secondary source.

By the age of 13 students should be able to :

1) Be aware of, and be able to evaluate differing judgements about the past

2) Be aware of multi-causation eg local, national, long term and short term

3) Understand the main reasons for and results of major events

4) Use a variety of historical sources to produce a detailed, structured narrative.

Good Reasons for studying History

A society with no knowledge of its past will be backward both intellectually and materially.

History is both the past and the study of the past. The past influences all aspects of our lives.

It shapes the customs and beliefs of the communities to which we belong.

Learning about the past and the methods used to study it help students make sense of the world in which they live!

It helps understanding of present day conflicts such as those in Ireland and the Middle East.

It encourages responsible citizenship. Knowing about the fierce struggle for political rights makes people more aware of the need to exercise the vote responsibly.

It enhances our appreciation of Art, Architecture, Music and Literature.

History is a guardian of the truth against dictators who would like to manipulate it.