History is a popular subject at Abberley Hall and a good standard of Common Entrance results have been attained in recent years thanks to the enthusiasm and professionalism of the department currently teaching the subject. The first four years of study in the prep school are intended to generate interest and passion for the subject by focusing on topics primarily based on British history. The syllabus is chronological by design: 55BC-1980.
Abberley Hall concentrates on British history. This narrow approach means that much even within the British Isles is excluded. The same exclusion is applied to World History, although there are occasional exceptions. The reason for this is to attempt to establish in the minds of our 8-12 year old pupils a broad chronology of British history and a familiarity with many aspects of it. This focussed approach allows for examination of a wide range of factors (social, economic, military, political and cultural) At no other point in their academic careers are the children likely to cover their own country’s history in a chronological manner.
The overall aims are to cultivate a habit of enjoyment in the subject; foster a sense of the reality and actuality of the past as a yardstick for comparison with the present; encourage a positive and critical judgment with regard to evidence; enhance skills of analysis and synthesis, and to lay down a sense of chronology using 100BC – 1919 as a framework into which further historical knowledge can be applied.
The course in the Top Year is external to the four year syllabus. It is a re-visit to the medieval period for the purpose of the Common Entrance examination. Also separate from the main school syllabus is the scholarship scheme of work which focusses on topics and themes based on senior school requirements.