History Department Wins Teaching Award - see full news story.
Satisfying our curiosity for the past is a basic human need. Research of the past forms the basis of our understanding of the present and the human condition.
At LRGS history is an exciting and dynamic subject where students and staff explore many aspects of the past from around 1000 AD through to recent events. We place great emphasis upon the human story and delve into the art, culture, and traditions as well as the economic, religious, political and military background of a period. We strive for academic excellence and believe that wide reading and active and collaborative learning are the best way for boys to achieve a real historical understanding. Consequently students and staff spend considerable time outside the classroom on a wide range of research activities both in the UK and abroad. The history department offers a rich diet of extra curricular activities and opportunities, some of which are jointly run jointly by boys and staff.
H J Castle BA, St Chad’s College, Durham (Head of Department)
Hugh Castle has been Head of History at LRGS since 2001, and has taught History at LRGS since 1991. He is a keen advocate of field work and the History Matters campaign and has a particular interest in Anglo-Irish history. He helps students run the History through Art working group, and has played an active role in the performing arts at the school. Favourite pastimes include song writing and live music.
C W Atkinson BA History & Education, Lancaster University
Craig Atkinson retrained as a History teacher in 2004 and arrived at LRGS in 2008. As well as a passion for history in general, but ancient history in particular, he also has an interest in politics and enjoys running discussion groups for fourth and sixth formers as part of the RES Programme. He is an Assistant House Master at LRGS and heavily involved with sport, with his main emphasis on cricket, where he coaches the U13 team and provides specialist coaching to the 1st XI. His proudest achievement as a coach is in taking the LRGS 1st XI to the final of the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Tournament in Barbados. His most disappointing moment was losing a close final.
Robert Peel would receive his vote as Prime Minister and Julius Caesar would captain his historical cricket team.
M E Davies MA, Christ Church, Oxford
Michael Davies studied History at Oxford before pursuing a career in business. In 2000 he retrained as a History teacher and started teaching at LRGS. He is a member of the Lancaster Archaeological and Historical Society, helps Sixth Formers run the thriving LRGS History Society and runs the schools programme for Gifted and Talented pupils.
W E Gladstone is his favourite British prime minister, but he’d prefer to sit next to Disraeli at a dinner party.
J Reynolds BA History and Politics, Newcastle
Jamie Reynolds is a combined Politics/History graduate of Newcastle University and his particular interests lie in the interaction between Politics and History and how political theory has been applied in History. His particular interests range depending on his mood but currently this appears to be elements of the 19th century, including the British in India and the politics of Pitt to Gladstone. He is involved in a number of other areas than the History Department such as teaching General Studies and at times ICT. His other interests include watching Blackburn Rovers and occasionally trying to recapture his glory days by playing football in a competent fashion and avoiding serious injury.
R G Thompson BSc in Psychology and PGCE from Durham University
Robin is a former LRGS pupil. As well as History, also currently teaches Geography to A2, Psychology for General Studies, the Know Yourself component of the L6 Life course, and Rowing. He is also involved with LRGS Armchair Generals Society (Historical Wargames).
History - 11+
We follow the national curriculum in First to Third Year. Boys and staff explore many aspects of British and world history and combine studies in depth with broad overview studies. Learning and teaching methods are lively and promote independent study skills.
The following is the briefest of summaries of subject content. For more detail see department on-line resources.
First Year: Medieval world C11th to C15th;
Inquiry into the impact of the Norman Conquest: Religious, political, social, economic as well as cultural development impact. Castles and warfare. Islam
Re-run history in the Battle of Hastings re-enactment. In the 2007-8 re-enactment Harold won!
Field trip: Furness Abbey.
Second Year: C15th to late C17th
European Reformation, Renaissance and Voyages of exploration and discovery and the Portuguese and Spanish empires. In British History we start with the late Wars of the Roses and we explore the Tudors and the Stuarts. The English Reformation, Spanish Armada, British Civil Wars and Commonwealth all afford opportunities for in depth study and independent project work.
Field trip: Leeds Armouries.
In addition to our busy schedule of residential field visits (see below) History Society: Visiting speakers, boys and staff contribute to this lively group which meets regularly for lectures, discussions and debates on subjects of historical interest. Occasional theatre visits and films. History through Art project: joint venture with the art department exploring matters of historical importance and interest through the study of and creation of pieces of art work.
History - 13+
Third Year: C18th to C20th
In the Third Year we delve into the foundations of the modern world. Topics include the impact of the French Revolution, agricultural and industrial change and the changing political landscape of the period. The growth and impact of the British Empire, Russian revolution and changing methods of warfare are amongst the other themes explored. Independent study in depth analyses the impact of individuals in shaping the period.
Field work: Queen’s Mill or Helmshore mill East Lancs.
Fourth/Fifth Year GCSE; Modern World
GCSE history is thriving at LRGS, with four sets taking this option (currently 119 students in the Fourth Year)
We follow the modern world syllabus in which we explore-amongst other things, the origins and course of the two World wars; Germany and the U.S. before the Second world wars and the origins of the Cold War.
Coursework (25%) currently focuses on the Vietnam war and the British role in the Second World War.
Field work: Nuremburg and Berlin.
13+ Extra-curricular Projects
In addition to our busy schedule of residential field visits, visiting speakers, boys and staff contribute to the lively History Society, which meets regularly for lectures, discussions and debates on subjects of historical interest. Other projects include occasional theatre visits and films and the History through Art project, a joint venture with the Art Department exploring matters of historical importance and interest through the study of and creation of pieces of art work .
History - Sixth Form
Sixth Form Curriculum
History is a popular and a highly regarded option at LRGS with a track record of outstanding success in public examinations. The approach of the modern historian has as much in common with Maths and the Sciences as it does with Classics and arts subjects and most subjects can work well alongside History.
The topics for study in the Sixth Form (listed below) were chosen for their historical importance and for the level of debate amongst historians that they have inspired. They are areas of special interest to LRGS history department teachers who want to give students a varied diet so as to equip them with the skills and confidence that they will need when studying at the top universities.
The course combines several areas of focus and types of inquiry: world-changing events, the study of inspirational individuals that helped mould history and a broad analysis of the often troubled state of relations within the Union and Empire.
Independent study as well as group work and debate form an integral feature of the course. Students should look to the LRGS history department website for further details.
A/S L6 (OCR) (Field work: Paris in February)
- The Origins and Course of the French Revolution 1774 to 1795
- Pitt, Liverpool and Peel
A2/ U6th. (Field work: West Clare and Dublin in November)
- Anglo-Irish Relations (1798-1921)
- Investigations; Gladstone and Disraeli
- Independent study (of own choice)
In the Sixth Form you will read and research in more depth and engage in more sophisticated debate and discussion than at GCSE. Your teachers will encourage you to develop your own lines of inquiry and you will examine the credibility of historical arguments and ideas as well as sources. In debate and in your written work you will construct your own structured argument using the skills of synthesis, critical analysis and logic.
These are valuable skills in their own right, but also highly sought after by employers across a wide range of occupations.
Sixth Form Extra-curricular Projects
In addition to our busy schedule of residential field visits, visiting speakers, boys and staff contribute to the lively History Society which meets regularly for lectures, discussions and debates on subjects of historical interest. Other projects include occasional theatre visits and films and the History through Art project, a joint venture with the Art Department exploring matters of historical importance and interest through the study of and creation of pieces of art work.