We work to provide a stimulating and high quality experience of history for all our pupils and thereby establish a high sense of achievement for us as well as those we teach. Above all, we aim to establish a life-long interest in the subject.

History at St Edward’s goes far beyond the classroom and there are two flourishing History societies.

The first is the Blenheim Society which is open to all Sixth Form historians and encourages pupil participation.  Its President is always an Upper Sixth historian.  Professors Niall Ferguson, Avi Shlaim and Michael Lynch have given recent talks.  The society also includes forums, discussions and talks about various subjects, such as sixteenth century witchcraft, nationalism and the Rwandan genocide.

The Gibson Society is named after Guy Gibson OSE. This Junior History society is an exciting way for Lower School pupils to develop their interest in the past.  Recently this has included an interactive presentation on the historical accuracy of Hollywood movies and a visit by Holocaust survivor, Freddie Knoeller. In addition to the departmental societies, there is a wealth of opportunity for pupils to be challenged and extended in exciting and creative classes.

The History Department run a wide range of trips throughout the year, which are relevant to the pupils’ course of study.  Annual visits include trips to the Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, a Battle of Hastings re-enactment and the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy.  Biennial trips include Moscow and St Petersburg, Munich, as well as organising the School’s Sixth Form trip to Auschwitz and Krakow.

In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, historians study the Edexcel IGCSE course (Russia, Germany, USA and China) with Sixth Formers opting for either IB History or the OCR A Level choices, including medieval, early modern, modern and 20th century. During the Spring and Summer Terms, a series of revision classes and clinics are held for both IGCSE and Sixth Form pupils.

A significant number of pupils go on to read History at Russell Group universities. During the Autumn term Oxbridge candidates pursue an intellectually rigorous and demanding programme exploring themes such as historical interpretation and the epistemological foundations of the past.

Head of Department:  Huw Thomas


Huw Thomas LLB, University of Birmingham; MEd Wolfson College, Cambridge
Elizabeth Boast BA, University of Exeter
Anna Fielding BA, University of York; MSc, Oxford
Gregory Garnett BA Hons History, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
Jonathan Lambe BA, Keynes College, Kent
Frederick Lyon BA History, University of Leeds
Rosslyn Simmonds MA Applied Security & Strategy (ongoing), BA History and Politics, University of Exeter. Graduate Assistant.
Peter Swainson BA, University of Exeter
Christopher Tyer BA, University of London Royal Holloway
Fiona Wickens BA, St Hugh’s College, Oxford

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