History and Politics

Mrs Katherine Bell (Head of Department)  BA (Bristol) PGCE (Soton) History Politics
Mrs Lesley Gildea BA PGCE (York) MSc (Edinburgh) History
Mrs Zoe Ireland BA (Manchester Met) PGCE (Reading) History Politics
Mrs Alexandra Neil BA (Soton) MA (Oxford Brookes) PGCE (Canterbury Christ Church)  History Politics
Miss Katriona Pengelley  BA (Nottingham) PGCE MA (Institute of Education) History Classics
Mrs Ceri Symonds-Keates BA (Brighton) PGCE (Chichester)  History


History is delivered throughout the school including at GCSE and A level.  A level Politics can be studied in the Sixth Form.

It is the diversity of historical approaches and explanations which make History such a stimulating and worthwhile subject.  At the same time, the study of History provides important transferable skills, such as, the ability to make sound judgements between competing explanations of a particular problem or set of problems, to write in a fluent and coherent way, and to research, organise and present material in a logical and ordered manner.  History is not just about memorising facts, such as events and dates; it is far more than that. It is the interpretation of past human experience, in all of its diversity.   The historian seeks to chart what has happened and why in order to make sense of the present and to provide some guidance as to what is to come.  In this search historians have disagreed with one another, emphasising different factors or causes to explain the same experience.

You can learn a lot of History in a classroom. However, you can learn a lot more when you get out and about. At Farnborough Hill we are always looking for opportunities to make the most of the historic environment around us.

We are very lucky to learn and teach History in such a historic setting. setting so at the beginning of Year 7 we study Farnborough Hill to find out what we can learn about its History.  This study of Farnborough Hill is the first of many opportunities to make the most of the historic environment around us.  Trips organised by the department have included visits to Hampton Court, the Imperial War Museum, the Mary Rose and further afield to places such as Berlin.


Despite the uncertainty in politics at present, there has never been a better time to study the subject. Brexit and Donald Trump might have divided opinion, but they are helping to reawaken people's interest in politics, and this is something we aim to harness at Farnborough Hill.

At A level we follow the Edexcel Politics Course. This course consists of three examination papers. Within this, we study: British Government and Politics, American Government and Politics and Political Ideologies. The specification requires the study of three compulsory ideologies: Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism. In addition, one chosen ideology can be studied and at Farnborough Hill we study Nationalism.

In the Lower Sixth, students will study British Government and Politics before beginning to study Political Ideologies. In the Upper Sixth, students will continue their study of political ideologies before shifting the focus across the Atlantic to investigate the American political system.

The department run a yearly trip to the UK Supreme Court and Houses of Parliament and host a number of other extracurricular activities in the year, for example, visits by local MPs.

History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.

David McCullough, American Historian