"History should be studied because it is essential to individuals and to society, and because it harbors beauty.” 
Peter N. Stearns (American Historical Association).

There are many different reasons to study history. It is a fantastic combination of all the other school subjects. There are many arguments over the importance of history, and these still go on today, but here at St Hugh’s the importance of the subject can be summarised as follows:

  • History helps us discover how our world evolved.
  • History helps us develop the skills to look beyond the headlines, to ask questions properly, and to express our own opinions.
  • History trains our minds and teaches us how to think and process information.
  • History students are rounded individuals who develop an understanding of both past and present. 
  • The pursuit of historical events and people is fun - a form of time travel. 
  • History helps us make sense of most other subjects. 
  • A lack of historical knowledge prevents people from truly understanding the world in which they live.
  • History helps us understand the origins of modern political and social problems. 
  • History lets us learn how and why people behaved as they did.
  • History makes us appreciate that people in the past were not just 'good' or 'bad', but motivated in complex and inconsistent ways, just like us.

As pupils progress through the school they will learn the skills needed to become confident historians. These include an understanding of chronology, the use of evidence and sources to find out information about the past, the interpretation of that information and the skills in communicating both descriptive and analytical history. All these skills are essential for success as pupils work towards the requirements of Common Entrance or scholarship examinations.

Throughout all of this, the History department at St Hugh’s will encourage an enjoyment and love of the subject. After all, history is storytelling and it is at its best when all the revolting parts are left in! One will never understand why "The Groom of the Stool” was such an influential court position during the reign of Henry VIII without encountering the delights of Tudor sanitation!