The History Department
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history? — Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Department aims to expose pupils to a
cross-cultural course through a series of international themes. Cambridge International AS and A Level History
is a flexible with wide-ranging syllabus covering modern history in the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The syllabus builds upon skills gained at
Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge O Level and develops lifelong skills including
understanding issues and themes within a historical period. The central task of the pupil is to describe and formulate
explanations of historical events in consideration of the circumstances of the
time. All this is then tied to the requirements of IGCSE and A Level CIE
Pupils are exposed to primary and secondary historical sources where differing accounts of the same situation are given. A variety of sources may be used, for example documentary, statistical, visual and maps. Pupils are taught how to examine the sources, write lucidly and answer questions effectively as well as consider their reliability and usefulness to historians.
Other than the class core textbooks there are numerous reference books in the library where pupils can dig out more information on a given topic. They also browse the internet and watch video documentaries to support the lessons. The Cambridge IGCSE History syllabus looks at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as covering the history of particular regions in more depth. The emphasis is on both historical knowledge and on the skills required for historical research.
A recent directive by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Mr Fred Matiang'i, requires that all international schools must teach the History of Kenya and Swahili. We have therefore recently rewritten our Year 9 syllabus as follows:
v Slavery and Slave trade
v American civil rights movement
v Pre-colonisation in Africa
v Colonisation, imperialism and the scramble and partition of Africa
v Apartheid in South Africa
v Causes of World War One
Pupils who choose to pursue IGCSE History, follow the CIE syllabus, which fosters in pupils a desire to acquire knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past, and how it affects the world today. Pupils learn the nature of cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarity and difference, as well as developing an interest in contemporary international issues.
Pupils who take History at CIE A Level study a prescribed theme in depth, as well as an outline study that will help develop wider historical understanding. Pupils gain a greater awareness of historical concepts, understand cause and effects, and identify similarity and difference, and change and continuity. They will appreciate the nature and diversity of historical sources available, and the methods used by historians, allowing them to develop an ability to think independently and make informed judgement on issues.