Academic

HARROW INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HONG KONG

Leadership for a better world

History Department

The primary aim of the History Department is to fire students' curiosity and imagination, moving and inspiring them with the dilemmas, choices and beliefs of people in the past. History helps students develop their own identities through an understanding of human experience from early man to present day. Learning is done both individually and in group format with the focus of class work ranging from verbal or written short-answer responses, presenting to others, and essay-writing. There is a common emphasis on handling primary and secondary source material. Students are taught how to work independently and then to present the results of their study to others. Students are encouraged to question: Do they know for sure? How do they know? Where is the evidence? Can the evidence be interpreted differently? Students also use the leadership attributes to judge key figures and are encouraged to apply many of these qualities to their own learning. 

Curriculum Information

Prep School (Years 6-8)
In Year 6, students begin by investigating the uses of History and focusing on early civilisations including the Egyptians, Romans and Imperial China. They are encouraged to develop their thinking skills and the method of expressing and justifying one’s opinion.

In Year 7, the course focuses on the contrasts and connections between Medieval Realms and Islamic Civilisations, followed by a study of the Renaissance. Asking perceptive questions, thinking critically and weighing evidence are some of the skills developed.

In Year 8, the focus turns to the theme of revolution, empire and colonisation. The French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, aspects of the British Empire, colonisation and the Atlantic Slave Trade, plus a case study on Hong Kong are all studied. Sifting arguments, developing perspective and making a judgement are just some of the key skills developed.

Senior School (Years 9-11)
In Year 9, the course focuses on preparing students for IGCSE History by exploring events in the 20th century including The First World War, themes such as Democracy and Dictatorship and aspects of The Second World War in Asia. Students also investigate the Holocaust.

In Years 10 and 11 students prepare for the Edexcel IGCSE History qualification which enables them to acquire knowledge and understanding of selected periods, exploring the significance of historical events, people, changes and issues including examined modules on International Relations, 1919-39; Russia 1914-24; the USA 1945-75, and Medicine Through Time c.1845-c.1945. There is no coursework element to this qualification and all four modules are examined at the end of Year 11.

Sixth Form (Years 12-13)
In the Sixth Form students prepare for Edexcel International A-level in History and are examined on two units at AS level and two units at A2 level. There is no coursework element to this qualification; students sit two examinations at the end of Year 12 and two at the end of Year 13, one for each unit below.

At AS-level the courses followed are: Unit 1 Option C Depth Study - Germany 1918-1945 and Unit 2 Option B Breadth Study - China 1900-1976.

For A2 students follow: Unit 3 Option 3B Thematic Study - The British Experience of Warfare 1803-1945 and Unit 4 Option 4D Extract Evaluation - South East Asia 1945-1990.

A-level historians often find that by learning about the past they are better equipped to make sense of the present than would otherwise be the case and that they develop a rounded appreciation of different countries cultural roots and heritage. A historical training is intellectually rigorous and stimulating. Students are exposed to a wide-range of sources and, as a result, they learn to manage large quantities of information critically and analytically, to develop informed opinions supported by reasoned arguments, to make links and draw comparisons within and/or across different periods and aspects of the past and to communicate their ideas and thoughts effectively, both in written and verbal form.

Outside the classroom

The History Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities including day trips to local museums, access to guest speakers and talks organised in enrichment sessions, the opportunity to participate in competitions such as the International History Bee & Bowl, Oxbridge essay competitions for A-level students and residential visits to countries such as Vietnam to complement the curriculum.    

Head of Department: Ms A. King