History, Government and Politics

Mrs Katherine Bell (Head of Department) - on maternity leave 2017 BA (Bristol), PGCE (Soton) History
Mrs Lesley Gildea BA, PGCE (York), MSc (Edinburgh) History
Mr Philip Gillingham BA (Reading), PGCE (Bath) Teacher in Charge of Government & Politics, History
Mrs Zoe Ireland BA (Manchester Met), PGCE (Reading) Government & Politics
Mrs Alexandra Johnstone BA, PGCE (Exeter) History
Miss Katriona Pengelley (Acting Head of Department) BA (Nottingham), PGCE, MA (Institute of Education) History, Classics


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

History is delivered throughout the school including at GCSE and A level.  A level Government & 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.

Government & Politics

There has never been a better time to study Government and Politics. Recent events such as the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 and the European Union Referendum of 2016 have reawakened people’s interest in politics and this is something that we aim to harness at Farnborough Hill.

Mr Philip Gillingham

At A level we follow the AQA Government and Politics course. This course has four modules. In Year 12 students study elements of British Politics and British Government. This includes considering the impact of pressure groups and the debates around how fair the British electoral system is. Students also consider the powers and importance of the Prime Minister and the nature of the British judicial system, along with a detailed study of the UK Parliament and have the opportunity to visit the Houses of Parliament and the UK Supreme Court.

In Year 13 the focus shifts across the Atlantic where we consider the American political system. We consider issues like the importance of money in American politics and the impact of race relations on the political system. We also delve into elements of US Government and consider why the US Congress is often considered to be dysfunctional and why the power of the Presidency is often more limited than people would imagine.