In History we aim to inspire a life-long fascination with the past, and to give pupils the tools to understand our relationship to it.

History is full of exciting stories and self-serving story-tellers. Through studying it, we can better understand the world of today.

What do pupils learn?

The History curriculum at St Paul’s Juniors is broadly but not rigidly chronological in its sweep. In the Lower First and Upper First Years, pupils learn about ancient civilizations, including Romans and Celts. We also look at the local history of Barnes, and how it developed during the Victorian period. In the Lower and Upper Second Years, we travel from sixth-century Anglo-Saxons to sixteenth-century Mughal India, taking in a thematic unit on Maritime History on the way. The Lower and Upper Third Years study the origins of modern Britain through revolution, empire and migration.

How do they learn?

History is most meaningful when framed around engaging enquiries, which need not be bound to just one part of the world or one period in time. We ask: which civilisation was greater – the Mughals or the Tudors? Which events deserve to be remembered as ‘significant’? How should we remember the British Empire? Was Napoleon a hero or villain? Is Britain a ‘nation of migrants’?

As pupils move up through the school, they develop the skills of historical analysis, learning how to use primary sources and to interrogate historians’ interpretations of the past.

Clubs and Enrichment

There is a lot going on outside lessons: we go on regular visits, including to a Civil War battlefield and to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Depending on their age, pupils have a choice of three lunchtime history clubs to go to. Our top historians take part in the annual Townsend Warner History Prize as well.


Tudor Masterclass on Maritime History
Learning about life in the Georgian Navy on HMS Warrior
Tudor Masterclass on Maritime History