“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.”
History teaching is ‘key question’ and ‘problem solving’ based. It enables pupils to explore their own ideas about events, to understand how different interpretations of the past are possible and how they are constructed.
History at Ditcham Park School is engaging and stimulating. Famous battles are re-enacted on our playing fields, debates and role play enliven the classroom and pupils turn their hand to making impressively accurate models of World War 1 trenches.
All our Form 3 students have the opportunity to visit First World War trenches during a residential visit to the First World War Battlefield sites at Ypres and the Somme.
During the 3 days pupils visit a variety of trenches and museums including “In Flanders Field” in Ypres.
Our pupils find this fascinating as the museum contains footage, photos and many life-size models; each student is given a name of someone involved in the front line and follows their life story. This is the empathy that allows for understanding what life was like for a trench soldier in the First World War. Our pupils go on to visit the Menin Gate where they may have the opportunity to lay a wreath. We also visit the Tyne Cot cemeteries as well as a German cemetery, all of which they find both moving and instructive.
A student in Form 3 spoke for a recent group when she said: “so many lives had been cut short on both sides – millions of young men who today would be safe at college or their first job. We returned home with a much better understanding of the Great War and feeling very grateful for the sacrifice of our young soldiers.”
Such opportunities are wonderfully effective at developing knowledge into understanding.