Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. Edmund Burke (1729–1797) Irish statesman and author

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British statesman

History is at once one of the most commonplace and subtle of subjects. Its popularity in books, films and television testifies to its instant appeal, reflecting the enjoyment in a good story, a hunger for knowledge of the past and a desire to enrich oneself mentally by intellectual travel in time and place.

History is perhaps more popular than ever before as people discover not only the joys of a good historical story but also its importance in understanding the world and its people today.

All pupils at Oakham study History until the end of GCSE. It is a popular choice at A-level and the International Baccalaureate, with around 75 students a year continuing with the subject post-16.

The History Department delivers a broad and exciting curriculum that stimulates pupils' enthusiasm. The talented and eclectic staff members take real pleasure in the study and sharing of their subject, passing on that enjoyment to pupils throughout the School. Lively and intelligent teaching is complemented by a wide range of trips, visits, workshops and lectures that help bring history to life.

Pupils studying History not only learn the subject but also gain invaluable transferrable skills, such as research, assimilation, comprehension and analysis of material; the formulation of reasoned interpretation, and the development of an ability to communicate clear and coherent judgements.

History is a popular choice at university level and we provide thorough preparation through extension classes, including Oxbridge preparation. History can serve as an appropriate academic springboard into a wide variety of courses in Higher Education and a diverse range of jobs, which include the law, administration and management, buying, marketing and selling, accountancy and computing as well as teaching, librarianship and journalism. Discerning statesmen and employers have always valued the training History provides. 

James Roberts

James Roberts

Head of History

I have been Head of History since January 2006. I previously taught at Whitgift School in South London and was Head of History at Solihull School for five years before moving to Oakham. I have a keen interest in Early Modern History, Napoleon, and the First World War. Most of all, I would like to teach Oakhamians about Pitt the Younger but I fear this may never happen! Each year, I organise the Third Form Battlefields Tour: an undertaking that involves taking the whole of the Third Form, in two separate groups, to the Somme for three days. ‘We always walk Hawthorn Ridge – whatever the weather’.