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Merchant Taylors’ History Department Achieves Gold Award

Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School is celebrating the achievements of its History Department after being awarded the prestigious Gold History Quality Mark by the Historical Association.

This is a national award and it took 12 months to complete. The award is rigorous involving a full audit of provision, the creation of a substantial portfolio of evidence across a range of different areas and an inspection visit to meet the department and observe teaching. The department was assessed in Teaching and Learning, Curriculum, Achievement, Leadership and Enrichment with each section being well regarded in the final report.

It was recognised in the report that the ‘learning and achievement in the subject is strong’ and that GCSE results in History are ‘impressively high’ at 98% A*-C, alongside A level success of 100% A*-C. This is the result of the hard work and dedication of both the pupils and teachers, supported by the wide range of resources that are used in the department to inspire and complement the teaching. In addition to this, the work that the history department does in the local community was also commended.

History continues to be a popular subject at Merchant Taylors’ and this department has strong influence on other areas of the curriculum and school life. It was acknowledged in the report that our pupils ‘understand the purpose of studying history and are highly motivated’ being guided by a strong curriculum and structured feedback.

Mr Heap, who is Head of History and Politics and a Principal Examiner for the Edexcel History GCSE, said "We are delighted to be one of the first schools in the country to achieve this prestigious award. The department as a whole has worked hard over a number of years to create an innovative History curriculum which helps our students to see how the events of the past directly shape the world in which we live. Since 2013, 29 boys have gone on to read History at university having achieved outstanding A Level results according to national benchmarks. At GCSE the department has increased the number of boys achieving an A* when the national trend has been one of sharp decline. However, this award recognises a lot more than just exam results. We help our students to develop a genuine love of the subject which will never leave them. In future years we look forward to working even more with the local community and with local schools to promote the teaching of History."

The award was well deserved with the History department being described by the assessors as ‘well led, influential and forward thinking’. With very few secondary schools being awarded Gold so far, this is testament to the outstanding education that Merchant Taylors’ provides.

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