Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan, the driving force behind the creation of the National Health Service, once said that if you want to know where you are going, sometimes you must turn around and look at where you have come from. The past is an ever-present colossus on whose shoulders we stand and to truly comprehend the beautifully complex and diverse world in which we live, we must look to those who have gone before.

In the St Helen’s History Department, we provide our students with the tools to critically examine the past and the passion with which to continue their investigations well into the future. Our young historians are independent thinkers with a sense of ownership over their studies. They are whole-heartedly engaged and they are astute. They are forward-thinking in their contemplation of our shared history and they are brilliant.

Junior Department

Lower School

Middle School

Sixth Form


9–7 at GCSE 2023


9–8 at GCSE 2023


A*–A at A level 2023

“History lessons are always fun, different, and entertaining.”
“I love history and how interesting it is. The teachers are amazing and I love how it is taught. I loved making posters on the Suffragettes and writing poems about Germany.”
“The teachers in the history department are all so lovely, they inspire us to discover the past and enjoy the subject.”
“History at St Helen’s is very interactive and I loved learning about the First World War and going on the Battlefields trip; it was really eye-opening.”

Academic enrichment

The range of opportunities for students to advance their historical understanding are legion. We regularly invite leading academics to the School and our students frequently attend historical association events. In previous years, we have hosted talks from historians such as Professor Kate Williams, Dr Susan Dora, and Professor Michael Broers. Students have the opportunity to compete in numerous national historical competitions and students in the sixth form can compete for the prestigious Duffield Essay Prize.

With societies available to Lower School, Middle School, and Sixth Form students, they are never far from an opportunity to broaden their historical horizons. Students work together across the year groups and frequently work with young historians from Abingdon School. Students also benefit from a range of thought-provoking and inspirational trips: from the First World War battlefields to Paris, from Berlin to the Black Country Museum. There is also an immersive and awe-inspiring Tudor Day for Year 8.

Explore all our subjects

Back to all