History, a forgotten subject

I love history, I love reading up on various aspects of both world, English and local history I find it endlessly fascinating and will occasionally indulge in what ifs, as in what might have happened if things had gone differently. But history is also important if we are to remember who we are and how we got here, which is why the latest figures on the number of schools who failed to enter a single pupil in GCSE history are so disturbing.


More than 150 comprehensives failed to enter a single pupil in GCSE history exams last year amid fears the subject is becoming limited to private and grammar schools.
In Knowsley, a Merseyside local authority, just 11 out of 2,000 pupils took A-levels in the subject, with only four passing their exams.
The figures in a report published today suggest that pupils in areas like Knowsley are 46 times less likely to gain A-level history than more affluent places like Cambridge, where 665 out of 6,038 candidates sat the exam, 557 of whom passed.
Ministers are increasingly concerned about the pupils’ level of historical knowledge when they leave school, with a recent study showing half of English 18 to 24 year olds do not know Nelson masterminded the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
The report was produced by Chris Skidmore, a Conservative MP on the Commons All-Party Group on History.
It shows that fewer than 30 per cent of 16 year old state school pupils took GCSE History exams last year, while the figures in grammar and private schools were 55 and 48 per cent respectively.
In more than half of all state secondary schools, fewer than a quarter of eligible pupils take the exam, the report said.

I had the feeling that the socialist stranglehold in the teaching sector along with the previous governments wholesale dumbing down of education standards was quite deliberate when coupled with its multicultural and diversity driven agenda in order to destroy the English as a people. After all if we didn’t know where we came from or why, then we could be moulded (in theory) to believe what they wanted. Not that the current government with its pseudo socialist Lib Dem minority has done much to reverse the trend until now and it may actually be too late to repair the damage for a generation or two at least and there’s always the chance that people might be foolish enough to re-elect Labour again at some stage, after all the bribes to certain sectors of the populace were big enough. That coupled with simple spite and a calculating manipulation of the media always seems to put the Tories on the back foot and the liberal/socialist agenda over the last decade is still being slavishly followed by the current government, rather than by hacking away root and branch at the malaise caused by socialisms poisonous doctrines and removing its placemen from positions of power.

We forget who we are at our peril, it may be too late for the current generation, but it might not be too late to stop it for the next one.

We can but hope.

11 comments for “History, a forgotten subject

  1. December 20, 2011 at 8:09 am

    History nuts have the powerful tool of the internet. Time lines abound, making a nonsense of the non-sequential teaching sabotage inflicted upon the GCSE syllabus some years ago. Anybody can discover the most amazing amount of their or others history, books from the past, etc.,etc., with a few clicks and sweep of your mouse with an inspired choice of key words for searches. Enjoy! šŸ™‚

    • December 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

      This is so but as any teacher in schools knows, kids often need the first nudge via a reading list or suggested directions. Adults often don’t know which things to read either. It’s all very well having google if you don’t know what to google and when something does come up, what to click.

      As everyone knows, on any political topic, the google rankings push the socialist/Them articles to the top and the ones people perhaps should be looking at more are down on the second or third page. This is powerful, as the person can then claim to have freely searched and yet that search is manipulated by simple rankings.

      It’s not a level playing field.

      The danger in either ignoring one’s history or having it withheld from you is that you don’t get a sense, a feel for what that history was, who struggled and sacrificed for it and so on, e.g. the world wars. The socialists have rewritten the textbooks and skewed the whole story.

      I’d argue, Ironies Too, that knowledge of one’s past is always preferable to ignorance but sometimes we have to present the material up front and then can only hope others will run with it.

      • DerekP
        December 20, 2011 at 10:13 am

        I’m reminded of the CH4 documentary which showed how so many teachers who are mathematically incapable go on to effectively ruin the mathematical ability of the children they ‘teach’.

        I think it’s the role of an education system to ensure children are able to read, write and do arithmatic as these are the basic tools which will allow them to explore their own interests and evaluate their own decisions as they make their way through life. Currently the British education system seems to have other priorities.

        If the teaching profession prefers to give ‘socially relevant’ lessons because it’s less boring for the teachers than to keep teaching the same things, or because the teachers are incapable, then I don’t regard it as a profession at all but merely a haven for placemen (and, if the ‘good’ teachers are happy to be included with the ‘bad’ rather than get rid of them, therefore think teachers’ pensions are legitimate targets).

        If the teaching profession aims to teach people what to think rather than giving them the tools for independent thought then teachers have become political ideologues and should be decimated – for educational purposes, obviously.

  2. December 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

    It’s no surprise that so few pupils progress as far as exams in history since it long ago became a propaganda intrument for lefties who leave out the exiting bits because of too many dead white males and instead turn it into black/womens studies and any ism they can think off.

    For history buffs Youtube has become a wonderful tool. It seems to have abandoned its film length restriction and now hosts thousands of full length documentaries of all types.

    Try searching “history full length”, I’ve saved about 750 thus far and havent’t even scratched the surface as more and more get uploaded.

  3. December 20, 2011 at 9:57 am

    If those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them what does that say of those who refuse even to teach the lessons of history? šŸ™

    … will occasionally indulge in what ifs, as in what might have happened if things had gone differently.

    I know what you mean. I’ve got several alternate history type novels on my Christmas list. And of course the best thing about history is that it’s an ever increasing subject so there’s always scope for more.

  4. Andrew Duffin
    December 20, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Our local secondary school no longer offers history at all – not at Higher and not at Standard Grade either. And since we’re in the Socialist Republic of Scotland, it’s only a very very few – those whose parents both are rich enough and care enough – who will escape its clutches.

    And an anecdote (sorry but it’s irresistible): my youngest (age 23) called up the other day, having been invited to dinner, to find out what time he and his partner should arrive. I said, oh, around eight – “we’re just killing the fatted calf now”. He had no idea at all what I was talking about. None, nada, zilch. Of course this is a failure of parenting as well as education (hands up!), but it shows how much has been lost.

    • December 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Jeez, we all know what that means. Scottish history as taught by Hollywood and Mel bloody Gibson. They may tak oor wallets but they’ll nivva tak oor Irn-Bru.

  5. Mudplugger
    December 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Recent generations seem to have been given a fleeting run through the Tudors (awfully good televisually, you see, nice costumes, bit of moralising with it), followed by the now-standard holocaust experience (including the almost mandatory school trip to Auschwitz). That’s history, folks.

    I’ll admit to limited interest in History until learning of the Industrial Revolution and its consequences – all of a sudden, it was explaining the background to things I could see around me: factories, canals, railways, banks, cities, political parties, electoral reform, imperial expansion etc – it all started to make sense and become relevant. That sparked an interest in politics and economics, which is why I’m on this site 40+ years later.

    If anything, the lesson should be to ditch the current random-pecking approach (bit of Vikings, bit of Romans, bit of Tudors, lot of Hitler, in no chronological order) and set out to deliver an accumulating story throughout the school years, always drawing clear links to facets of life still evident today. It worked for me.

  6. December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Currently reading up on Byzantium, the 1000 year follow on from the Roman Empire, which lasted until 1453. Also the reign of Edward 1st (‘A great and terrible king’). In which there are a number of startling parallels with current events like Europe, Scottish Independence and surprise, surprise, financial crises caused by selling on loans as ‘derivatives’. Oh yes, and a certain religion.

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it…….

  7. December 20, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    20 odd years ago when I had to pick and choose subjects for GCSEs, my bog standard comp (the best of the local bunch at the time) said I had to choose one from History, Geography and Social Sciences. With the latter being no more than bunkum, Geography boring me and History one of my favourite subjects the choice was a bit of a no-brainer.

    My love of it can probably be traced to a mother who, once a week during school holidays, take her two kids sightseeing. Thus in 10 years or so we got to see a reasonable amount of historical monuments, museums etc.

  8. Mike O
    December 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm

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