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History plays a key role in learning about the past and learning from the past. It aims to make students aware of the world around them, and how society and events have developed and changed over time. As an IB school we feel that this is hugely beneficial in developing a global awareness and an inquiring mind. It teaches valuable skills of learning how to think critically, and how to evaluate sources of information and differing perspectives.

In the junior years the syllabus covers a broad sweep of history from ‘1066 and all that’, right the way through to the 20th Century. It aims to give students an introduction to the relevant skills, but also to generate and develop interest in the ‘story’ of history and the richness of the characters and events that occurred.

History is a popular IGCSE option. We follow the IGCSE syllabus and look in more detail at some of the most significant events of the 20th Century. Currently we study the development of Communism in Russia, the rise and fall of Nazism in Germany and the conflict in the Middle East.


IB History is also a very popular choice and again focuses on modern history. For Standard Level the topics include the rise and rule of authoritarian and single-party states and the development of the Cold War. These are assessed in an essay based examination, while all students also take a more skills based examination for which the focus is the background to the Second World War. There is also one piece of coursework which is a historical investigation of a topic of the student’s own choice: subjects covered have ranged from Ancient Egypt to the fall of the Berlin Wall!

The vast majority of our IB historians choose to take it as one of the Higher Level subjects and this gives them the opportunity to also study American history. The topics include the American Civil War, the Great Depression and the development of the United States after the Second World War. The IB requires all students to write an Extended Essay and every year a significant proportion of the students choose to do this in History. This gives them the ability to research and write a university-style paper on a historical topic that has captured their interest, giving valuable academic experience.

The History department has a long and cherished tradition of offering exciting and valuable History trips. Destinations have included Russia, China, Vietnam, Berlin, Auschwitz, the United States and even North Korea! These offer great opportunity to really experience some of the events and places the students have read about and talked about; they are also fun and interesting!

The teachers of the History department are committed to investing into, and hopefully developing, a life-long interest in the events that have shaped and continue to shape our world.

Our son has been at King William’s College for two years and has settled in very well with the full support of the boarding staff and teachers, who have demonstrated great kindness and caring. The highly disciplined, but dynamic education system has helped our 15 year old son to adapt well and his confidence has noticeably improved in a short space of time. What's especially pleasing is that not only does the College have an excellent calibre of teaching staff and a strong academic curriculum, but we have been surprised and delighted to discover their excellent music achievements! With such great experience, our second son will also join KWC starting at Lower 5, to have a well rounded education. We cannot be more pleased with our decision to send our sons here all the way from Hong Kong!

M5 Overseas Parent