History

Welcome to the History Department 

Teaching staff at St Catherine’s are passionate about their subject.  We are so fortunate to teach a subject which never fails to inform and excite.  History is a rich tapestry unfolding with ever passing day.  It is a subject which allows pupils to use their skills of judgement, analysis and evaluation to their fullest extent.    

This is a subject which takes a robust pride in its academic rigour.  It is the most ‘human’ of all the subjects because it is ‘our story’.  Like a landscape whose textures, colour and mood change according to time, weather and season, so our perspective on the past changes with each passing generation.  History is very alive at St Catherine’s.  Take a look at our website to gain a further insight.

History Department Staff
  • Mrs Gillian David - Head of Department. B.A. Manchester, PGCE (History & Politics) / Marketing 
    email: gill.david@stcatherines.info
    Has been teaching more years than she cares to remember in both the state and the independent sectors! She was taught at Manchester by eminent historian Ian Kershaw although his specialist subject, Nazi Germany, is not one of her favourites. She has always had a fascination for Russian history and can indulge this interest at St Catherine’s in the A2 Russian Rulers 1855-1964 module and indeed by taking the Sixth Form to Russia every other year. She loves to teach the First World War and the French Revolution. When she is not reading history non-fiction, she likes to go on long walks, do armchair genealogy and sail.
  • Mrs Angelique Burns, BA Leeds PGCE (History)
    email: angelique.burns@stcaterines.info
    Joined St Catherine’s in 2012 having taught previously in both the state and independent sectors, including three years as Head of History at a girls’ school in Croydon. Although specialising in Tudor and Victorian History at University, her academic interests go far beyond that and are ever-changing as friends and family buy her new books! She has a keen interest in Russian History, particularly the Stalinist period, and has a current obsession with the Stasi in East Germany - sparked by a recent visit to Berlin. For bedtime reading, ‘Horrible Histories’ is preferred!
  • Mrs Nicky Higgs,  BA Manchester (History) 
    Second in Department / Politics
    email: nicky.higgs@stcatherines.info

    Joined St Catherine’s in September 2013 having previously worked in both the state and independent sectors, including three years as Head of Year at a girls’ grammar school in Kent and a spell as an AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) In addition to her teaching experience, Nicky spent 18 months working as an Education Officer for the Holocaust Educational Trust, an organisation who she still has links with, notably through our 6th formers taking part on their Lessons from Auschwitz Project. Nicky also leads the annual assembly to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day each January. Nicky enjoys teaching many aspects of history with the Cold War and Weimar and Nazi Germany being particular favourites. Outside of the classroom, Nicky keeps very busy bringing up a young son, indulging her passion for good food and drink, spending time with loved ones and attending as many loud rock music concerts as possible!

  • Mr Carl Gladwell, B.A. London PGCE Politics / History/General Studies/Examinations Officer
    email: carl.gladwell@stcatherines.info
    Has taught at St. Catherine’s since 2005. Is Head of Politics and International Relations, Head of General Studies and teaches History from U3 to U6. Is very interested in how the power of political ideas affects societies, for both good and bad, and so both Politics and History allows him to explore this. The traumatic events of the 20th century in Germany, Russia, and China, show just how powerful and consequential political ideas can be: it is up to all of us to learn from these experiences. In his life outside school he plays bass guitar in a very loud rock band, cheers (but mostly groans) at the footballing exploits of Arsenal, and enjoys being a master chef in his own kitchen.

Mrs Gillian David

Mrs Angelique Burns

Mrs Nicky HIggs

Mr Carl Gladwell