"The aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture
of the world, to give us a new way of looking at things" James Joll
  • Introduction
  • News
  • Lower School (Years I-III)
  • GCSE (Years IV-V)
  • Sixth Form
  • Beyond the classroom
The historian James Joll said that “the aim of the historian, like that of the artist, is to enlarge our picture of the world, to give us a new way of looking at things.” In this department we seek to develop the girls’ understanding of past human experience in all its diversity. While the focus is mainly on British history we also consider other cultures. In studying a particular period we aim to show the interplay of factors: religious, political, social, economic and cultural. We develop the skills of the historian: use of sources, evaluation, analysis, rigorous argument, both oral and written, and the appreciation of historiography.
Lord Norton visits Queen Margaret's
Wolsey comes to Queen Margaret's!
YouthVoice Conference  | 19/11/2009
On Wednesday 18th November Upper VI History, Politics, Economics and Business Studies students attended the YouthVoice conference hosted by York University. 
The choice of topics for the Lower School aims to give the girls a comprehensive introduction to the study of History across a broad chronological sweep of the last 1000 years, principally in Britain and Europe, but also regions further afield such as North America and the Middle East:
Year I
Nature of history and introduction to the skills of the historian
The Norman Conquest
Religion and society in Medieval England
The growth of Islam and the Crusades
The European Renaissance and its impact on England
Voyages of discovery and confrontation with the Aztecs
Year II
Religious turmoil in the era of the Tudors
The reign of ‘Gloriana’:  Queen Elizabeth I
The reign of the Stuarts:  From Civil War to the Glorious Revolution
Fire and Plague in London
The transatlantic slave trade
The Industrial Revolution and the growth of the British Empire
Year III
The French Revolution
Trench warfare on the Western Front
The impact of the First World War on Britain
European dictatorships of the 1930s:  Case studies of Fascism and Communism
From September 2012, all girls starting GCSE History at QM complete Edexcel’s International GCSE in History.  This is identical to the qualification used in UK state schools called the ‘Edexcel Certificate in History’, and as such is accredited for the Coalition Government’s new English Baccalaureate.  You can find out more about this specification using the hyperlink below:
The GCSE is assessed by two 90 minute exams, which each form 50% of the final grade.  There is no coursework or controlled assessment.
For Paper 1, girls will focus on two depth studies: ‘A world divided: International relations between the wars, 1919-39’ and ‘Dictatorship and conflict in Russia, 1924-53’.
For Paper 2, girls will focus on an historical investigation and a breadth study in change:  ‘The USA 1917-29’ and ‘Changes in medicine, c1845 – c1945’.
NB – Students currently in Year V and taking their GCSE in summer 2013 are taking an earlier version of this specification, which has very similar content to the 2011 specification, but is assessed by one 150 minute paper rather than two 90 minute exams.
AS/A2 (Sixth Form) Once again History is a popular choice at A level. We follow the AQA specification. The web address is:
Our broad theme is “Absolutism”. At AS the girls study two periods, one British and one European: Britain, 1483-1529 and Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-45. At A2 we complete our study of the Tudors: Britain 1547-1603, but also undertake compulsory coursework on the Early Modern Church and heresies. 
The school is a member of the Historical Association and the current Head of Department serves as a committee member of the York branch of the HA. Consequently one of the Branch HA lectures is held at QM each year, and girls can attend lectures in other schools. The department undertakes to make educational visits, e.g. in the last few years we have made “battlefields visits” to WWI sites in France and Belgium, and in 2012 girls enjoyed a fascinating trip to Russia.