History Personal Statement

With such a range of different interpretations for any given era, what fascinates me most about History is the opportunity for debate and analysis. Studying the American Civil Rights Movement, it has been interesting to analyse the motives behind the efforts of Franklin Roosevelt and John F Kennedy to improve the lives of African Americans. With the recent election of Barack Obama, the study of Civil Rights is even more pertinent as we can recognise the instrumental effect the movement has had on the attitude of Americans today.

Another period that I have found intriguing is the rise of the Nazi party. This has had a profound effect on me, particularly being visited by a holocaust survivor, I became moved by the struggle and persecution of the Jews under the Nazi Regime. Reading texts such as Schindler's Ark, The Bielski Brothers and The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich further affirmed my fascination of this politically tense and emotionally charged era. I am an avid reader and my enjoyment of Virgil's Aeneid led me to enrol on a beginner's Latin course, which I have found fascinating, in particular exploring the influence of Roman culture on today's society.

A level English Literature has given me the ability to approach texts analytically and use critics' interpretations to support my own; a skill that I feel has aided my ability to incorporate historiography into my essays. Studying plays such as Dr Faustus has highlighted the differences between medieval and renaissance ideas, as well as demonstrating the negative effect of The Reformation on attitudes of the British Public towards the Catholic Church.Geography A level has increased my knowledge of contemporary issues and how they correspond with the past, for example, the application of the Demographic Transition Model identifies similarities between newly industrialising third world countries and mid to late 18th to early 19th century Britain. I have also learnt to evaluate issues systematically, using factual knowledge to support my own interpretations. Studying Biology at AS level has enabled me to tackle problems logically and precisely. Overall, my sixth form experience has taught me to undertake research independently and work on my analytical and interpretative skills, allowing me to express my evidence based opinion on a variety of materials, whilst managing my time efficiently to meet deadlines.

I have successfully applied these skills to other elements of school life. Following a rigorous application process, I was chosen from 60 applicants to become one of 19 student managers, contributing to the internal running of the school, supervising prefects and school events including Sports Day and Welcome Evenings. In this role I act as an ambassador for the school, giving tours for prospective parents and teachers. As part of the CAFOD charity group I jointly produce presentations and give assemblies both within school and at local churches.These roles have demonstrated my ability to work successfully within a team. One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at St Mary's was my involvement in the OCN mentoring scheme,which allowed me to help a year 7 student to improve her reading and spelling age from 10 to 13.

I have always enjoyed sports and have been a member of the netball and rounder's teams throughout my time at St Mary's, last year coaching the year seven netball team. This led me to gain my Junior Sports Leadership Award. Outside of school I have successfully trained and competed in gymnastics and cheerleading to a national level. In my spare time I enjoy volunteering at St Gemma's Hospice shop in Ilkley, which I have been doing since 2008. This has greatly enhanced my confidence, team working and communication skills.

Having consolidated my passion for History whilst studying at A level, I am resolute in my desire to embrace the opportunity of studying a wider range of periods in a more challenging and intellectually stimulating environment.

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