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History – KS4

History at Key Stage 4

The history GCSE covers a wide range of subjects across different continents and periods. At the end of the two-year period, students sit GCSE exams.

We begin with a thematic study of the history of Medicine in Britain. Students consider how medicine has evolved between the Middle Ages and the present. Students study how medicine has changed from a supernatural and religious discipline, which was unable to identify, treat and prevent the majority of diseases. The course involves a study of four time periods which take us  to modern medicine, where scientists use technology to solve the biggest challenges of the day and where medicine is available to all through the NHS. As part of the course, students also focus on the Western Front in World War One, an environment where significant medical breakthroughs took place alongside the terrible conditions and fighting that many people associate with the war.

Students move on to a study of the early reign of Elizabeth I, the final Tudor Queen. Students study how Elizabeth faced challenges of gender, legitimacy, foreign policy, and challenges with religion. From these challenges, Elizabeth became not only one of Britain’s most recognisable monarchs, but one who reigned for several decades. The course ends with Elizabeth’s defeat of the Spanish Armada, a significant turning point in Britain’s global role.

In Y11, we study the history of the USA between 1954 and 1975. This course investigates the conflict within America and abroad. We look at how the USA faced a reckoning with its racist past and how the Civil Rights movement, spearheaded by notable figures such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, campaigned for equal rights for black Americans. Meanwhile, the USA was involved in Vietnam, a war which is widely considered to have been disastrous for the USA. Students consider the war, how it started and why America ultimately left Vietnam in defeat.

Finally, we study the Cold War. We look at how two superpowers, the USSR and the USA went from being allies in World War Two to enemies, entering a conflict that lasted until 1991. A conflict which left a significant mark on every corner of the globe.