The Grey Coat Hospital

Church of England Comprehensive School for Girls


The subject of History is delivered by a five strong team and is one of the most popular option choices for students at both GCSE and A Level.

Topics range from Ancient Greece to the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union. We aim to provide as much variety of historical study as possible in order to give students a real insight into the past. Key Stage 3 History provides an overview of British history from 1066 to the Twentieth Century. GCSE allows more in-depth studies of Weimar and Nazi Germany, International Relations during the Cold War, the reign of Elizabeth I, in addition to a study of Medicine in Britain and the trenches of the First World War. History continues to be an extremely popular choice at A Level and the variety of subject content serves to inspire students’ curiosity about the past. In Year 12, students focus on the Wars of the Roses and the German Reformation. In Year 13, students learn about a century of modern Russian history from 1855 to 1964, and complete a coursework essay on Elizabeth I. In History, students learn to debate, discuss and listen to different points of view, they undertake independent research and give presentations, they learn how to analyse and evaluate and they learn that to understand the complexities of the world they live in requires careful thought and the rejection of simplistic dogma. The History department offers an exciting education into the past while providing crucial skills for the future.

Key Stage 3

  • Year 7: Medieval England 1066-1485; The Renaissance; Tudor England 1485-1603
  • Year 8: Stuart England 1603-1714; Industrial Britain and the British Empire c.1750-c.1900; The Black Peoples of the Americas
  • Year 9: The Twentieth Century World


Students will follow the Edexcel GCSE History course which comprises the following elements:

  • Y10 Thematic Study: Medicine in Britain c.1250 AD to the present day
  • Y10 Historic Environment: The British sector of the Western Front, 1914-18; injuries, treatment and the trenches
  • Y10 Modern Depth Study: Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39 
  • Y11 British Depth Study: Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88
  • Y11 Period Study: Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-91

The course is assessed over 3 exam papers, two of which are each worth 30% of the final grade and one which is worth 40%

A Level History

Students will follow the OCR History A course.

In Year 12, students will study TWO units:

  1. Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII 1445–1509 (25% of total 'A' Level grade)
  2. The German Reformation and the rule of Charles V, 1500-1559 (15% of total 'A' Level grade) 

In Year 13, students will study TWO units:

  1. Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964 (40% of total 'A' Level grade)
  2. Coursework on Elizabeth I (20% of total 'A' Level grade)

Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities

We have a thriving History Club at Lower School. History Club has organised a number of trips and projects this year, culminating in a school exhibition and event to mark the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in December 2018. In Year 7, all students take part in the re-creation of a Medieval Fair in December.  Each form group is charged with the responsibility of setting up a stall that mimics a medieval market stall and the students are encouraged to dress up in medieval costume. In HT6, Year 7 students also take part in the annual visit to Hampton Court Palace to tie in with the study of the Tudors.

In Year 9, students have been to visit the Voice and Vote exhibition at the Houses of Parliament this year and also been on a trip to the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark. In Year 10, students have visited the Western Front exhibition at the Science Museum. In Year 12, students visit the National Portrait Gallery as part of their study of Elizabeth I’s reign and visit the National Archives in Kew to support their study of the Wars of the Roses. When appropriate, Year 12 and 13 students are also taken to lecture days on the relevant courses studied at A Level. 

In 2017/18, an Upper School History Society was established for KS4 and KS5 students. We have run debates, had speakers in (including Graham Tomlin on Martin Luther and Laura Gowing on women and gender in the 17th century) and history A Level students have given presentations on their particular areas of interest. A new joint art and history trip was established for the Sixth Form to Berlin and Wittenberg. Around 40 students went on this trip and it hugely enhanced their study of the German Reformation at A Level and wider German history through going to key sites in Berlin.  The Berlin trip will take place every two years so that every Sixth Former has a chance to attend. We will be running a trip to Florence every other year as well, starting in 2019. 

GCSE and A Level students are supported in their revision with in-house revision guides and a comprehensive schedule of revision classes.