a picture of students on computers

KES boys are justifiably curious about their place in the world and how history has shaped the present.

The study of history is vital to anyone with a desire to understand current trends in politics, economics and society in general.

History is thriving at King Edward’s School. In Year 7, boys learn about Medieval British History and the Wars of the Roses. In Year 8 students will enjoy a global history stretching from Renaissance Italy to Mughal India. In Year 9, boys engage with a thematic study of Rights and Protest by exploring both the French Revolution and the American Civil Rights movement.

The IGCSE course provides a global perspective that boys will find particularly useful as well as fascinating and challenging and is ideal preparation for the IB History course. 

Topics include: the development of dictatorship in Germany, 1918-1945; the Cold War, 1943-1972; the USA, 1917-1941; and China, 1900-1989.

History is offered at both Standard and Higher Level as part of the IB Diploma. The Standard Level course provides further exploration of the Cold War and a source based inquiry into Apartheid in South Africa and the American Civil Rights movement. The remainder of the course is devoted to a thematic study of 20th century single party states and authoritarian regimes, such as Mussolini’s Italy and Castro’s Cuba.

The Higher Level course comprises the same material as the Standard Level course but with the addition of the Paper 3 topics. These include the Unification of Italy, Unification of Germany and Tsarist Russia. 

Future careers

Those students who pursue History at both IB and degree level can explore diverse career opportunities with careers directly related to history including academic research, museum and gallery curation or teaching. History degrees can also provide opportunities in fields such as the civil service, law or journalism.

Beyond the classroom

The History Department organises trips to local museums such as the RAF Cosford Museum. In recent years there have been international trips including a Middle School trip to Berlin.

The History Society is run by students in the Sixth Form. It organises lectures from guest speakers and allows boys to present to their peers about research they have undertaken for their Extended Essay, or any other historical topics they are interested in. The Society also supports boys who wish to read History at Oxford and Cambridge.

Meet the Head of Faculty

Mr Cox

Mr Cox began his career as a prospective trainee teacher with an interview for the King Edward’s Consortium in 2005, which was then based in the Foundation Offices at the end of the school drive. Between then and now, he has taught History at Five Ways but spent the vast majority of the intervening years at Camp Hill Girls, where he was Head of History and Politics.

Before becoming a teacher, Mr Cox studied History and Politics at Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London. He was born and lived in London until he moved to Birmingham in 2004. He particularly enjoys the easy access to the countryside that his adopted city enjoys. He is a keen cyclist, runner, and walker and enjoys any activity that gets him outdoors. Beyond education, he has a particular interest in the local politics of Birmingham, as well as environmental issues more generally.

Patrick Cox Head of History

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