“Every generation, scholars have arisen proclaiming that they have found a new key which unlocks the essence of the past in a way that no previous historical approach has ever done. Our own generation is no exception to this rule – and it will probably be no exception to this fate.” - David Cannadine

History in the twenty-first century is very much a battleground. The so-called culture wars have seen aspects of the past evoked, debated, re-interpreted, politicised or even ‘erased’. Should Colston’s statue have been thrown into the river in Bristol? Why did the British public vote to leave the EU in 2016 having voted to join the EEC in 1975? Does it make sense to call Churchill racist?

At Cheltenham Ladies’ College, History is not something fixed and consigned to dusty text books. Our own surroundings are a constant reminder of how what came before us shapes our present. Nonetheless, the relationship between the past and the present is dynamic and rarely agreed-upon; by its nature, history is open to a range of interpretations. Studying History may not give us uncomplicated answers, but can provide students with the skills necessary to build their own critical perspectives with academic rigour and open-mindedness.

Students in LC1 study Medieval History, including both pre and post-Norman invasion England and the Islamic Golden Age. LC2 focuses on Early Modern History with case studies on Tudor and Stuart England and Perspectives on the British Empire. In LC3 the focus is on the making of the modern world with a look at the Russian Revolution, WW1, America in the 1920s and the Second World War. GCSE, A Level and IB Programmes are detailed below.

All year groups are taught by dedicated subject specialists and take up is very high, with over 200 girls taking GCSE and around 100 taking IB or A Level courses.

The department offers extensive co-curricular activities for girls to enrich their studies. These include the History and Politics societies, regular visiting speakers and trips to destinations such as Berlin, Washington D.C. and the Battlefields of World War I.


Girls study a range of topics, from the Crusades to the Second World War.


The AQA GCSE is followed. Units:


We offer the AQA A Level, as well as the IB Standard and Higher Level.


Head of History and Politics: Ms Joanne Kilburn BA MA

Miss Jennifer Bowden BA MSc
Miss Debbie Burston BA
Dr Bethan Coupland BA MA 
Ms Elizabeth Gill BA
Mr Tom Loughlin BA MA
Miss Saffron Lowsley
Mr Patrick Murray BA
Dr Julia Parker BA MA