Subject Introduction - History



Mr Cloke

I’m Mr Cloke, and I’ve been teaching at GTS since 2017, and have been Subject Lead for history since 2020. I believe that the wonderful thing about history is that we can learn about some of the greatest stories ever told, except they’re all true! At GTS we want to make history come to life, so we work really hard to make every lesson interesting and we never shy away from the really hard and difficult topics. It’s all part of how we got to where we are now! Your years at GTS will be spent considering the historical idea ‘we free, tolerant, democratic, healthy and safe… how did we get here?’ We will also consider how true each part of that statement is to give you an excellent overview of British and world history and what impact events in the past continue to have on us today. You’ll also gain skills to help you sort fact from fiction and truth from lies as you proceed through life.

At university I studied modern history as a specialism, but I also have an interest in everything from archaeology and British pre-history, through the Roman and medieval periods, the Industrial Revolution and beyond. I’m also fascinated by the important and sometimes overlooked history of our local area. In fact, my lifelong love of studying the past has only increased ever since I started teaching about it!

My department has an amazing selection of artefacts, costumes and models to help make our lessons even more vivid and engaging. You can see some of them in my photo!

You can expect your history lessons to be interesting, engaging and even shocking at times. We have a proud emphasis on reading and writing too- this is central to the work of any historian, no matter their age!
I look forward to meeting you properly in September.

Miss Withecombe

I’m Miss Withecombe and I’ve been teaching at GTS since September 2020. I’ve had a bit of an odd start to my time here, with lots of Covid disruption, but I’ve been here long enough to know that you are very lucky to be coming here! Before coming to GTS, I taught at a school in Poole, Dorset for a few years but missed my beloved North Devon!

At university I studied a lot of medical history; the idea of how we started with absolutely no knowledge of the human body (because human dissections were illegal), to getting to where we are today is, I think, amazing! If you choose to do GCSE history you will get to learn about this too. Another favourite of mine is women’s history – women’s and girl’s achievements have often been forgotten in school history; and I’m making it my mission to bring them back! (You may notice my Suffragette badge in my picture!) I think the most interesting thing about history is how we, as people, have reacted to different things like wars, illnesses and how we’ve changed over time. I’m a ‘people’ historian, officially known as a social historian.

I look forward to teaching you all about the fascinating stories of our past in September.

Miss Cox

I’m Miss Cox and I am new to GTS. Like you I will be starting in September. I have always had a love of history and feel very privileged to now be teaching this exciting subject. At university I studied a wide variety of topics from the early modern period through to the 20th century. I enjoy studying most areas of history but particularly enjoy looking at different societies and peoples. After finishing university, I took my studies one step further and completed a master’s degree in history. For this I specialised in local history. Like Mr Cloke, I believe local history is an important part of history education which can help us to better understand our community and the people that form it.

I look forward to meeting you all in September, when we can begin our GTS journey together.