The aim of this student conference is to provide students with a valuable, inspiring and engaging special event and conference, which students will find enriching, motivating, and urge them on for top grade success in this section of the examination.

The conference specifically focuses on the topic Medicine and Health in Britain and is designed for students of all major examination boards.  The conference combines leading expert historians, including Chris Culpin, who will be well known to many of you, and Scratch a professional acting group, who will bring key points and issues to life on this topic in their humorous and more serious sketches.

The day is interactive, also includes key advice and guidance for students on what they need to do to access the high grades, examples gone through demonstrating ways of doing this, and what the examiner will be looking to see in responses.


  • Reinforce and enhance your students’ knowledge of this popular topic
  • Develop confidence in handling subject content in order to respond to questions requiring comparisons across the themes and across the periods.
  • Gain first-hand experience from experienced examiners and subject experts, addressing common and problematic question styles.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to ask the Subject Experts direct questions in Question Box
 DATE AND LOCATION Manchester | Friday 05 March 2021
London | Tuesday 30 March 2021
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference



10.25 – 10.30 Welcome and Introduction

  • The starter quiz: Can you identify the twenty famous faces of medicine?

10.30 – 10.45am
1000 Years of Fighting Disease and Death

  • Student activity: Timeline: making sense of the period as a whole – how the different aspects of medicine and health fit together
  • Was change always progress?  Why did some things NOT change?

10.45 – 11.10am
Was medieval medicine really that bad?

  • Analysing the factors that inhibited change
  • Successfully comparing and contrasting the different roles and impact of the Church – hospitals, universities and beliefs
  • Using your own knowledge to stretch your answers on Islamic Medicine and Medieval medicine in practice – Doctors, Apothecaries and Barber-surgeons

11.05-11.10 am LIVE PERFORMANCE: SCRATCH: What went well, what went not so well – and why

11.10 – 11.30am
Examiner Workshop 1: How to write great answers to explanation questions

  • Accessing the top marks: balancing points, making judgements
  • Prioritising factors in an explanation
  • Focusing on the question rather than on the topic
  • Outlining a response:  Logical structure, taking a range of different aspects and building up to complete coverage

11.30– 11.55am
Key issues in 20th Century Medicine

  • Overview: The 20th century Health revolution
  • Tackling the advances in technology and medicine
  • Modern threats to health – using examples of the positive and negative aspects of modern medicine to add depth to your answers
  • Using the example of the Penicillin story to exemplify factors in action.
  • Mass Medicine: the growth of the National Health Service – comparing Public Health over time successfully

11:50-11:55am LIVE PERFORMANCE SCRATCH:  Who deserved the Nobel Prize – Fleming or Florey?

11.55 – 12.10pm

  • Submit your questions to win a prize

12.10 – 12.30pm
Examiner Workshop 2:  How to master the themes and the periods

  • Harvey, Vesalius and early modern medicine: analysing why changes in knowledge did not bring changes in health
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: Understanding changes and continuities in the themes
  • What Examiners are looking for in questions comparing developments across time
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: Good strategies for revising the chronology

12.30 – 1.05 pm Lunch

1.05 – 1.15 pm Quiz box

The speakers answer your questions

1.15 – 1.50pm
Surgery: Why did the death rate rise after the introduction of anaesthetics?

  • Making breakthroughs: analysing the role of the individual – Harvey, Simpson, Lister
  • Tackling questions on surgery, using ‘Explain why improvements in anesthetics did not bring improvements in surgical survival rates as an example
  • What key developments took place to bring about the success of modern surgery?

1.50 –1.55 pm: LIVE PERFORMANCE SCRATCH: Public Health problems in 19th century cities

1.55 – 2.25pm
Examiner Workshop 3: How to plan a extended answer on 19th century Public Health

  • Cholera and the work of Snow – the vital development
  • Combining factors for a strong response
  • Using your knowledge to answer different questions and questions types on 19th c Public Health
  • Where top students miss full marks: avoiding disconnected answers
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: dissecting a model answer – what gets grades 8 and 9

2.25 – 2.55 pm
DEBATE: Jenner or Pasteur: who saved more lives?

  • Was Edward Jenner just a country doctor?
  • What problems were there with his discovery?
  • How did Louis Pasteur solve them?
  • Debate: Jenner or Pasteur: listen to the arguments made by the speakers and decide who was the more important
  • Weighing up the evidence in your answers – balance, judgement, impact

2.55 – 3.20 pm:
Examiner Workshop 4: How to write great answers to sources questions

  • What is the Chief Examiner looking for?
  • Raising your game: getting beyond the easy low level response
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: Think enquiry: what is the question the historian trying to answer?
  • Treating sources as evidence
  • Usefulness and reliability: what’s the difference?

3.20 pm:
Final top tips and question box

Chris Culpin

Chris Culpin has many years’ experience as a teacher and Chief Examiner and was Director of the Schools History Project for 11 years. He has written several successful and ground-breaking textbooks including Medicine Through Time. He has worked on online resources for Medicine through Time for the Science Museum, and on programmes for BBC Schools TV and Bitesize. He is a Fellow of the Historical Association and winner of the HA Norton Medlicott Medal in 2007. He has many years’ experience running courses for students and teachers.

Jayne Mackay

Jayne is an experienced teacher and Head of Department for 25 years at very high achieving schools. Her department’s results and Ofsted evaluations for her department and individual lessons are consistently high. She has led teacher courses and student revision sessions for a number of years and is a current senior examiner for two leading exam boards at GCSE and A level, as well as visiting schools to provide specification support. She is currently writing a revision guide with strategies and tasks for teachers to use in revision lessons.


Scratch contains some of the UK’s leading comedy performers and actors. Founder member Gareth Kane has appeared on stage in The West End, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Globe Theatre and The English Theatre Warsaw. His television credits include Black Mirror, Citizen Khan and the 2018 EE commercials with Kevin Bacon. He is also one of The UK’s most sought after Compere’s and hosts several stand-up comedy shows across London. As a writer he produced five consecutive sold-out Edinburgh festival shows and was nominated for a Whatsonstage award. Many of the Scratch performers have appeared on TV, film and in venues across the West End, including recent appearances in Eastenders, Johnny English 3, Miranda. The Javone Prince Show, Doctors and Pramface.

Student £25+VAT

One free teacher place for every 10 student places
Additional teachers £35+VAT
Individual teachers £80+VAT