History KS1 / KS2: M is for Medicine

Newsreel and commentary about the advances in medicine made during World War One.

These include pioneering work on X-rays, antibiotics and blood transfusions, which were all widely used for the first time during the conflict.

A dramatic monologue introduces surgeon Henry MacFarlane, who is at the end of his first day at a field hospital on the Western Front.

He describes his work, in particular the importance of guarding against septicaemia when dealing with wounds.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

Ask pupils if they know what they should do when they get a cut.

Establish the importance of washing the cut and of keeping the wound covered and clean while it heals.

Pupils could make posters, showing how to treat cuts and the importance of hand-washing to prevent germs spreading.

Key Stage 2

Pupils could develop a timeline, showing when X-Rays, antibiotics and blood transfusions were first discovered or employed.

They could use a range of information sources, such as books and websites to find out more.

What are the names and life stories of the scientists most closely associated with these developments?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at primary school ages for Key Stages 1 and 2, or First and Second Level.

More from the series WW1 A to Z

L is for Lusitania
N is for Nurses
O is for Owen (Wilfred)