GCSE History

Contact: Mrs Davis, Subject Leader for History

Why study History?

History surrounds us constantly, the phrases we use, language we speak and the communities we live in are all part of the rich tapestry of British History.  The importance and esteem that History is held has made it a facilitating EBACC subject and the Russell group also considers History as one of the qualifications that is most credible to universities throughout the United Kingdom. The skills developed are relevant in a wide range of jobs such as law, finance, journalism and politics.

What content is studied?

The examination board’s programmes of study include diverse and exciting topics. We get to study a wide breadth of History as three eras of history must be studied:

•          Medieval (500 – 1500)

•          Early modern (1450 – 750)

•          Modern (1700 – present)

At least 40 % of this will be British History and we will cover the following elements:

•          A thematic study over time- Health and the people, where we investigate key developments in medicine from c1000 to present day. We look at why people drilled holes in skulls, the impact of the Black Death and how the NHS was created, to mention just a few fascinating topics.

•          A period study of at least 50 years- Germany, 1890–1945: Democracy and dictatorship. This period study focuses on the development of Germany during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of democracy and dictatorship – we will investigate the rise and fall of Nazism.

•          One wider world depth study- Conflict and tension 1894-1918, where we learn all about the causes, nature and conclusion of WW1. We will investigate the causes of the First World War, trench warfare and why so many men joined the war, risking their lives.

•          A study of a historical environment- Elizabethan England, here we investigate the fascinating years of Elizabeth’s reign. We will investigate why she never married, the threats to her life she faced and how she managed to defeat the powerful Spanish, to name just a few of the interesting issues. Students will also study a historical site, which changes every year.

How are the students assessed?

AQA GCSE History: The course is 100% examination. Students will sit two exam papers at the end of Year 11:

  • Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World (worth 50% of the overall GCSE). This paper includes Germany 1890-1945 Democracy and Dictatorship and Conflict and Tension 1894-1918.
  • Paper 2: Shaping the Nation (worth 50% of the overall GCSE). This paper includes Britain, Health and the People and Elizabethan England.