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History

Exam Board Specification: Edexcel

How the course is assessed

80% examination and 20% coursework.

Description of course

The Edexcel Advanced GCE in History enables students to:

  • Develop their interest and enthusiasm for historical study
  • Acquire a deeper understanding of social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.
  • Develop independent learning skills and critical thinking.
  • Become advanced communicators through written and oral presentation.
  • Develop skills of debating, rhetoric and argument.
  • To ask relevant and significant questions about the past and to research them in depth.
  • Develop their own views and judgements about the past by reflecting on historical evidence and the work of other historians.
  • Develop an advanced vocabulary of terms relating to past and current society, culture, economics and politics.
  • Make links and draw comparisons within and across different periods and aspects of the past.

Students will build on their understanding of the past from GCSE by studying a broad range of modules on modern history:

Paper 1: Germany and West Germany 1918-1989 (Y12)
This module traces the vast changes in German society, politics, culture and economics through the most turbulent of centuries. Students will explore the shifts in political power from the failed democratic experiment of the Weimar Republic, through the chaotic and destructive years of the Third Reich and concluding with the return of modern democracy and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Students will also be presented with the opportunity to explore the heated historical debates about the nature of the Nazi state and Hitler’s own personal power within it. They will be asked to consider How far Hitler’s foreign policy was responsible for the Second World War.

Paper 2: The Rise and Fall of Fascism in Italy, c. 1911–46 (Y12)

Paper 2 provides an in depth study of the turbulent years in Italy that saw the collapse of the liberal state, the creation of a fascist dictatorship and a return to democracy in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Students will gain deep understanding of the extent and nature of the profound political, economic and social changes experienced by the Italian people in the years 1911–1946 and how the failure to create a stable, democratic Italian state in the early twentieth century led to the rise of a new political ideology and a personal dictatorship.

Paper 3: Protest, Agitation and Parliamentary Reform in Britain, c.1780-1928 (Y12 & Y13)

This module delves deep into the heart of our own democracy to explore the relationship between popular protest and agitation and political representation. Students will gain a deep understanding of the UK’s political establishment and also a broader understanding of the processes that brought it to its modern form.

In light of the current changes to British politics this module has never been more relevant. As well as examining the nature of historical change and continuity, it will equip students with some of the political vocabulary and critical insight they will need to be active, democratic and politically minded citizens of the UK.

At Jo Richardson students will be studying the following module:

Paper 3: The British Experience of Warfare 1790-1918 30%

This option gives students the opportunity to explore the ways in which major overseas conflicts impacted on the participants and on those back home, on how such conflicts brought about change to the organisation of the army and navy, and to the role of central government in drawing the general populace into support for, and involvement in, such conflicts.

Students will explore the significance of key figures such as Nelson and Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars and Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole in The Crimean War. They will also engage in a fierce debate about the extent to which soldiers in the First World War were ‘Lions led by Donkeys’.

Paper 4: Coursework: The Origins of the First World War (Y13)

In this module, students will research and write their own historical essay. The coursework module focusses around the issue of how and why the First World War, one of the greatest calamities to affect the modern world, began.

Students will be asked to develop their skills of research, reading and note-taking in preparation for writing an advanced and analytical piece of writing. This extended piece of research and writing will provide excellent preparation for degree courses and future careers.

Higher education, future careers and progression routes

A qualification in A Level History allows students to develop analytical, evaluative and critical skills which prepare them very well for a wide variety of future careers. A Level History is valued by many professional careers, including accountancy, law, education, social work, the civil service, insurance and financial services. These employers highly value A Level History students’ ability to research, read and write to a high level, study independently, solve complex problems and analyse information.

Students with an A Level History Qualification are equipped to study a broad array of university degrees in the Arts and Sciences, including Law, History, Archaeology, English, Geography, Economics, Psychology and Sociology.

2015 Examination success rates:

100% A*-C
46% A*-B
83% A*-C grades

2015 Examination success rates:

A*/B – 35.7%

A*/C – 92.8%

100 % Pass rate

Additional information:

The History Department at the Sydney Russell School has a proven track record of examination success. We believe our students should develop an academic interest in history and pursue their own interests through the A Level History course.

Entry Criteria:

Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE Grade C and above in English and Maths, as well as a minimum of GSCE grade C’s and B’s (point score of 41.5).

Ask a question:

Dr P Longson
KS5 History Coordinator, The Sydney Russell School
plo@sydney-r.bardaglea.org.uk

Mr Sebastian Hayes
Head of History, Jo Richardson Community School
s.hayes@jorichardson.org.uk