Welcome to the History Department

Introduction to GCSE

The GCSE syllabus has been designed to give students opportunities to explore key political, economic and social events that have helped shape today’s institutions, governments and societies. Students study and evaluate systems of government and learn how the actions of government impact on individuals, groups and society as a whole. They explore the values, attitudes, perceptions and ideologies that have shaped human behavior, endeavour and achievement in the past.

 

Year 11

Life in the United States of America, 1920-33

Students focus on how the lives of American people were affected by the significant political, economic and social changes that took place in the United States of America in the 1920’s. Areas of study include discrimination faced by national minorities, prohibition, the Wall Street Crash and the impact of the Great Depression up to 1933.

Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965–98

Students focus on the changing relationships between Northern Ireland, Britain and the Republic of Ireland, and among the different communities’ in Northern Ireland, against the backdrop of political and civil unrest. They will study the Civil Rights Movement, attempts at Power-sharing, the Hunger Strikes, the Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement.

 

Year 12

International Relations, 1945–2003

Students will develop an outline knowledge of the significant events and developments integral to the study of international relations in the period 1945–2003. Students will focus on the significant events and developments associated with the Cold War and the new ‘war on terror’. Students will learn about how and why conflict occurred, attempts at resolving tensions and how international relations have been affected by the Cold War and the ‘war on terror’. Areas of study will include the Berlin Wall, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 9/11 attack on America and the war in Iraq.

 

Method of Assessment

 

Year 11 External Written Examination

 

Paper 1 – 60% (1hr 45mins) 2 Sections

Section A: Students answer five questions. This includes short response questions, structured questions and an essay question based on Life in the USA 1920-33.

Section B: Students answer six questions. This includes source-based questions, short response questions and an essay question based on NI and its Neighbours 1965-98.

 

Year 12 External Written Examination

 

Paper 2 – 40% (1hr 15mins)

Students answer six questions. The paper includes source-based questions, a structured question and an essay question based on International Relations 1945-2003.

 

Careers Awareness

This specification allows students to develop skills that are transferable and highly valued by employers. Through the study of History, students will be able to develop their communication skills, both oral and written, their ability to formulate a balanced argument, their capacity to think objectively, their ability to carry out research and manage information and finally their independent and critical thinking skills.  History is not as obviously vocational as some courses, but it combines excellent training in vital skills with a high degree of interest and enjoyment.

Introduction to A Level

The specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed within key stage 4 History.  A-Level History provides pupils with a suitable foundation for study of a range of courses in further and higher education.

AS 1 - Option 3: Britain in the Age of Reform 1830-80

Students focus on a period of significant political, economic and social reform in Britain between 1830 and 1880.  Students chart the emergence of the modern Conservative and Liberal parties and analyse the part played in that process by the great political figures of the age: Peel, Disraeli and Gladstone.  The core theme of this option is reform, highlighted by the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1867, which set Britain on the road to full democracy.  Students also examine the rise of the Chartist movement and the Anti-Corn Law League, as well as the reasons for their contrasting fortunes.

AS2 – Option 5: Russia 1914-41

In the first part of this option, students focus on the causes of the Russian Revolutions of 1917.  They analyse reasons why the Tsarist regime collapsed in February 1917 and why the Bolsheviks were able to seize power in October 1917.  Students then assess how the Bolsheviks consolidated their rule with their victory in the Civil War.  Students also evaluate the aims and consequences of Lenin’s economic policies in the period 1917-1924.  The option concluded with a study of Stalinist Russia.  Students focus on why Stalin emerged as Lenin’s successor by 1929, assess the aims and consequences of Stalin’s economic policies and analyse the most important features of Stalin’s dictatorship.

A21 – Option 2: Ireland under the Union 1800-1900

Students focus on Ireland and its relationship with Great Britain between the Act of Union of 1800 and the end of the nineteenth century. Students examine change and continuity in Ireland itself and in the nature of the relationship with the British government. Students will analyse and understand the connections between political, economic, social, cultural and religious themes.

Students address the main developments in unionism and nationalism and key themes, such as the extent of success and failure for political movements and the relevant explanatory factors. They also assess the significance of turning points and key individuals, such as Edward Saunderson, Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Sir Robert Peel and William Ewart Gladstone.

A22 – Option 4: Partition of Ireland

In this option, students focus on how Ireland was partitioned in the early years of the

twentieth century. Students analyse the key developments in unionism and

nationalism in Ireland and the role of British governments and political parties in this

period. There is a chronological approach, from the crisis over the Third Home Rule

Bill for Ireland in the pre-war years to a study of the newly-partitioned state of

Northern Ireland 1921–25. Students also focus on individuals in Ireland and Great

Britain who played a key role in a period of immense change.

Method of Assessment:

AS1 – A written exam lasting 1hr 30mins that includes short response questions, source work and a source-based question on interpretations. (20% of A-level)

AS2 – A written exam lasting 1hr 30mins that includes both short response and extended questions. (20% of A-level)

A21 – A written exam lasting 1 hour.  Students respond to a synoptic essay question analysing the period as a whole. (20% of A-level)

A22 – A written exam lasting 2hours 30mins which includes source work, a source based question on historical interpretations and an extended essay question. (40% of A-level)

Career Awareness

This specification allows students to develop skills that are transferable and highly valued by employers. Through the study of History, students will be able to develop their communication skills, both oral and written, their ability to formulate a balanced argument, their capacity to think objectively, their ability to carry out research and manage information and finally their independent and critical thinking skills.  In some colleges History is essential for undertaking a degree in Ancient History, Economic and Social History and Modern History.  It is also particularly useful for reading Archaeology, Criminology, Economics, English, Law, Politics, Sociology and Theology.  History at A-Level and degree level is widely recognized for entry to teaching, Banking/Finance, Business, Journalism, Civil Service, Marketing, Museum work, Law Local and Government and Tourism. History is not as obviously vocational as some courses, but it combines excellent training in vital skills with a high degree of interest and enjoyment.

Introduction to A Level

The specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed within key stage 4 History.  A-Level History provides pupils with a suitable foundation for study of a range of courses in further and higher education.

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

A-Level History allows student to develop skills which are transferable and highly valued by employers.  The specification prepares students for a wide range of higher and further education courses and a variety of career paths. 

It provides an excellent foundation for careers in:

  • Teaching

  • Museum work

  • Civil Service

  • Law

  • Local Government

  • Journalism

  • Research

  • Archaeology

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Pupils who choose AS/A2 level History must be committed to their studies and they must be willing to carry out extra reading and research outside of the classroom.  They will be challenged by the demands of the specification but this will only serve to prepare them for further study and their future careers.  History is an exciting subject which provides pupils with the opportunity to develop the skills present day employers are looking for.