Overview of History

Key Stage 3

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Key Stage 4

There are many different reasons why students choose to study GCSE History, such as their teacher or the influence of their parents. However, there are many other important reasons why History is an excellent subject to study. The following are just a few of them.

  • You will learn about key individuals and the impact of their actions and decisions.
  • You will investigate big questions, such as:

Why did it take 30 years for the Troubles in Northern Ireland to end?
Why did so few people try to stop Hitler?
Why did the Cuban Missile Crisis bring the world to the brink of nuclear war?
What was the significance of 9/11 for international relations?

  • You will appreciate that there is not simply one version of the past but many different and often competing interpretations.
  • You will develop skills of working with evidence from the past to construct arguments and make informed judgements.

The mixture of stimulating content and the opportunity to develop valuable skills makes GCSE History one of the most popular subject choices for students.

Key Stage 5

This course aims to encourage students to: develop their interest in and enthusiasm for History; gain an appreciation of the different ways in which aspects of the past have been interpreted and develop their skills of analysis, evaluation and communication.

It is desirable that students have achieved A*- B in GCSE.

The course consists of four units, each of which is assessed by an external written examination. AS is 40% and A2 is 60% of the total allocation of marks.


Unit 1 (20%)

Germany 1919-45

In this module, students focus on the decline of the Weimar Republic, developments in Nazi Germany and the impact of World War Two. Historical source questions are included in each topic.

Unit 2 (20%)

Russia 1914-41

This option investigates the rise to power of the Bolsheviks and then looks at Russia under the rule of Lenin and Stalin.




Unit 3 (20%)

Clash of Ideologies in Europe 1900-2000

In this synoptic module, students examine the motives and aims of Soviet and Western foreign policy throughout the twentieth century.

Unit 4 (40%)

Partition of Ireland 1900-25

This option carries the largest weighting of marks. Students analyse the key developments in nationalism and unionism in Ireland and the role of British governments and political parties in this period. There are source-based questions as well as an essay in the written examination.