Head of Department: Miss R Parry
Exam Board Edexcel
Qualification: GCSE in History

Programme of study

History allows students to gain knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live today. Topics are chosen for their relevance to modern society and links to events taking place all around the world. History encourages students to think independently, to ask questions and make judgments. History students train their minds to assemble, organise and present facts and opinions.

Students will encounter a variety of teaching techniques from discussion and debate to group work and personal reflection. They will also see the subject brought to life through ICT and authentic footage.

Students will have opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities.

How is the course structured & assessed?

The GCSE History course is divided into four units that will all be assessed through three examinations at the end of year 11.

Paper 1: British Thematic Study with Historic Environment Medicine in Britain, c1250 – present

Medicine in medieval Britain, the Medical Renaissance in England, the extent of change in care and treatment c1800 – c1900. medicine in Modern Britain.

Historic Environment Study

The British sector of the Western Front: injuries, treatment and the trenches

Paper 2: British Depth Study and Period Study

British Depth Study – Early Elizabethan England, 1558 – 1588

The situation regarding Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, plots and revolts at home, the Spanish Armada and changes to Elizabethan society.

Period Study – The American West, c1835 – c1895

The early settlement of the West, c1835 – c1862, development of the Plains, c1862 – c1876. ranching and the  cattle industry, the destruction of the Plains Indians’ way of life.

Paper 3: Modern Depth Study

The USA, 1954 – 75: conflict at home and abroad

The development of the civil rights movement, 1954 – 60, peaceful protests and their impact, Malcolm X and the Black Power movement, US involvement in the Vietnam War, reasons for the failure of the USA in Vietnam.

The three externally examined units will be sat at the end of Year 11. Paper 1 is worth 30% of the qualification through a written examination of 1 hour and 15 


Paper 2 is worth 40% and is a written examination of 1 hour and 45  minutes. Finally, Paper 3 is worth 30% and is a written examination of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

These exams all require students to develop their extended writing skills, and in this respect History can be as challenging as English. As well as being assessed on specific historical knowledge, students will be expected to use their literacy skills to produce a high standard of written communication. Source analysis skills are essential and students will be taught to rigorously evaluate evidence to form a reasoned judgement.

What can these qualifications lead to?

Students have the opportunity to continue their studies in this subject at A Level in our Sixth Form and beyond that to degree level. History is a well-respected, 

academic subject. A good or better qualification in History is an excellent preparation for employment in Law, the Police, Journalism, management, accountancy, teaching and many others.