We follow the Edexcel Schools History Project Syllabus which includes the following topics:

Course Content

PAPER 1: The History of Medicine Through Time (30% of GCSE)
British Thematic Study with Historic Environment

After studying this fascinating area of development, a trip to the doctor will never be the same again! We will analyse the key individuals who revolutionised medicine, like Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur and how ideas about what makes us ill developed from astronomy and superstition to germs and genetics. We will also study the key people who have treated illness since Roman times and how our towns went from filthy infested plague holes to rows of back to back houses cursed with cholera. Lastly, we get to examine the gory and gruesome history of surgery in order to understand how this branch of medicine was developed during World War 1 in the dangerous and dirty trenches of the Western Front.

PAPER 2: Period Study and British Depth Study:
The Wild West – America 1845 – 1890: Period Study (20%)

A time of cowboys and Indians, gold miners and Mormons, Crazy Horse and General Custer; the history of the American West has been both inspiring and violent. We start by looking at the lives of the Native Americans and then move on to consider what made the first white settlers abandon their prosperous lands in the East to brave starvation and scalping on the Oregon Trail, only to end up farming the dry, arid plains of the West. Finally, we analyse the key events that led to the conflicts that saw blood on the Plains and the Native Americans losing their homelands forever.

Early Elizabethan England: A British depth study (20%)
In this unit we will delve deeper into Britain’s past in order to explore life and politics in early Elizabethan England. Often depicted by historians as the ‘Golden Age’ in British history, due to the expansion of empire and the flowering of poetry, music and literature, society undeniably prospered whilst religious battles between Catholics and Protestants died down. However, modern historians have questioned this romantic view by pointing out that it was also a period of plots and conspiracies to assassinate the Queen, and that for the poorest members of society, life was full of pain, poverty and pauperism. We will examine the evidence to find out the truth and reach our own interpretations.

PAPER 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-39: Modern Depth Study (30%)
This study focuses on analysing how and why Germany changed from one of the most democratic nations in the world to a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by the Nazis in the short space of 12 years. We will explore how despite being on the brink of revolution in 1918, the country successfully stabilised itself during the Weimar Republic, before turning to the dramatic events that enabled Hitler to rise to power. We end by looking at the consequences this had for women, youth and minority groups such as gypsies and Jews in order to learn important lessons for the future. As Maya Angelou stated; ‘History, despite its unwrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again’.

Exams and Assessment

A new grading structure is being introduced; grade 1-9 will now replace the familiar A* to G grading scale. There will be no controlled assessment and all three history exams must be sat at the end of the course in Year 11.

PAPER 1: Medicine Through Time: 1 Exam 30%
PAPER 2: American West & Elizabethan England: Exams 20% each (40% total)
PAPER 3: Weimar and Nazi Germany: One exam 30%

Why Choose History?

History is a highly respected subject by both colleges and universities. It gives students the opportunity to develop a range of skills which are highly valued by employers, particularly in the areas of politics, journalism, media, law and administration. Students will also be able to progress on to a wide variety of humanities based A-levels or further study.

Our History GCSE course aims to:

  • actively engage students in the process of historical enquiry to develop them as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • develop students’ knowledge and coherent understanding of selected periods, societies and aspects of history
  • develop students’ awareness of how the past has been represented, interpreted in different ways different reasons and purposes
  • develop students’ abilities to ask relevant questions about the past and to investigate them critically using a range of sources in their historical context
  • enable students to organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding in creative and different ways and reach substantiated judgements
  • equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the world today and to prepare them for their role as responsible, caring and confident citizens in the future.