Subject Overview

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

Course Content

PAPER 1: The History of Medicine Through Time 1250 – Present

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, including Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur, and look at how ideas about what makes us ill developed from astronomy and superstition to germs and genetics. We will also study how different types of medical professionals have tried to treat illness since the Middle Ages and how our towns went from filthy infested plague holes to rows of back to back houses cursed with cholera. Lastly, we will 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

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 conflict and war on the Plains and the Native American tribes losing their homelands forever.

Early Elizabethan England 1558 – 1603: A British depth study

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 and culture undeniably prospered. However, modern historians have questioned this romantic view by pointing out that it was also a period of intense religious conflict, 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

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 what life was like under Nazi rule and 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

All three History exams will be taken at the end of the course in Year 11.

Paper Topic Marks
Paper 1 ·       Medicine Through Time ·       30%
Paper 2 ·       American West

·       Elizabethan England

·       20%

·       20%

Paper 3 ·       Weimar and Nazi Germany ·       30%

Why Choose History?

History is a highly respected subject that gives students the opportunity to develop a range of skills which are highly valued by universities and 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
  • develop students’ knowledge and chronological understanding of how different societies developed in the past
  • develop students’ awareness of how the past has been represented and interpreted in different ways, for 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 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.