Option Subject - Category A (Baccalaureate Subject)

Examination Board: Edexcel

Specification Code: GCSE History (9-1)

Why Take This Course?

GCSE History will help you to:

  • Ask questions properly;
  • Express your own opinion logically;
  • Process information;
  • Think independently;
  • Structure arguments;
  • Understand the views of others.

The Higher Educational Statistics Agency places History in the five top subjects in terms of successful employability within six months of graduation.  The variety of skills acquired are so wide-ranging that history graduates are excellent employment prospects for almost every type of employer.

Career options include working in libraries, museums or galleries, law, medical profession, journalism, armed services, police, tourism, teaching and research.

This course could be a stepping stone to Advanced Level courses, Applied GCSE courses or other vocational courses. History is a useful academic subject which demonstrates good written communication and analytical skills, supporting and enhancing an English qualification.

Aim Of The Course

To equip students with skills which will be of use to them both outside the classroom and in other subjects.

To allow the students to develop many written communication skills, i.e., essay writing. 

To give the students a greater understanding and appreciation of the events which have shaped the world they live in today.

Course Structure, Content And Assessment

All external, formal assessment takes place in June of Year 11.  There is no coursework in GCSE (9-1) History; assessment is based on three examinations.

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment

Written examination – 1 hour 15 minutes.
30%* of the qualification = 52 marks (16 for the historic environment, 36 for the thematic study).

Topic of Study: Crime and Punishment in Britain, c1000 – present and Whitechapel, c1870-c1900 – crime, policing and the inner city

Crime and Punishment – students will cover three themes in the different time periods:

Crime and Punishment – Assessment (June of Year 11)

Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding, with questions focusing on similarity and difference and change and continuity.  This may include turning points (significance), extent of and causes or consequences of change.

Whitechapel c1870 – c1900 – students will develop skills in analyzing historical documents using council records, employment records, census returns, surveys, workhouse reports and newspapers from the 19th century.

Whitechapel c1870 – c1900 – Assessment (June of Year 11)

The content is assessed through a question on features of the period and also through a historical enquiry.  For the historical enquiry, students will need to develop the skills necessary to analyse, evaluate and use contemporary sources to make substantiated judgements, in the context of the historical events studied.

Paper 2: Period study and British depth study

Written examination – 1 hour 45 minutes.
40%* of the qualification = 64 marks (32 for the period study and 32 for the British depth study).

Topic of Study: Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (period study) and British America, 1713-83 – empire and revolution (British depth study).

Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 – Assessment

Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding.  Questions will target key features and causation and may also target other second order concepts (change, continuity, consequence, similarity, difference, significance).

British America, 1713-83 – Assessment:

Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding.  Questions will target consequence, significance (of specified events in relation to situations and unfolding developments) and analytical narrative (requiring students not only to describe what happened, but also to analyse events to find connections that explain the way in which events unfolded).

Paper 3: Modern depth study

Written examination – 1 hour 20 minutes.  30%* of the qualification = 52 marks

USA 1954-75: Conflict at home and abroad

Questions focusing solely on knowledge and understanding with target causation.  Other questions will target the ability to analyse and evaluate contemporary sources and later interpretations.  Students should be aware that interpretations are based on evidence from their period of study.  They should be aware of a range of evidence that can be used to reach conclusions.  They should study examples of such evidence and consider ways in which it could give rise to and support different interpretations.  Students should understand a range of reasons why interpretations may differ.  They should be aware that differences based on conclusions drawn from evidence are legitimate and can be explained.  They should be able to evaluate given interpretations using their own knowledge of the period.

Entry Requirements