History (A Level)
"We are made by history" (Martin Luther King)
Head of Department: Mr C Rance
It may surprise you to know that history is always changing. Historians uncover new sources or view them in different ways. Many issues in the news have historical roots so that studying history will help you to understand the modern world. This makes it a lively and provocative subject to study, full of issues and arguments. If you’re interested in people and their lives in the past, then history is a good choice for you.
CURRICULUM INFORMATION (HISTORY)
WHAT WILL I BE STUDYING ON THE COURSE?
Module 1: Germany & West Germany 1918—1989
Module 2: The rise and fall of Fascism in Italy c 1911–1946
Module 3: Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors 1485–1603
Module 4: Historical Interpretations coursework Assessment
WHAT WILL I BE DOING IN LESSONS?
The course is designed to be exciting and engaging. Throughout your A Level you will learn about a range of varied and intriguing topic areas that we hope will spark your interest in History. Your first year’s study of life in Germany will be complemented by studying Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship in Italy. In the second year there is a compulsory British Unit looking at the rebellions faced by the Tudor monarchs.
You will also get the opportunity to select a topic that interests you and undertake an independent historical enquiry; perhaps something that might have interested you throughout the course or a topic that you might have developed an interest in previously.
HOW WILL THE COURSE BE ASSESSED?
This is a linear A level course. In the second year of the course, you will take external exams that assess content covered in the first and second year. These exams (along with coursework) will determine your A level grade.
All history courses include one coursework unit and three examined units. The coursework will be an extended essay completed independently with some teacher guidance. This will require you to research a topic on your own using books and articles found in the library or from the online archive. The examination will require you to demonstrate a mixture of evidence and essay writing skills.
Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations External written examination, 30% of A Level
Paper 2: Depth study External written examination, 20% of A Level
Paper 3: Themes in breadth, with aspects in depth External written examination, 30% of A Level
Paper 4: Coursework Internally assessed, externally moderated, 20% of A Level
WHICH OTHER SUBJECTS GO WELL WITH HISTORY?
Almost any combination is possible. Knowledge of philosophy, politics, religious studies, economics and literature can all be especially useful for the study of History. The most popular combinations are with English literature, politics, maths and psychology but there have also been many successful scientists taking the course in recent years.
AND AFTER THE COURSE?
If you study History here at Gumley House, you will be studying a firmly established and respected academic subject. It is accepted by all higher education establishments as a suitable qualification for a wide variety of degree courses. Many universities and employers appreciate how History develops your skills of analysis and evaluation. We will also teach you to deal with conflicting data as well as strengthen your communication skills through debate. Our History students have gone on to be TV presenters, lawyers, accountants and work in business and government. It is also useful for those considering a range of careers such as management, the police, research, banking, the media teaching, and museum and archive work. The world is your oyster with History!
WHICH EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS WILL I LEARN?
- Whilst undertaking your coursework and other research tasks, you will increasingly work independently
- You will learn about different social structures and increasingly be able to demonstrate political awareness and sensitivity
- You will have opportunities to resolve conflicts, negotiate and handle a wide range of complex situations and sources of information
- History will challenge your preconceived ideas and encourage you to become more self-aware of your aims and values
Q: Do I need to have studied history at GCSE?
A: No, it is not necessary to have studied History at GCSE if you want to study modern history at A level. However, if you have not studied GCSE history we would require your English language and literature grades to be at least a 6 if you would like to choose the subject at A Level.
Q: Is there coursework and if so how much is it worth in terms of grades?
A: History does still include coursework. This comprises a 4000 word essay on the causes of World War One which is completed mainly in the second year. It is worth 20% of the final grade.
Q: How much reading does history require?
A: This is a reading heavy subject that requires a lot of reading outside of lessons. If this is something that interests you or that you think you will find enjoyable then you will be well suited for the subject.
Q: How is history assessed?
A: Assessment is carried out primarily through essay writing.
Q: What are lessons like?
A: We try to keep the lessons as varied as possible. Lessons will usually require you to have done some pre-reading of material that will then be discussed in class. You would normally discuss your ideas with fellow classmates and the teacher to develop your understanding. Lessons might require some quiet reading or more interactive aspects working with other students. There will also usually be time to look at revision techniques or essay questions. Basically, there are lots of skills, ideas and concepts that we are constantly studying and discussing, so hopefully every lesson is a bit different.
HEAR FROM SOME OF OUR STUDENTS
CAREERS AND LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION
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