Curriculum – KS5 History

Examination Board: OCR (A Level History A)

Units Taken : Either Y107 or Y113; either Y207 or Y221; either Y306, Y318, or Y319; Y100

Link to Specification

Course Content

All students must cover at least a 200 year range of History.

In Year 12 students study one unit of British History which makes up 25% of their A level. Here they can express a preference between England 1547-1603: the later Tudors or Britain 1930-1997. They also study a unit of non-British history, making up 15% of their A level. In this unit they can express a preference between The German Reformation and the rule of Charles V 1500–1559 or Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963.

It is important to note that students are offered the chance to express a preference rather than a choice because option blocks and class sizes may determine which units they study.

Moving into Year 13, all students complete a piece of coursework of 3000-4000 words on a topic of their choice, which is worth 20% of their A level. They are then offered a preference between three papers, worth the final 40% of their A level: Popular Culture and the Witchcraze of the 16th and 17th centuries; Civil Rights in the USA 1865-1992; or Russia and its Rulers 1855–1964. Students who studied the later Tudors in Year 12 will not be able to study Rebellion and Disorder in Year 13, and in order to meet the 200 year rule students who studied Britain 1930-1997 and Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963 will have to study Popular Culture and the Witchcraze of the 16th and 17th centuries in Year 13.

All papers bar the coursework will be examined at the end of Year 13.

Skills Gained from taking this Course

  • Interrogating and evaluating source material.
  • Assessing continuity and change over a period of time.
  • The ability to discriminate between the significance of a range of factors.
  • Reaching strong and supported judgements.
  • Assessing causation and consequences.
  • Structuring sustained, multi-causal arguments.

St Marylebone Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.

Subject Specific Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in History GCSE and a 6 in English Language.

Entry Suggestions

Students taking History will have an interest in studying the motivations of individuals, groups and governments in the past. An enquiring mind is essential, as is the ability to discuss and engage actively with a range of historical themes and perspectives.

Students will be keen to dissect a range of different types of sources, will be interested in reading beyond the topics studied, and will be confident in expressing themselves in both written and verbal form.

Resources Needed for this Course

Please note that these are subject to change as the exam board releases new material.
For Year 12:

  • M. Wells and N. Fellows, OCR History A: Britain 1930-1997, London, 2015.
  • N. Fellows, OCR A Level History: England 1485-1603, London, 2015.
  • G. Layton, Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-63 for OCR, Hodder
  • Education, London, 2009.
  • A. Armstrong, OCR History A: The German Reformation 1517-55, London,
  • 2008.

Before you begin…

If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:

In September, you will be able to express a preference for which two of the following four options you study (though these will not be guaranteed, and you will need to study one British and one German). In order to support this, read the following articles which should give you an introduction to each unit. For each, you should identify the argument being made and write down any interesting key facts:

The Later Tudors 1547-1603:
Also optional: watch Tom Richey’s The English Reformation in two parts to build up your understanding of the religious changes during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –

Britain 1930-1997: Read this article
Also recommended: talk to your parents or older relatives about their experiences of political and social change during this time. What would they say were the key developments and turning points?

Charles V and the German Reformation 1517-1660:

Germany 1919-63: Read the articles on Germany’s situation after both World Wars:
Also recommended: Visit the Imperial War Museum – The Interwar; Rise of Nazism; The Holocaust and the Cold War sections. Watch the propaganda film about the Berlin Wall, 1961 Read ‘Alone in Berlin’ by Hans Falluda or ‘The Dark Room’ by Rachel Seiffert.