History explores the past and a range of different people, places, ideas and events. The History Department encourages students to think critically about the past, investigating the reasons events occurred and the reasons that motivated people and their actions. Students investigate different interpretations and sources using their knowledge of past events. The History Department is committed to engaging with historical scholarship.
Key Stage 4 GCSE. Years 10-11
Why Choose History?
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” – Pearl Buck
- Not only is History an interesting, exciting subject that helps you understand the world today, it will also provide an excellent foundation for future academic and employment success. You will develop skills which you can transfer to other subjects, as well as skills that are highly sought after in the workplace.
- We aim to encourage a healthy suspicion of different versions of the past and to develop your ability to make judgements and form arguments based on evidence.
- History will help you to understand people’s motives and actions and to appreciate a range of opinions, as well as learning to evaluate varied source material with confidence.
- You’ll learn about a range of fascinating events and people from around the world. All History students cover Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History.
- History students are attractive recruits for universities and employers. In particular, it is valued in careers such as law, journalism, television production and research, advertising, marketing, business management, and accountancy.
- Our past History students have said: ‘I really love History because of how fun it is and how engaging all the teachers are – the topics are amazing!’; ‘I have really enjoyed being able to discuss issues that are going on around the world, and actually know what I am talking about!’; It has made me more knowledgeable and widened my perception of the world. And you go on amazing trips.’
The syllabus we follow explores a range of periods, places and encourages you to think critically about the past.
PAPER 1 – UNDERSTANDING THE MODERN WORLD
- Russia, 1894-1945: Tsardom and Communism
- Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945-1972
PAPER 2 – SHAPING THE NATION
- Power and the people: c.1170 to the present day
- Restoration England, 1660-1685 (this includes a study of a historic site)
Exam Board – AQA (8145)
Final Grade – Grades 9-1
Structure of Assessment
Paper 1 exam: Understanding the modern world (2 hours, 50% of final GCSE grade)
Paper 2 exam: Shaping the nation (2 hours, 50% of final GCSE grade)
Key Stage 5 A Level. Years 12-13
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: Click here
In Year 12 all History students study one unit of British History which makes up 25% of their A level, as well as one unit of German History which accounts for 15% of the A level.
Block B History students study the following units in Year 12. Britain 1930-1997 and Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany, 1919-1963.
In Year 13 students study one thematic History unit which makes up 40% of their A level. Block B History students study Popular Culture and the Witchcraze of the 16th and
17th centuries. All students also research and produce a coursework essay of 3000-4000 words which is worth 20% of the A level. The coursework research begins in Term 6 of Year 12 and the deadline for coursework to be handed in is at the start of January in 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.
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
For Year 12:
- Wells and N. Fellows, OCR History A: Britain 1930-1997, (London, 2015).
- Fellows, OCR A Level History: Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany, 1919-1963, (London, 2018).
Before you begin…
If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:
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:
Modern Britain 1930-1997:
Read this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/overview_1945_present_01.shtml
Recommended enrichment reading text:
Churchill, by Roy Jenkins or A History of Britain since 1918, by David Marquand.
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?
Democracy and Dictatorships in Germany 1919-63:
Read the articles on Germany’s situation after both World Wars:
Recommended enrichment reading text:
‘Alone in Berlin’ by Hans Falluda and/or ‘The Dark Room’ by Rachel Seiffert.