GCSE History

What Will I Learn?

GCSE History allows you to acquire a broad range of knowledge and skills.  We begin year 10 by studying Elizabethan England.  The course considers the range of problems Elizabeth faced when she became Queen in 1558 including the question of whether she was the rightful heir to the throne.  We spend some time considering the plots against Elizabeth and the involvement of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots.  The course also delves into the reasons why England went to war with Spain and how Elizabeth was able to defeat the Spanish Armada.

The American West course allows you to gain an understanding of the lifestyle of the Plains Indians and how this was destroyed by the mass movement of white Americans westwards.  We consider the difficulties that people on the Plains faced including problems with lawlessness and look at the role of the cowboy in the West.

Our thematic study on Medicine allows you to track how ideas about the cause of disease, treatments and methods of prevention have changed from the medieval times until the present day.  You will study the Black Death, smallpox vaccination, cholera and even learn about modern day advances  including the discovery of DNA, antibiotics and high-tech surgery.  You will also learn about injuries, treatments and surgery on the Western Front of the First World War and you may be given the chance to visit the Battlefields during Year 11.

The History course ends with a study of Germany and the political and economic difficulties they faced after the First World War.  You will gain an understanding of how and why Hitler was voted into power, how he established a dictatorship and how he controlled Germany during the 1930s.

How Am I Assessed?

The course is assessed through 3 examinations at the end of year 11.

Paper 1 – Medicine in Britain, 1250-present and the British Sector of the Western Front (1 hour 15 minutes)

Paper 2 – Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 and American West, 1836-95 (1 hour 45 minutes)

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918-39 (1 hour 20 minutes)

What Career Options Do I Have?

History is a subject which is highly valued in many careers and by many universities because it helps you to develop a range of skills such as analysis, evaluation, critical reasoning and both oral and written communication.  As such it could lead you to careers in Law, Politics, Archaeology, Education and the museum and charity sectors among a wide range of others.