GCSE History enables you to delve into the intriguing mystery that is the past. You get to find out about what the world was like in times gone by. What people did? Who governed them? What made people tick? Wars. Scandals. There's something for everybody. You can explore what people have done in the past, their motives and the consequences of their actions. Moreover, History is a highly respected academic qualification which helps you to develop important key skills. It shows employers, colleges and universities that you are a pupil with the ability to work hard, great analytical skills and intelligence. It is liked for numerous courses and can offer you many chances in the future. Taking GCSE History is not only interesting, it is enjoyable and opens up a wealth of opportunities.

Course Outline

Paper 1

Thematic Study and Historic Environment.

Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes

30% of the qualification

Pupils take the following thematic study and historical environment:

·       Medicine in Britain, c1250–present and The British Sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches

Paper 2

Period study and British depth study

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes

40% of the qualification

Pupils take the following British Depth Study:

Henry VIII and his Ministers, 1509–40

Pupils also take the following period study option:

Superpower Relations and the Cold War, 1941–91

Paper 3

Modern Depth Study

Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes

30% of the qualification

Pupils take the following modern depth study:

Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39

A Level

A Level History is a popular option in the Sixth Form at Thetford Grammar School. Our course is varied and challenging. The study of History equips you to better understand our world today. How can you truly discuss the present and the future without an understanding of how it, and we, came to be?

What is more, employers and universities place a high value upon History students because of the skills the subject develops: analysis, evaluation, problem-solving, categorising, sorting information for relevance, empathy, causation, change and continuity, interpretations, representations and significance.

More than that, History is fun. History students engage in lively debate and theorise about what might have been whilst critiquing what actually occurred. Where else can you put a King on trial, become a minister in a government and explore the lives of freedom fighters? In your history lessons you will take part in debates, mysteries, podcasts, group work, seminars and a range of other learning styles. Should you choose History you will be supported closely by the History department, with the expectation that independent study outside of the classroom will be a core commitment made by you in your study of History A Level.

Course Outline 

We follow the Edexcel History A Level and the course consists of four units. In the first year AS and A-Level students shall study the same two units. In the second year, A-Level students shall complete a further two units of study. A-Level students will be examined in all four units in the summer of Year 13, one of which is through coursework.

AS and A Level students

Paper 1

Breadth Study with Interpretations.

Britain, 1625–1701: conflict, revolution and settlement. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant duration: 1625–88. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question that is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: how revolutionary, in the years to 1701, was the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89?

30% A Level, 60% AS. Examination - 2 hours 15 minutes

Paper 2

Depth Study.

Russia in revolution, 1894–1924. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of revolutionary activity in Russia in the years 1894 to 1917, the response of successive governments to opposition to their rule, and the reasons for the successful consolidation of the revolution of October 1917 under Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

20% A Level. 40% AS. Examination – 1 hour 30 minutes.

A Level students only.

Paper 3

Themes in breadth with aspects in depth.

Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485–1603. We explore the nature of rebellion and disorder under the Tudors and the way the various challenges were met, the nature of change in government over the period and the changing relationship between the Crown and key sections of society. The option enables students to explore the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has seen.

Examination – 2 hours 15 minutes.

Component 4: Coursework.

Students complete an independently researched enquiry on historical interpretations. 3,000 – 4,000 word essay.