GCSE history is a fascinating subject. As part of the course, you will study a wide range of topics and issues that reflect the importance and significance of the past, stretching from the Medieval period up to the 20th century. You will look at concepts that relate to conflict, democracy and social change, some of which you will be familiar with from your studies up to Year 9. In GCSE history you will learn a lot of new and exciting information, but you will be challenged to think about what you are learning and formulate your own ideas and opinions on different topics. History is full of debates and you will be encouraged to explore these and use evidence to show why your views are valid. You will also tackle source material, challenging you to think like a historian by using different types of sources to reach conclusions. The world around us today is shaped by history and GCSE history helps to understand some of the issues of today.
Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)
We follow the AQA syllabus for history. As part of this we study 5 different elements. These are:
- Germany 1890 – 1945: Democracy and dictatorship
- Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945 - 1972
- Britain: Health and the People: c.1000 – present day
- Norman England, c.1066 – c.1100
- The historic environment. This is a separate section of the GCSE, which links in to the Norman England section. Students will study a particular historic site, which will change year on year.
More information can be found on the AQA website - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145/specification-at-a-glance
Entry Requirements and Prohibited Options
There are no entry requirements for GCSE history, however it should be noted that history involves a lot of extended writing and reading. A keen interest in history is recommended.
Activities and Trips
There are no compulsory trips or activities for students, however the department continually look for any trips that may enhance the learning experience of students.
Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities
There are many subjects that compliment history. These include:
- Religious Studies
Schemes of Work
More detailed information about the content of the different elements of the GCSE can be found on the AQA website.
Past papers can be a very useful tool for revision and to reinforce your understanding of different topics. Your teacher will always be happy to support you with answering past paper questions.
- Germany 1890 – 1945 and Conflict and Tension 1945 - 1972 specimin paper
- Britain: Health and the People and Norman England specimen paper
There are many books that cover all topics at GCSE. There is no expectation that you buy any of your own books, but you may wish to have a book to refer to at home. Here are some titles that are highly recommended.
- Oxford AQA History for GCSE: Germany 1890-1945: Democracy and Dictatorship by Aaron Wilkes
- AQA GCSE History: Health and the People by Alf Wilkinson
Other titles are available but may cover more topics than is necessary for our chosen options.
There are a variety of websites and resources that you can use to support your learning in history. Your teacher will always point you towards useful links although some useful links can be found here:
- John D Clare net - A useful website for the modern aspects of the GCSE
- BBC bitesize - Covering some of our GCSE topics in an understandable way
There are a number of videos that can help support your learning in lesson. There are also a number of youtube channels with helpful revision videos. One particular example is the Ben Newmark youtube channel.
Further information can be obtained from any of the teachers in the history department, or contact Mr Lenton.