Sixth Form: History

Subject Overview

History is a diverse and fascinating history and at A-level you get the opportunity to delve in to this by looking at three topics that look at The War of the Roses, Modern World Russia and the struggle for equal civil rights in the USA. These three units offer you a breadth of historical knowledge and the opportunity to tackle a variety of topics and debates.

In History you will not only develop a wide range of knowledge, but your skills of analysis and evaluation will also be put to the test. Therefore you will not only have to describe knowledge, but also to analyse and draw critical judgements. You will be challenged to form your own opinions on a variety of topics and make connections between different information as well as tackling source material and the interpretations of historians.

Entry Requirements

Grade C in GCSE History, if studied; or a grade 5 in GCSE English Language or Literature if history has not been studied at GCSE.

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

A-level history follow the AQA syllabus. As part of this there are three units:

  • Unit 1: Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855-1964 
  • Unit 2: The War of the Roses 1450-1499 
  • Unit 3: Non-examined Assessment (NEA) focussing on the development of Civil Rights in the USA. This takes the form of a 3000 - 3500 word essay. 

Both units 1 and 2 are worth 40% of the A level. The Non-examined assessment is worth 20%

Activities and Trips

The department aims to widen students' historical understanding through trips. As part of this, we aim to run a trip to Germany and Poland every other year to appreciate other aspects of history, most notably life in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. This is not compulsory but rewarding and thought-provoking. We also run a trip to Birmingham University to support the Non-examined assessment unit.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

History is complimented by many subjects at A-level that develop similar skills, these include:

  • English 
  • Politics 
  • Economics 
  • Psychology 

Subject Resources

Schemes of Work

Past Papers

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.

Courses References

There are many books that cover both topics at A-level. There is no expectation that you buy any of your own books as the department offer a wealth of books for both topics that you can use at any time, but you may wish to have books to refer to at home. Here are some titles that are highly recommended.

  • David Grummitt - A short history of the Wars of the Roses 
  • Andrew Pickering - Lancastrians to Tudors 1450 - 1509 
  • D Cook, Lancastrians and Yorkists: The Wars of the Roses 
  • R Turvey, Access to History: The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII: Britain 1450-1509 
  • T Fiehn and C Corin, Tsarist and Communist Russia: 1855-1964 
  • S Waller, Tsarist and Communist Russia 1855-1964 (Oxford AQA History)

Useful Links

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:

  • Alpha History: A useful site that gives a very good overview for many topics on the Russian revolution. 
  • Orlando Figes: The website of a very influential historian on the Russian Revolution

Rexfactor - http://rexfactor.podbean.com/category/yorkists/ - A podcast that reviews all of the Kings and Queens in English history (as well as further afield) to see whether they have “rexfactor”.

  • Wars of the Roses - Michael Miller’s online book offering a history of the wars of the roses.

Other Information

Further information can be obtained from any of the teachers in the history department, or contact Mr Lenton.