History is not all about remembering lists of dates. At TWGGS, we place a strong emphasis on independent learning and the development of analytical skills in our teaching of History. The department uses a wide range of activities to engage pupils in an investigation of past events. We challenge pupils to investigate cause and consequence and to question the impact of people in the past and the results of their actions both in the short and long term.
GCSE History builds on the foundations of Key Stage 3 and involves studying a range of different historical periods, from Elizabethan England to the Cold War, and the development of medicine from the Middle Ages. We aim to stimulate the mind and a passion for the past through studying key historical events and debates.
Many of our pupils go on to study History or Politics at A level. GCSE provides a firm grounding in the skills necessary for more advanced study; it teaches skills of research, analysis, debate and exposition.
Pupils who study History A Level develop skills of written and oral expression and research. They are able to use these skills to solve problems and consider the validity of differing views. By the end of the course, pupils will have learned how to analyse information, how to evaluate evidence and how to communicate ideas effectively. These skills are valued by both employers and universities.
Throughout Key Stage 3, lessons are varied; from role-play to the analysis of primary evidence, pupils are encouraged to develop their own viewpoints about the past and the way in which it has influenced our modern lives.
Medieval History to the emergence of the Tudor dynasty
This is a very exciting start to History at secondary school, full of colourful characters and events. It is also a period of great change due to the Norman invasion, the introduction of the feudal system and the coming of the Tudor dynasty. There are also major conflicts to be seen in the challenges presented to the power of the monarchy by the church, the nobility and the peasants. It is not too much of an exaggeration to see the period as one of death and revolt! In Year 7, lessons are enriched by a variety of activities outside the classroom including a ‘medieval’ experience.
TOPIC A: The study of an aspect or theme in British history before 1066; Rulers of Britain- migrations and invasions Romans to Normans
TOPIC B: The development of Church, state and society in Mediaeval Britain 1066-1509
The Tudors to the Victorians
This year initially follows the fortunes of the Tudors and Stuarts. In the early part of Year 8 learning is enriched and stimulated by a visit to Hampton Court Palace. The year includes the key factors in the development of Britain into a modern nation including the rise of parliament and the end of the power of monarchy. We then move on to address the consequences of trade and industry, including the slave trade and the effects of industrialisation.
TOPIC C: The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509-1745
TOPIC D: A local history study
TOPIC E: Ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901
The World from 1901 to the Present Day
The clash between democracy and dictatorship was a key aspect of the last century and, in this year, pupils study the global conflicts that have shaped the modern world. We also investigate issues that still challenge the world we live in today, including the rise of the United States.
TOPIC F: Challenges for Britain, Europe and the Wider World (1901 to the present day)
TOPIC G: A significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments
Edexcel specification for GCSE History Our specification allows the opportunity to study modern history through looking at Nazi Germany and the Cold war. It also allows the study of aspects of British History by looking at Elizabethan England, the First World War and the development of Medicine and Health Care since the Middle Ages. The course combines International and Political History with Social History and the History of Science. All those who study History learn the necessary knowledge and key historical skills during the course.
We use a variety of text, audio-visual and electronic resources to develop key historical skills. There is an emphasis on understanding the actions of individuals and analysing areas of historical debate and controversy.
There are three examination papers, each one includes a mixture of shorter questions, paragraphs and more extended essay-style questions.
British Thematic Study with Historic Environment
1 hour 15 minutes
52 marks (16 for the historic environment, 36 for the thematic study)
30% of GCSE
Section A: Historic environment (10%). Shorter source-based questions on the Western Front, focusing on the injuries of soldiers and their treatment as well as life in the trenches.
Section B: Thematic study (20%). Questions on changes in medicine and health care, c1250 to present. Topics include:
Period Study and British Depth Study
1 hour 45 minutes examination
64 marks (32 for the Period Study, 32 for the British Depth Study)
40 % of GCSE
Section A: Period Study (20%)
Superpower relations and the Cold War 1941-1991
This involves an overview of the key events in the rivalry between Russia and America that often came close to the outbreak of World War Three. We study the nuclear arms race, the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missiles Crisis. We also look at key figures such as Stalin, Truman, Kennedy, Khrushchev, Reagan and Gorbachev.
Section B: British Depth Study (20%)
Early Elizabethan England
We study the Virgin Queen, Mary Queen of Scots, the Spanish Armada, Francis Drake and ordinary life in the 16th century. Questions are on causes of changes in Elizabethan England.
Modern Depth Study
1 hour 20 minutes examination
52 marks 30% of GCSE
Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939
We study Hitler’s rise to power and the nature of life in Nazi Germany. Questions are on sources that are provided in the examination and views of Hitler’s Germany.
Edexcel Specification for A Level History Many people choose History for the good reason that they enjoy it! It should be considered as a choice at A Level because of its relevance and because the variety of skills which it fosters makes it a valuable base for many careers and higher education courses. Pupils who study History have access to a wide range of career and higher education opportunities. Careers which demand an element of historical study include teaching, conservation and archaeology. Careers where employers view History as a useful qualification include architecture, law, broadcasting, journalism, the performing arts, accounting and business management.
It is not a requirement that pupils have studied History at GCSE in order to take A Level, however pupils should have achieved a good grade in at least one humanities subject.
Breadth Study with interpretations: 'Russia 1917-91: from Lenin to Yeltsin'
2 hours 15 minutes written exam
30% of the A Level
A: one breadth essay
B: one breadth essay
C: one interpretations question
DEPTH STUDY: The German Democratic Republic 1949-90
1 hour 30 minutes written exam
20% of the A Level
A: one source question
B: one depth essay
Themes in breadth with aspects in depth: Rebellion and disorder under the Tudors, 1485-1603
C: one breadth essay
Non-examined assessment (NEA)
The focus of the pupils' NEA is selected by the school, rather than prescribed by Edexcel, and may be a topic on which there are a variety of historical interpretations, such as the appeasement debate in relation to World War II.
A 3000-4000 word essay, which is an independently researched enquiry on historical interpretations.
Headteacher Linda Wybar
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