Key Stage 4

GCSE History (Years 9 and 10)

Students in Years 9 and 10 who take GCSE History follow the Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 History GCSE (9–1) course. The GCSE examination is currently a linear examination where students take all of the examination papers and submit their Controlled Assessments at the end of Year 11. The GCSE qualification is divided as follows:

Unit 1

Medicine and Public Health in Britain c1250AD – present day and The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: injuries, treatment and the trenches.

This unit allows students to demonstrate an understanding of human development and change in British history over an extended period of time. Students will analyse developments within and between periods and learn to show an understanding of causation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and significance. Students will also be expected to understand, infer from and analyse a variety of sources linked to the Western Front. This unit makes up 30% of the final GCSE.

Unit 2

The American West 1835 – c1890 and Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, c1060–88. 
This unit enables students to study a key period in depth, exploring the reactions of groups and individuals to developments within the society studied. Students should analyse developments to show an understanding of causation and motivation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and significance. This unit makes up 40% of the final GCSE.

Unit 3

Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918 – 1939
This unit requires students to use a range of both sources and interpretations to explain causation, consequence or change in relation to the life in Weimar and Nazi Germany.  Students should understand a range of reasons why interpretations may differ. They should be aware that differences based on conclusions drawn from evidence are legitimate and can be explained. They should be able to evaluate given interpretations using their own knowledge of the period. This part of the GCSE makes up 30% of the final GCSE.

GCSE History (Year 11)

Students in Year 11 who take GCSE History follow the Edexcel GCSE Schools History Project (History B) course. The GCSE examination is currently a linear examination where students take all of the examination papers and submit their Controlled Assessments at the end of Year 11. The GCSE qualification is divided as follows:

Unit 1

Medicine and Public Health in Britain c50AD – present day. This unit allows students to demonstrate an understanding of human development and change in British history over an extended period of time. Students will analyse developments within and between periods and learn to show an understanding of causation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and significance. This unit makes up 25% of the final GCSE.

Unit 2

The American West 1845 – c1890. This unit enables students to study a key period in depth, exploring the reactions of groups and individuals to developments within the society studied. Students should analyse developments to show an understanding of causation and motivation, change and continuity, similarity and difference, and significance. This unit makes up 25% of the final GCSE.

Unit 3

The Transformation of Surgery c1845 -1918. This unit makes up 25% of the final GCSE. In Unit 3 the specified historical content provides the context for an enquiry. The focus of the exam paper is on the skills involved in using sources, separately and in combination, in their context. No question will require deployment of recalled information independent of source material. This unit makes up 25% of the final GCSE.

Unit 4

Controlled Assessment on Germany 1918 – 1945. In this unit the assessment task is divided into three parts. Part A requires students to explain causation, consequence or change in relation to the life in Nazi Germany. Part B requires students to undertake limited research and complete an enquiry based upon the time period. Part C requires students to analyse and evaluate three representations of Nazi Germany. This part of the GCSE makes up 25% of the final GCSE.

Benefits to you:

  • An opportunity to study history in breadth and depth, develop source skills and consider representations of history 
  • A closer look at changes in British society, including the changing ideas about medicine and public health
  • A view of history from national and international perspectives
  • A detailed look at life in Nazi Germany, one of the most dramatic and troubled periods of human history
  • An appreciation of how learning from past events can help improve the future
  • An insight into international relations, global conflict and political developments in key countries
  • GCSE History is a solid basis for many A level subjects. Students who have done well in history often study higher qualifications in subjects such as politics, law, economics, and sociology.
  • History also goes well with subjects such as English and languages at A level.
  • Many people working in law and accountancy have studied history because of the skills that can be developed in reasoning and arguing your point.
  • There are many career areas more related to history, such as: travel and tourism, museums, the media industry, libraries, government research, academic research and, of course, history teaching.