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Time Allocation
History is a GCSE option choice; therefore, during KS4, 2 hours per week are allocated to its study. 

Exam Board: AQA 

Course Content
This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. GCSE History students must take assessments in both of the following papers in the same series: 

Paper 1: Understanding the Modern World 

Paper 2: Shaping the Nation 

The GCSE History content comprises the following elements: 

• one period study- Russia 1894-1945 

• one thematic study- Britain: Health and the People 1000- the present day 

• one wider world depth study- Conflict and Tension between East and West 1945-1972 

• one British depth study including the historic environment- The Normans 1066-1100. 



Year 9 

Year 10 

Year 11 


  • Paper 2: The Normans 1066-1100 

  • Paper 1: Russia 1894-1945
  • Paper 1: Conflict and Tension between East and West 1945-1972 


  • Paper 2: The Normans 1066-1100 

  • Paper 2: Britain: Health and the People 1000- The present day 

  • Paper 1: Russia 1894-1945   

  • Paper 2: Historic Environment Study  


  • Paper 2: Britain: Health and the People 1000- The present day 

  • Paper 1: Conflict and Tension between East and West 1945-1972 

  • Revision 

Formative Assessment
Assessment will take place at regular intervals throughout the course. This will include both formal class-based source or ‘essay’ style assessments (typically one every half term) as well as knowledge testing which will happen once every half term. 

Summative Assessment
Students will sit two exams at the end of Year 11. This means that students must be prepared to work hard throughout the course, and maintain good records in order to make revision easier. (NB the exam now assesses the student’s ability in regards to spelling, punctuation and grammar for two of the four extended writing questions). 


Why you should consider studying History
The History GCSE is a vibrant and dynamic course, crucial in helping us fully understand key events of the Twentieth Century that helped to shape the world we live in.  It is ideal for students who want to understand the world of the early 21st century by a detailed study of the main factors which shaped it during the 20th century. Students are helped to develop the skills to: draw unbiased conclusions from a variety of types of evidence, express ideas clearly both in discussion and writing, work independently. 

What skills profile a GCSE History student should have

You should consider studying History if you have developed skills in: 

  • organising material 
  • making judgements on historical events 
  • comparing and contrasting opinions 
  • shown the ability to write at length on specific issues 

What opportunities will a GCSE in History lead to? 
The skills in thinking, arguing and communicating that you will develop in this subject are transferable to a wide variety of different professions and careers, and indeed becoming increasingly called upon in the world of work. History is highly regarded by future employers and further education establishments as an academic subject of some weight.  A good pass in this subject creates a very favourable impression. There are numerous career paths one can follow as a result of studying of History, including careers in: law, administration, education, the civil service, arts, writing, journalism, media, curators, and politics. 

Famous Historians include:  Gordon Brown - former PM; Louis Theroux- TV documentary maker; Salman Rushdie- writer; Sacha Baron Cohen- comedian; Michael Palin Comedian/Journalist; Jonathan Ross Broadcaster/TV presenter,

The additional year for study at Key Stage Four affords the students an opportunity in which they can broaden, deepen and widen their understanding of the exam topics.  

For more information, contact Ms Light- Curriculum Leader for History.