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History AS/A Level at Fortismere School

Course description

History is a subject which develops the main thinking skills (reasoning and evaluation; thinking creatively; enquiry and information processing). Because of this, it's really useful - these skills help you make real progress in your other subjects. Employers and other educational institutions (colleges and universities) are impressed with history qualifications because they know that someone with a History A2 (or AS) will be able to think carefully but quickly about a range of issues, as well as being able to support what they say effectively, working efficiently and independently.

History’s not just a valuable subject because of the skills you gain, but also because of the topics you study. At Fortismere, we study a range of different time periods and countries, which are interesting in themselves, but also help you see the world in which you live with a much wider view. This means that you can understand some of the issues in our current society in more depth (e.g. religious and political terrorism, or human rights), as well as helping you to become a more tolerant and interesting person.

History at Fortismere is challenging, partly because the staff who will teach you have such high expectations of you and themselves. We support students who wish to apply for History at university, offering mock interviews for students who are likely to face them, as well as extra UCAS guidance.

Course content

AS Units

  • Absolutist States: The reign of Louis XIV, 1661-1715
  • The reign of Peter the Great of Russia, 1682-1725

A2 Units

  • The Triumph of Elizabeth 1547 - 1603
  • Black American Civil Rights, 1865 - present day

Entry requirements

A GCSE Grade B or above in History GCSE is required for anyone taking this course. An enjoyment of wider reading and discussion, as well as a willingness to write essays, is essential. Because of the similarities with English, it is required that students should also have a B in this subject.


AS Units: 1 hour and 15 minute written exam.  50% of AS final mark and 1 hour 30 minute written exam.  50% of AS final mark

A2 Units: 1 hour and 30 minute written exam. 25% of A2 final mark and examined by a personal investigation coursework. 25% of A2 final mark.

Further information

The lessons will be taught by subject specialists and will be a mixture of teacher-led activity, reading and discussion work as well as student presentations/seminars. Students who take responsibility for their own learning do better than those who expect to be spoon-fed - we’ll help you, but not do the work all for you! You will have the opportunity to attend a number of conferences on specific topics.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Fortismere School directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2016
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    • We have an outstanding and popular sixth form, with students joining us from a wide geographical area. Our students usually study four AS level subjects in Year 12 and, three or four A2 subjects in Year 13 for the full A level award.

      We support our students’ academic progress by a system of target setting and monitoring. We also provide excellent guidance for students, as well as additional mentoring for those making Oxbridge applications or preparing for BMAT and UKCAT (medical) or Law entrance exams. The vast majority progress on to university and a sophisticated guidance system ensures that they are well advised in their decision-making.

      We have a strong focus on school leadership and on students taking responsibility for their progress.