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History A level at Wollaston School

Course description

A Level History is about:

  • The significance of events, individuals, issues and societies in history;
  • How and why societies have changed over time;
  • The theories of historians and the language that they use to discuss their ideas;
  • Understanding the nature of historical evidence and the methods used by historians to analyse and evaluate it;
  • Developing an understanding of how the past has been interpreted and represented;
  • Expressing your own historical ideas confidently and effectively.

Course content

What themes are studied?

Year 12: Communist states in the 20 th century Russia 1917 - 1991 from Lenin to Yeltsin 

  • Why did the Russian Revolution happen? 
  • What role did the USSR have in the Cold War? 
  • What did Khrushchev do to change Russia?
  • Why did the Soviet Union fall?
  • The German Democratic Republic 1949 - 1990
  • How was the GDR formed? 
  • Why was the Berlin Wall built? 
  • How did the government keep control in the GDR? 
  • Why did communist rule collapse?

Year 13: Poverty, public health and the state in Britain, 1780 – 1939

  • Why did Public Health reforms happen?
  • Who were the key individuals involved in reform?
  • How did society change for different groups of people?
  • GDR coursework assignment
  • How have Historians disagreed about what caused the Berlin Wall to be built?
  • What do different sources say about the causes of the Berlin Wall?


Paper 1 Breadth study with interpretations: Russia 1917 - 1991 from Lenin to Yeltsin assesses knowledge and historians interpretations. 60% of AS qualification

Paper 2 Depth study: The German Democratic Republic 1949 - 1990 At the end of Year 13 students will take A Level exams as detailed below, Papers 1 and 2 are on the same topics as AS Level but have more rigorous questions.

Paper 1 Breadth study with interpretations: England, 1509 - 1603: authority, nation and religion. Assesses knowledge and historians interpretations. 30% of A Level qualification .

Paper 2 Depth study: Luther and the German Reformation Assesses knowledge and ability to use primary source material. 20% of A Level. qualification.

Paper 3 Themes in breadth with aspects in depth: The making of modern Russia, 1855 - 1991 Assesses knowledge and ability to use source material. 30% of A Level qualification.

Coursework: Students complete an independent enquiry on historical interpretations of the German Reformation. This is a 3000 - 4000 word essay. 20% of A Level qualification.

Future opportunities

Students who study History have access to a wide range of career and educational opportunities. By the end of the course you will have learnt how to analyse and evaluate information, how to weigh up evidence and how to communicate complex ideas effectively. These skills are recognised and valued by all Employers, Universities and Colleges. History combines effectively with Maths and Science subjects, to create an attractive portfolio of qualifications, enabling a student to move on to a University Science based course. Combined with English and a Modern Foreign Language it would provide an excellent basis for arts or languages based degrees.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 September 2016
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