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History at Sutton Grammar School

Course description

At A Level, the History department has opted for the OCR History A specification.
We have selected a diverse range of topics for our students, taking in a variety of countries and peoples and developing skills that will be key at university, regardless of degree subject. Skills such as critical thinking, argument construction and evidence evaluation combine with a developed understand of how the past shapes the present and the future to make this an exciting and stimulating course. The course clearly prepares students for a History degree but previous students have also gone on to study Law, Journalism, Economics, Philosophy and Medicine, where the balance of an essay based subject has helped with their UCAS application. Historical study develops vital employment skills including communication (written and verbal), decision making and investigative research.

Course content

Year 12– British Period Study and Enquiry–Unit Y102–Anglo Saxon England and
the Norman Conquest 1035-1107

This unit focuses on a period of British history and has two components. It provides a chance to delve into medieval history and covers a fascinating period of invasion, change and upheaval. The period study is a knowledge based section looking at the period 1035-1087. The enquiry is a source based exercise and looks at the reign of William II from 1087-1107.
Assessment is at the end of Y13–the period study assessment will be a knowledge based essay and the enquiry consists of the analysis of 4 primary sources. The total time for the assessment is 1 hour 30 minutes and a sample assessment will be available on the night in the History room.

Year 12–Non-British Period Study–Unit Y212–The American Revolution 1740-

This unit sees us move our focus overseas, to the tumultuous time of the American Revolution. It provides a nice counterpoint to the British study outlined above. It traces the origins of upheaval in the ‘New World’ and the final break from European control as the colonies declare independence. Assessment in this unit also takes place at the end of Y13 and consists of two essays to be written in 1 hour. We envisage there will be a mock exam for the Year 12 units sometime towards the end of the Year 12. Sample assessment material will also be ava
ilable at the Open Evening.

Year 13– Thematic study and historical interpretations–Unit Y315–The Changing
Nature of Warfare 1792-1945

This unit looks at all facets of warfare over a 150 year period, from the Napoleonic Wars through to World War II. Factors such as communications, technological advancement, training, geography and tactics are all examined as are the influence of generals and the soldiers themselves. There are two elements to assessment – an analysis of historians’ interpretations of war fare in the period and two essay questions to answer. The exam lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes and is taken at the end of Year 13.

Year 13 – Topic Based Essay– Unit Y100 – Mao’s China, 1949-76
This unit consists of an independent dissertation, 3000-4000 words in length. This will be a taught course by your History tutor and we have decided to make the topic Mao’s China, 1949-76. Students will have freedom to choose their own essay question within the topic and then carry out an independent investigation,
selecting evidence to help them produce their final essay. This is an exciting new aspect of A Level History and will be both challenging and motivating for students in the second year of the course. The essay is marked and moderated internally and then sent to the board for assessment towards the end of Year 13. There is no final exam for this module.


Entry requirements

GCSE History students will obviously have an advantage when studying A Level History but we have successfully worked with students who did not take History at Key Stage 4, so all applicants are welcome.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 02 September 2016
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    • Please note that there are no parking spaces available on the school site, other than for permanent staff. All visitors should use the adjacent multi-storey public car park, which can be accessed from Throwley Way. Walch Memorial Sports Ground Site 82-84 Northey Avenue, Cheam, SM2 7HJ