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A Level History at Matthew Arnold School

Course description

Paper 1, Option 1A: The crusades, c1095–1204
This option comprises a study in breadth of the early crusading movement from the late eleventh to the early thirteenth century. It has continued relevance as, even today, the crusades exercise a powerful influence in many countries of the Near East, and their legacy continues to shape relations with Europe and the world. The focus of study is on developments and changes over a broad timescale and so the content is presented as themes spanning a significant period: 1095–1192. This option also contains a study in depth of historical interpretations on a broad question that is contextualised by, and runs on from, the themes: reasons for the failure of the Fourth Crusade.

Paper 2, Option 2A.1: Anglo-Saxon England and the Anglo-Norman Kingdom, c1053–1106
This option comprises a study in depth of England and Normandy from the death of Earl Godwin in 1053, through the reigns of William I and William II to the re-establishment of the Anglo Norman Kingdom by Henry I in 1107. These were dramatic years of change for England and would shape the course of its history for generations. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the nature and extent of change in government, society and the church, and of the English people’s resistance to changes.

Paper 3, Option 38.1: The making of modern Russia, 1855–1991
This option comprises two parts: the Aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the Aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics explore how Russia has developed, socially, politically and economically, through a turbulent era marked by periods of stability, reform and revolution. The death of Nicholas I in 1855 ushered in a period of hope and reform under his son Alexander II. Subsequently, more violent and dramatic changes in the twentieth century turned the lives of ordinary Russians upside down.

4: Coursework
The title of the coursework is 'The origins of the Cold War'. The purpose of the coursework is to enable students to develop skills in the analysis and evaluation of interpretations of history as part of an independently researched assignment. The focus is on understanding the nature and purpose of the work of the historian. Students will be required to form a critical view based on relevant reading on the question, problem or issue. They will also be specifically required to analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians.

Entry requirements

Students are likely to be already successful in their GCSE history course, but this isn’t a prerequisite

Future opportunities

The simple answer is anywhere you want to go. Aside from the obvious reasons for studying history it’s about understanding and studying ourselves and how and why we have reached this point in time as we are. A Level history will give you the opportunity to go on to University and/or the world of work, it is considered an academic subject and carries the understanding that History students are bright, hardworking and determined thinkers. It will enable you to branch out in to law, politics, journalism, research, a TV career – you could be the next TV Historian - or even teaching. The world really will be open to you after A Level History because it teaches you to reason, question and most importantly to argue your point successfully.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 16 April 2015
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    • Students have their own centre with its dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct.

      We offer a comprehensive selection of A level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies, photography and computing. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A level success.