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History at South Wilts Grammar School for Girls

Course description

This is a new and exciting course offering a range of different topics as well as an opportunity for individual research and investigation. In one half of the Year 12 we investigate modern German and Italian history from 1918 until 1945. We study Germany after WW1 and examine the factors contributing to Hitler’s rise to power. We also study life in Germany during the Third Reich, and examine the rise of Fascism in Italy. The second part of the Year 12 course involves a study of the experience of warfare between 1854 and 1929 focusing on the Crimean, Boer and First World Wars. This includes dispelling the popular myths of Florence Nightingale and the charge of the Light Brigade. In Year 13 students investigate Tudor England undertaking individual research into ‘Rebellion and Disorder in Tudor England 1485-1587’ which is a coursework option. One other unit is studied in Year 13 and links closely to the AS unit, and this is the impact of the Second World War in Britain including studies of key conflicts such as El Alamein and the Battle of Britain as well as the challenges of living through the war.

Course content

How will you learn?

Throughout the course we use a variety of teaching methods (including the study of documents and sources, group investigations and individual study) discussion, presentations, note taking, debate, research – in short, all sorts of methods that help you actively engage with History.

Entry requirements

Our main entry requirement is a keen interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, and we accept students with a range of GCSE grades, although most of our students have at least a B in GCSE History. Please talk to us if you have not done GCSE History and we will discuss the requirements of the course and we can make a joint decision. Some of our very successful students have not done GCSE History.


Examination Board: Edexcel

What exams and coursework are involved?

At the end of Year 12 two examinations are taken. Both papers are 1 hour 20 minutes long. There is a choice of questions on both papers. For the examination on German and Italian History two essays have to be written. For the experience of warfare paper students have to make judgements based on source material and write about a key issue or theme using their own knowledge. Both papers are allocated 60 marks.

One part of the final assessment at the end of Year 13 is a two hour written examination based on the Second World War.

This paper is answered in two parts. In part A students have to choose an essay question focused on making an historical judgement; and part B involves an evaluation of source material relating to an issue of historical debate. This paper is allocated 70 marks. The second part of the assessment is based on an individual historical enquiry. Students will be expected to produce two pieces of written work based on the Tudor rebellions of the 16th Century. This is allocated 50 marks.

Future opportunities

History is a very popular A level at South Wilts attracting more students that most arts subjects and many use it as a stepping stone to further studies at University.  The department values its excellent staff and the hard work which takes place.  All of the ‘premier league’ universities regard History as a rigorous, academic subject to study at A Level, and so a good History grade is very well received.  Because of the high level of reading and writing skills demanded and cultivated, the course could lead to a whole host of career path choices, such as: the Civil Service, management and accountancy, the Law, teaching and research, to name but a few.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
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