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History AS & A Level at The Gryphon School

Course description

History is a well-respected subject that is very much in demand by employers seeking evidence that you can think about issues, judge the value of evidence and come to reasoned conclusions. The aim of this course is to develop these skills by studying some of the key events in the History of the last 200 years. We hope to enthuse you by looking at key revolutions in political, social and economic developments, as well as some of the more bizarre happenings that make History such a stimulating and enjoyable subject.

Course content

AS students take paper 1 and paper 2 only. A Level students take all four papers.

  • Paper 1 – From Lenin to Yeltsin: the Soviet Union, 1917-91. This unit looks at the establishment of the first Communist state, its transformation under Stalin into a modern industrial power based on brutality and terror and aspects of its social and economic development under Khrushchev and Brezhnev. The reasons for the collapse of communism in 1991 are also explored.
  • Paper 2 – The German Democratic Republic 1949-90: This unit looks at the establishment of communist rule in East Germany and the lives of its people who were literally walled in. Topics include the building of the Berlin Wall, the role of sport in forming a national identity, the changing status of women and the use of propaganda and the arts. The key events of 1989 when the Berlin Wall “fell” and East Germany collapsed will be covered.
  • Paper 3 – The Experience of Warfare in Britain, 1790-1929: Napoleonic Wars, Crimea, Boer and the First World War. This unit looks at how the four wars have brought about social and economic change in Britain, as well as the changing technology of warfare.
  • Paper 4 – A historical investigation. This is a coursework unit based on an evaluation of different interpretations of the history of the USA from 1918 to 1975. Topics include the reasons for Prohibition and its impact, the “Roaring Twenties”, Roosevelt’s New Deal, the position of Black Americans and opposition to the Vietnam War.

Entry requirements

Grade C or better in English Language and History GCSE.


Papers 1, 2 and 3 are assessed by exams which include essay questions and source analysis. Paper 4 is assessed through the completion of coursework tasks.

Financial information

There are no additional costs. A History trip is organised for the Easter holiday but is not compulsory.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 September 2016
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