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History A Level at Helston Community College

Course description

If you have enjoyed studying History and are interested in understanding key developments in British and European History this is a worthwhile course for you. The aim is for you to gain a deep knowledge of the topics studied in order to develop your own interpretations of the past. Within the course you will also have the opportunity to write your own piece of History about a topic of your choice, and to develop skills of research, analysis and communication.

A range of teaching methods are used including:

  • Individual research
  • Pair and group work
  • Extended original writing and thought
  • Evaluation of evidence
  • Evaluation of historical interpretations
  • Pictorial presentations
  • Background reading
  • Discussion of key themes and topics
  • Debates and mock trials
  • Seminar style presentations
  • Note taking and essay writing
  • Study of film clips and videos

During the course we plan to organize a visit to a relevant historical location abroad such as Berlin, and closer to home we visit English Civil War sites in Cornwall.

Course content


  • Unit 1 Y138: The Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War 1603-1660
  • (Enquiry Topic – The execution of Charles 1 and the Interregnum 1646-1660)
  • Unit 2 Y251: Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963


  • Unit 1 Y108: The Early Stuarts and the Origins of the Civil War 1603-1660
  • (Enquiry Topic – The execution of Charles 1 and the Interregnum 1646-1660)
  • Unit 2 Y221: Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963
  • Unit 3 Y318: Russia and its Rulers 1855-1964
  • Unit 4 Y100: Topic based Essay (3000-4000 words)

Unit 1: Students will answer one sourcebased question related to the Enquiry topic and one essay question, from a choice of two, related to the Period Study (25% A Level total) 

Unit 2: Students will answer one two-part question from a choice of two, including the fi rst which will be a comparison of two factors with an overall judgement, plus an essay related to the Period Study (15% A Level total)

Unit 3: Students will answer questions from two sections (40% A Level total): • Section A - one essay question based on two extracts from historians about one of the three depth studies • Section B - two essay questions from a choice of three drawn from the historical themes section

Unit 4: Students will complete one essay (3000-4000 words) arising from an independent study on a topic of their choice (20%)

The AS and the full A-level specifi cations will be ‘co-taught’ which means all students will be entered for the AS examinations at the end of Year 12. Then, those wishing to continue on to the full A-Level will re-sit Units 1 and 2 at the end of the Year 13 course, but answer new questions based on the new assessment requirements (see above).

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is 5 or more Grade C’s at GCSE but ideally students will have achieved a B or above in GCSE History as students need to be comfortable producing extended writing


Unit 1: 1 hour 30 minutes examination in two sections (50% AS Level total):

  • Section A - Students will answer two compulsory source-based questions related to the Enquiry Topic.
  • Section B - Students will answer one essay based question related to the Period Study element

Unit 2: 1 hour and 30 minutes examinationt wo compulsory questions (50% AS Level total):

  • Firstly, students will answer one essay question from a choice of two
  • Secondly, students will answer one two- part question where they are required to evaluate a historians’ interpretation of one of the key topics

Future opportunities

Having completed this course you will have gained in interest and understanding of the modern world. You will have become highly skilled in the analysis and judgment of complex evidence and ideas as well as proving yourself capable of sustained original thought. Also your communication skills will be greatly enhanced. These are excellent qualifi cations for university entry, law, journalism, media, publishing, politics, the civil service, teaching, research, social work administration, and many other careers.

Employers rate History highly as it helps develop “transferable skills” which are useful in most professional jobs

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Helston Community College directly.

Last updated date: 20 July 2016

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