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History A Level at Gordon's School

Course description

The course is examined at the end of Y12, then as a whole at end of Y13.

Unit 1: Revolutions in Early Modern and Modern Europe (Y12)
For this unit students will study Britain, 1625-1701: Conflict, Revolution and Settlement. Within this they will explore key historical themes, looking at political, religious, social and economic conflicts stretching across the seventeenth century. They will also study historical interpretations of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, in order to build on analytical and evaluative skills.

Unit 2: France in Revolution 1774-99 (Y12)
Within this unit, students will study the causes and the course of the French Revolution, examining the consequences for the country and its people. Building on skills developed in Unit 1, they will gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges that faced the ancien regime, the monarchy and the people on the eve of revolution, resulting in a political, economic and social shift.

Unit 3: Germany 1871-1990: United, Divided and Reunited (Y13)
Students will study social, economic and political changes in Germany and West Germany during this time period. This unit takes them through the unification of a new state, the defeat of the First World War, Nazi rule, the establishment of a new federal republic and finally, reunification. This option comprises two parts: aspects in breadth and aspects in depth. Students will be required to gain an overall understanding of key themes and relevant issues (breadth), whilst focusing in on the detail of key events (depth).

Unit 4: Coursework: An Individual Investigation (Y13)
In this unit students are able to develop critical analytical and evaluative skills in their own independently researched assignment. The main focus of this is to interpret and understand the work of the historian. From this, they are required to form an opinion based on applicable reading on their historical debate, and analyse, explain and evaluate the interpretations of three historians.

Entry requirements

The minimum academic requirements to join the Sixth Form are:

1.     A minimum of three GCSE grades A* to C plus at least a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and Mathematics.
2.     The grade criteria for individual subjects as outlined on the last page in this booklet.

Following the publication of GCSE results in August 2017 students may appeal to governors in the event of academic
requirements not being met. 


Exam Papers Y12

Paper 1: Breadth study with interpretations
Students answer three questions: one from Section A, B, and C. Section A and B comprises of breadth essay questions to assess understanding, of which students have two essay choices for each section. Section C is one compulsory question, designed to assess analytic and evaluative interpretations.
This examination lasts 2 hours 15 minutes and is marked out of 60.

Paper 2: Depth Study
Students answer two questions: one from Section A and one from Section B. Section A consists of a compulsory two-part question designed to assess the ability of the student to analyse and evaluate primary and/or contemporary source material. Section B comprises of a choice of three essay questions that assess understanding.
This examination lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and is marked out of 40.

Exam Papers Y13

Paper 3: Themes in breadth with aspects in depth
Students answer three questions: one from Section A, one from Section B and one from Section C. Section A comprises of one compulsory questions that assesses the students’ ability to analyse and evaluate primary/contemporary source material. Section B and C comprise of a choice between two essay question that assess understanding.
This examination lasts 2 hours 15 minutes and is marked out of 60.

Students are required to research independently an enquiry into an historical area. They are assessed on their ability to analyse and evaluate historical interpretations, and successfully communicate the findings. This assessment comprises of an issue that has generated disagreement amongst historians.
This assignment is marked out of 40.

Further information


- Anderson, A. An Introduction to Stuart Britain, Hodder (1999).
- Andress, D. The Terror: Civil War in the French Revolution, Abacus (2005)
- Cobban, A. The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution, Cambridge University Press (1964).
- Coward, B. Stuart England 1603-1714, Routledge (2011).
- Harris, T. Revolution: The Great Crisis of the British Monarchy, 1685-1720, Penguin (2007)
- Hill, C. Reformation to Industrial Revolution, Penguin (1991)
- Seel, G.E. Regicide and Republic: England 1603-1660, Cambridge University Press (2001).
- Spurr, J. The Post-Reformation: 1603-1714, Pearson (2006)
- Worden, B. The English Civil Wars, W&N (2010)
- Wrightson, K. English Society 1580-1660, Hutchinson (1982)

- Berghahn, V.R. Imperial Germany 1871-1918: Economy, Society, Culture and Politics, Berhhahn Books (2005)
- Fulbrook, M. A History of Germany 1918-2008: The Divided Nation, Wiley-Blackwell (2009)
- Jefferies, M. Contesting the German Empire 1871-1918, Blackwell Publishing (2008)
- Layton, Geoff. From Kaiser to Fuhrer: Germany 1900-45.
- Retallack, J. Imperial Germany 1871-1918, Short Oxford History of Germany Series, Oxford University Press (2008)

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Gordon's School directly.

Last updated date: 16 May 2017
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