History GCSE, Edexcel

The History course gives students a chance to look at major events, personalities and developments in Britain and the wider world. They are encouraged to consider different interpretations, and in so doing they learn to select, organise and analyse evidence to construct coherent arguments and to write persuasive essays. History GCSE is a useful but not an essential qualification for A-level History – which itself is particularly useful as a preparation for university courses in history, law, politics and the social sciences. The skills learned in history are highly valued in many walks of life and are particularly relevant to anyone considering a career in law, journalism, management and public affairs.

The GCSE History exam course we follow is provided by Edexcel and includes:

  • a thematic study covering a long period that spans medieval, early modern and modern history
  • a period study covering at least 50 years
  • a British depth study and a non-British depth study from different eras (Modern, Early Modern and Medieval)
  • a study of the historic environment

Aims of the Course

  • To investigate historical events and issues
  • To use historical sources critically
  • To develop an understanding of the past
  • To realise that the past is open to differing interpretations

Topics and Examinations

Paper 1: British Thematic Study with Historic Environment

  • Medicine in Britain, c1250 to present with The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: surgery and treatment

Paper 2: Period Study and British Depth Study

  • British Depth Study – Early Elizabethan England 1558–88
  • Period Study – The American West, c1835–c1895

Paper 3: Modern Depth Study

  • The USA, 1954–75: conflict at home and abroad (the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War)

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