The GCSE history course is designed to engage and enthral students with an eclectic mix of topics studied. 

The GCSE course follows the AQA exam board specification.  The specification ensures a substantial study of history as its structure embeds the requirement to study history across three eras, three time scales and three geographical contexts.  Pupils will sit two papers entitled ‘Understanding the modern world’ and ‘Shaping the nation’.  This is a linear course which means there is no coursework and both exams are sat at the end of year 11.  Each paper has two sections and each section is worth 25% of the overall course of study.

Paper 1 – Understanding the Modern World

Pupils have two areas of study for this paper.  We will firstly cover America 1920-1973.  This period study focuses on the development of the USA during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the ‘American Dream’ whilst others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination and prejudice. Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in bringing about change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

And Conflict and tension between East and West 1945-1972. It considers revolutionary movements during this time. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War. Pupils relish in their learning and understanding of these key events which shaped the 20th century and leads to a genuine awareness of how we have arrived at present day cultures and political scenarios.


Paper 2 – Shaping the Nation

Again, pupils have two areas to study for this paper.  Firstly, Britain Health and the people c1000 to the present day and I think we would all agree that the role of medicine for our society has never been as important as it is at this moment in time.  This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how medicine and public health developed in Britain over a long period of time  We will study key scientists, significant medicinal discoveries and explorations as well as tracing the impact of worldwide events upon our medicinal demands.

Secondly, Norman England 1066 – 1100.  1066 is widely recognised as the most important date in all of British history: the impact of the Norman invasion shaped our language, culture, religion and feudal system. In addition to our political, social and cultural viewpoints.  A topic which has no counterpart in its significance for Britain.


If you have any questions or queries about GCSE History, please speak with your History teacher, Mrs Roddie or Mrs Curry.