Subject History

The aims of GSCE History are:


  • To develop critical and analytical skills in History by acquiring a broad understanding of the events which have influenced the 20th century.
  • To explore the issues of war, empire, discrimination and community.
  • To develop the ability to analyse and evaluate primary and secondary evidence.


The work is thought-provoking and will enable pupils to develop their own ideas and opinions. Pupils of all abilities benefit from the course and it is an ideal introduction to AS and A level.


Why study History?


  • It is interesting! History is extremely enjoyable and enables you to learn about the past – that is, to understand the past and, through it, come to a far better understanding of the present.
  • History also offers pupils the opportunity to acquire and improve on many key skills such as written and verbal communication skills, analytical thinking and research skills.
  • Colleges, universities and employers regard History very highly.
  • It is a good subject to do if you are considering a career in law, journalism, teaching, management, consultancy, banking and finance, advertising, media and publishing or government and politics.
  • There will be an optional trip to Berlin for pupils at the end of Year 10. Pupils will be given the opportunity to visit sights such as the Reichstag, Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate.


Exam Board and Specification Edexcel: GCSE History A – The Making of the Modern World
Key areas of content


  • Unit 1: International Relations: The Era of the Cold War 1943-1991. The key topics that pupils will study include; the development of the Cold War, the widening gulf between the Allies and the development of the ‘Iron Curtain’ as well as three Cold War crises: Berlin, Cuba and Czechoslovakia c1957–69 and the end of the Cold War.


  • Unit 2: Germany 1918–39. Pupils will study the end of World War One, the Weimar Republic, Hitler’s rise to power and Nazi Party policies.
  • Unit 3: War and the transformation of British society c1903–28. The key topics that pupils will study include; the Liberals, votes for women and social reform c1903–14, the part played by the British on the Western Front c1914–18, the home front and social change 1914–18 and economic and social change 1918–28.


  • Unit 4: Representations of History. Pupils will study Civil rights and protest in the USA 1945–70.
Assessment arrangements
  • Pupils complete three exams. Each exam is worth 25% of their total GCSE grade.
  • Each exam is 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The three examinations will be taken at the end of Year 11 and will assess pupils’ ability to analyse sources and construct arguments based on the knowledge they have acquired.
  • Pupils will also complete one controlled assessment which has three sections. The controlled assessment is also worth 25% of their total GCSE grade.
  • Pupils will have 2 ½ hours to write up their controlled assessment in lesson time under controlled conditions.
Textbooks, websites, relevant material Textbooks/revision guides: 
  • Revise Edexcel: Edexcel GCSE History A: the Making of the Modern World Revision Guide (REVISE Edexcel History) by Rob Bircher.
  • Revise Edexcel: Edexcel GCSE History Specification a Modern World History Revision Workbook Extend by Mr Steve Waugh.
  • Edexcel GCSE Modern World History Revision Guide 2nd edition by Ben Walsh and Steve Waugh.
  • GCSE History Modern World History: The Revision Guide by CGP Books.
  • Edexcel GCSE Modern World History by Ben Walsh and Christopher Culpin. (textbook we will use in school).


Websites/revision apps:







World War One:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front.

Nazi Germany:

  • Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution
  • The Pianist

International Relations: 1919-55:

  • Dr. Strangelove

Vietnam War:

  • Good Morning, Vietnam