History is a diverse and fascinating history and at A-level you get the opportunity to delve in to this by looking at three topics; The War of the Roses, Tsarist and Communist Russia, 1855 – 1964 and the struggle for equal civil rights in the USA. These three units offer you a breadth of historical knowledge and the opportunity to tackle a variety of topics and debates.
In History you will not only develop a wide range of knowledge, but your skills of analysis and evaluation will also be put to the test. Therefore you will not only have to describe knowledge, but also to analyse and draw critical judgements. You will be challenged to form your own opinions on a variety of topics and make connections between different information as well as tackling source material and the interpretations of historians.
Grade 5 in GCSE History, if studied; or a grade 5 in GCSE English Language or Literature if history has not been studied at GCSE.
A-level history follow the AQA syllabus. As part of this there are three units:
Both units 1 and 2 are worth 40% of the A level. The Non-examined assessment is worth 20%
The department aims to widen students’ historical understanding through trips. As part of this, we aim to run a trip to Germany and Poland every other year to appreciate other aspects of history, most notably life in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. This is not compulsory but rewarding and thought-provoking. We also run a trip to Birmingham University to support the Non-examined assessment unit.
History is complimented by many subjects at A-level that develop similar skills, these include:
Past papers can be a very useful tool for revision and to reinforce your understanding of different topics. Your teacher will always be happy to support you with answering past paper questions.
There are many books that cover both topics at A-level. There is no expectation that you buy any of your own books as the department offer a wealth of books for both topics that you can use at any time, but you may wish to have books to refer to at home. Here are some titles that are highly recommended.
There are a variety of websites and resources that you can use to support your learning in history. Your teacher will always point you towards useful links although some useful links can be found here:
Rexfactor – http://rexfactor.podbean.com/category/yorkists/ – A podcast that reviews all of the Kings and Queens in English history (as well as further afield) to see whether they have “rexfactor”.
Further information can be obtained from any of the teachers in the history department, or contact Mr Lenton.