GCSE History

Examination Board: Pearson Edexcel

Specification code: 1HI0

Why study History?

Studying History to GCSE will help to develop the key skills needed for further education and which are valued by employers. History helps to develop literacy skills through research, investigation and the formation of balanced and coherent answers. Problem solving and debate is encouraged in order to learn and construct a logical viewpoint based upon reason and fact. In addition History helps us to develop an understanding of modern society and insight into the actions, experiences and lives of other people.

These skills are useful in all occupations and especially valued in careers such as architecture, business, civil service, law, journalism, media, marketing, teaching, police, personnel management, publishing and social work.

Course Content:

History GCSE consists of four units; Crime and Punishment with a depth study on Whitechapel 1888, Henry VIII and his Ministers, Superpower Relations 1941-1991 and Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939.

Paper 1 – Crime and Punishment c1000-present:

Students will study how crimes, punishments and methods of law enforcement have changed and developed throughout History. Pupils will understand how key features in the development of crime and punishment were linked with the key features of society in Britain in the periods studied.  They will develop an understanding of the nature and process of change. This will involve understanding patterns of change, trends and turning points, and the influence of factors inhibiting or encouraging change within periods and across the theme. This unit will include a look at famous cases of crime and punishment throughout History including the Gunpowder Plot, Witchcraft trials, Jack the Ripper and crime in Whitechapel and the abolition of the death penalty.

Paper 2 – British Depth – Henry VIII and his Ministers

In this unit we will study one of History’s most infamous Kings, considering his suitability to be King, his many wives and why he chose to create the Church of England. Henry had two advisors to help him throughout his many crucial decisions as King, Thomas Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell. This unit will consider the achievements of each of these men, their rise to power and their inevitable fall from the King’s favour.

Paper 2 – Depth Study – Superpower Relations 1941-1991

The end of the Second World War brought a new type of conflict the world had never seen before. Those who had been allies against the tyranny of Adolf Hitler now turned to enemies as after 1945 the USA and the USSR entered into the Cold War. Based on the difference of ideology this conflict was not fought on the battle field but instead through propaganda and political scheming. This fascinating unit will consider the reasons for the development of the Cold War, the crises that took place during it, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the building of the Berlin Wall, and the reasons why this conflict ended in 1991.

Paper 3 – Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

This unit follows Germany’s journey from one world war to another. We will investigate what Germany was like following defeat in World War One and how the new democratic government, the Weimar Republic fared in a country that was suffering disaster. We will consider the weaknesses of this new government and how Adolf Hitler took advantage of these weaknesses in order to become the leader of Germany in 1933. Following Hitler’s rise to power life changed in Germany and in this unit we will analyse the lives of groups such as young people. Women, workers and minorities such as Jews.

Assessment Overview:

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