A LEVEL HISTORY (EARLY)

Awarding Body:EdexcelCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Course Content

History is one of the most popular courses at Peter Symonds. Students study three exam units over the two years on the A level course as well as writing a 4,000 word piece of coursework.

Our students have a choice of two History courses. Both our Early and Modern History courses will result in an A level History qualification. They will be taught and examined in the same way and you should make your choice on the basis of which period you think will interest you the most. Although we anticipate the majority of students choosing to follow either the Early or Modern route through the two years it should be possible for students to switch at the end of the first year if they wish.

Year One

Unit 1: Breadth Study - The Crusades c1095-1204

Unit 2: Depth Study - Henry II and the Angevin Empire 1154-89

There has never been a better or more relevant time to study the Crusades. As well as learning about figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, this unit also offers a glimpse into medieval life, beliefs and values. You will also study relations between Christians and Muslims during the era of the Crusades and the development of concepts such as jihad and the idea of a ‘just war’.

In the second unit you will learn about Henry II who became Duke of Normandy aged 16, and king of England at 21. Our study of Henry’s thirty-five year reign examines how he tried to ensure justice for all his subjects, his difficulties controlling the enormous Angevin empire and the problems with his rebellious sons as well as his ruinous dispute with Thomas Becket. 

Year Two 

Unit 3 - The Wars of the Roses and the establishment of the Tudors

Coursework option

In the second year, the exam unit focuses on the dramatic century of crisis, upheaval and rebellion that led to the defeat of Richard III in 1485 and brought Henry VII and the Tudor dynasty to the throne. You will learn about the personalities and characters that were key to the Wars of the Roses and consider the wider lessons about how kings controlled (or failed to control) their realms in early modern England.

The coursework unit is an opportunity for students to engage in real historical debate. You will be required to take three contrasting opinions on a particular historical issue and weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments using your own research and evidence. The main option for this unit will focus on an aspect of the Tudor era.

 

Methods of Teaching

A variety of methods are used to teach the course, including class discussion and debate, group work, and presentations.

The nature of the course also means that student will engage with evaluating contemporary sources and will be required to research events and analyse different historical interpretations with some degree of independence

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

Unit 1: written examination 2 hours and 15 minutes

(30% of total A Level mark)

Unit 2: written examination 1 hour 30 minutes

(20% of total A Level mark)

Unit 3: written examination 2 hours and 15 minutes

(30% of total A Level mark)

Unit 4: coursework assignment of 4000 words

(20% of total A Level mark).

Financial Implications

Students are required to purchase text books for the units that they study. They will also be given the opportunity to participate in educational visits and trips. We currently run overseas trips to Paris and Berlin as well as one day visits to the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the National Portrait Gallery and Chalke Valley History Festival. The College has a Student Support Fund for anyone who has difficulty meeting these costs.

Where Could It Take Me?

History is useful for any career which involves researching and analysing information and expressing arguments based upon evidence. Good examples of this are careers in the Civil Service, banking and accountancy, politics, social and business administration, teaching, journalism and law management.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSE’s at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English.

It is not a requirement to have studied History at GCSE provided you have an interest in the subject.

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