In Year 9, students study a course entitled ‘Europe reshaped, 1789-1918’ that includes the French Revolution and Napoleon, Europe reshaped between Waterloo and assassination at Sarajevo, the Great War and consequent Russian and German revolutions. They also then reflect on the changing nature of warfare over those years. They also complete a depth study on a topic of their own choice. This provides the foundation, in terms developing both interest and skills, for further study.
A particularly popular part of the course is an Independent Investigation on a topic of the students' own choice in the first half of the Lent Term. Topics range from Medieval, to early Modern to Twentieth Century issues. This allows them to pursue their own particular interest and develop further their skills in independent learning. The course also prepares students in the skills of evidence evaluation and essay writing required for success in the GCSE examination. Perhaps the greatest tribute to the course is the fact that it is normal for c.90% of the Year Group to opt to study history at GCSE.
In Year 10, we study two depth Studies from:
- International Relations between the wars, 1918-39. This comprises an examination of the Paris Peace Treaties at the end of the Great War, the League of Nations and the rise of aggressive nationalism in Italy, Japan and Germany in the 1930s, concluding with how all combined to cause the Second World War.
- Dictatorship and conflict in Russia, 1924-53. This comprises an examination of Stalin’s Russia, its economic and social development and the means by which he maintained his power.
- A world divided: Superpower relations, 1945-52. This comprises an examination of the origins and escalation of the Cold War, from the 1945 Allied Conferences through the Berlin Blockade and Airlift, Korean War and Cuban Missile Crisis.
In Year 11, we study:
- A Historical Investigation. This is either Russia in Revolution, 1914-24, OR the USA from boom to bust, 1917-29.
- A Study in Breadth. This is either the changing role of the peacekeeping organisations, the League of Nations 1919-39, and its successor, the United Nations, 1945 to date, OR Conflict, Crisis and Change in the Middle East, 1919-1995.
At AS level students take one Document study and one Period study.
One must be British and one must be European or world history. The precise combination of topics (from the list below) will depend on the teachers who are teaching each set and, whilst the pairing of topics studied will be coherent (e.g. both modern, both early modern or both medieval), there will be no overlap in content.
- A British or European/world history outlines paper (50% of AS level). Topics are taken from British history from Pitt to Peel 1783-1846, Napoleon, France and Europe 1795-1815, Monarchy, Republic and Empire in France 1814-1870 and the USA in the 19th Century: Westwards expansion and Civil War 1803-1890 (modern), Church and State 1529-1589 and Charles V: International relations and the Holy Roman Empire 1519-1559 (early modern) and from Anglo-Saxon to Norman England 1035-1067 and the Crusades and Crusader States 1095-1192 (early modern).
- Document-based study (50% of AS level). Topics are taken from Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany 1933-63, the Origins of the American Civil War 1820-61 and the Condition of England 1815-53 (modern), the German Reformation 1517-1555 and the English Civil War 1637-60 (early modern) and the Normans in England 1066-1100 and the First Crusade and Crusader States 1073-1130 (medieval).
At A2, students take one historical theme paper and one Coursework unit. These build on what was studied at AS though, again, there is no overlap in content.
- An historical theme paper: A study of a trend or development spanning 130 years or more. Topics include the challenge of German Nationalism 1789-1919 or US Civil Rights 1865-1990 (modern), the Catholic Reformation 1492-1610 (early modern) and English Government and Church 1066-1216 (medieval).
- Coursework: This is in two parts, both based on one topic. Topics include Napoleon 1795-1815, Gladstone and Disraeli 1865-1886 and Nazi Germany 1933-45 (modern), Elizabeth I (early modern) and the Reign of Charlemagne 768-814 and Alfred the Great 871-899 (medieval). The first part of the Coursework is a 2,000 word essay based on four given passages; the second is a research-based 2,000 word investigation on an aspect of the topic chosen by the student.