The GCSE History course comprises of four periods of study as below.
What will students learn?
Britain: Health and the people: c1000 to the present day
This unit looks at how medicine changed over time, from the superstitious middle ages up to the scientific modern day. We will look at how ideas of religion and war affected medicine over time, as well as looking at specific developments within time periods. The contribution of key individuals will be assessed and compared, including Edward Jenner, Alexander Fleming, William Harvey and Louis Pasteur.
America, 1840–1895: Expansion and consolidation
This unit looks at how America changed during the turbulent 19th century, considering how America expanded into the west and consolidated the United States as a nation. Within this we will consider political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the changes America went through. This will include looking at the lifestyle of the native Americans and how this was eroded away, the development of Mormonism, the American Civil War, slavery and homesteaders.
Students study exam topics (75% of the final grade)
Medicine Through Time – learning about the ideas and beliefs of the cause and cure of illness. Did praying to ancient gods really help? Why did people think pus was a good thing? What did surgeons sometimes amputate as well as the patient’s leg when they had to work fast to minimise the pain before anaesthetics were discovered? The role of individual genius, changes in technology, war, religion and government will be assessed.
The American West – heroes and legends of the Wild West are studied such as Custer, Sitting Bull, Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill as well as the unsung heroic efforts of women. Did the reality match the myth in the way this vast land was conquered by the White Americans? Discover why the fascinating lifestyle of Native Americans (Indians), who lived in harmony with nature, was destroyed by war and disease. There are other conflicts to be understood too, including the Mormons against everyone else, cowboys fighting homesteaders, and people versus their environment.
Students will also complete a controlled assessment (25% of the final grade) on the Northern Irish Conflict.
Pupils will complete one controlled assessment task which is internally assessed. It will be on ‘Conflict In Northern Ireland’ and entail a study of recent history in Northern Ireland.
All pupils do the assessment task and take the same examination. There are no different tiers of entry in this subject.
How will students be assessed?
At the end of the two year GCSE course students will sit two exam papers.
Paper 1: Understanding the modern world
Paper 2: Shaping the nation