The GCSE course starts at the end of year 9 and currently follows the AQA Modern World (B) specification.
Students that choose to continue their historical studies should be interested in the topics mentioned below and should be keen to understand and explain why these events happened, how they altered the lives of the people at the time and how they link to our own lives today. History students should be prepared to argue, debate, analyse and explain. They should be able to see that there are different historical perspectives for most major events and be excited about exploring these. Most importantly, they should be ready to be challenged and to work hard.
The course topics are:
Exam Paper 1 ( Attempts at International Peace Keeping 1914-39))
• ‘The Causes of the First World War’
• ‘The Treaty of Versailles’ – the attempt to secure lasting peace
• ‘The League of Nations’ – why the world failed to prevent the Second World War
We look at the reasons why World War One started and what countries did afterwards to try and ensure that no world war ever happened again. Students will come to understand why living in a peaceful world is so easy to hope for, but so hard to achieve. They will look at the period leading up to the Second World War and be able to argue whether the European countries could have done more to stop the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
Exam Paper 2 ( USA Depth study 1919-41)
• ‘The USA in the 1920s’
• ‘The USA: Depression and New Deal’
• ‘The War in Vietnam’
This study looks at a period of financial chaos in American history with the boom and bust that occurred either side of the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Students will come to understand why America did so well in the 1920s and how this wealth led to massive social change in attitudes towards immigration, women, racism, alcohol and gangster-ism. They will then analyse how Americans dealt with the terrible financial crash that followed and the struggle by one leader to get America back on her feet.
We also investigate the ideas behind the Cold War, using Vietnam as an example of the battle between the forces of democracy and communism. Students will explore why guerrilla warfare tactics were so effective against the technologically more advanced American troops and why the USA couldn’t end the war successfully. Finally, we investigate the ways in which the reporting of this first televised war changed public opinion at home and whether this contributed to its end.
Controlled Assessment (Britain in the early twentieth century)
• ‘Votes for Women’
• ‘Britain in War’ – the impact of the First and Second World Wars on civilian life
• ‘Britain at War’ – a focus on the military aspects of the First and Second World Wars
Over the last couple of years we have explored two different topics for the controlled assessment. One looked at women’s suffrage and how successful the violent tactics of the Suffragettes were in achieving the vote for women. The other studied civilian life during World Wars One and Two and compared the effects on and experiences of people during the Blitz and both bombing campaigns.