Bolton School Sixth Form Boys


Why should I study History at Bolton School? 

Above all, we hope that you will choose to study History because you really enjoy it. At A-Level, this is a subject which enables you to continue the fascinating study of people and events, causes and effects which you have enjoyed so far in your school career, combined now with opportunities for lively debate and personal research. 

Everyone who studies History at A-Level at Bolton School has the benefit of being taught by specialist teachers who are real enthusiasts in their subject.  You will be taught in small sets, which will enable you to build a close working relationship with your teacher and your peers and ensure that you never get lost in a crowd. Your teacher will get to know you well and will consequently be able to give you all the help you need during the course to fulfil your individual potential. 

The resources which we can offer you are excellent.  We have a dedicated Sixth Form teaching room – the Haselden Room – which is perfectly set up for our A-Level seminar style teaching.  For the duration of your course you will be provided with a wide range of textbooks and will have access to our well stocked topic-specific library in B20.  The Senior Library has a fantastic History section and offers a range of on-line journals and resources, most of which can be accessed from home. 

What will I be studying? 

We follow the AQA History Syllabus (7042) at A-Level.  The A-Level consists of three components, two of which are assessed by an end of course exam and the third by an individual coursework investigation. The content for the two examined units is taught across the two A-Level years and boys will start the coursework in the summer term of Year 12, for submission in the spring term of Year 13. You will study a mixture of Modern European and British History and Medieval World History, including the rise of Fascism in Italy, the political, economic and social history of 19th Century Britain and the Age of the Crusades. You can see the full specification (syllabus) on the AQA website ( 

How will I be assessed? 

You will be taught by two members of the department during each of your A-Level years.  For each unit, you will be taught about the main themes, characters and events of the periods being studied.  You will then be required to develop your knowledge further through wider reading and research.  

During the course we will assess your progress through a variety of tests, presentations and written exercises; in particular, you will need to develop the skills of A-Level essay writing.  The units that require document skills will at first seem quite familiar from GCSE but will require rather more in depth analysis. 

Desirable requirements

Because the skills required at A-Level build upon foundations laid in Years 10 and 11, you are unlikely to do well at A-Level without at least a Grade A at GCSE.  A good grade in English is also very useful.  

Beyond the classroom 

As a Sixth Form historian, you will be given the opportunity to join the editorial board of the Sixth Form History magazine, The HistOracle, which has won the Historical Association Award for best school history magazine in the country for six out of the last seven years.  All Year 12 boys are asked to contribute articles to this publication and a number of boys have had their articles printed in national publications and have won national awards. You will also have the opportunity to listen to visiting speakers and to enter your work into national History Essay competitions. We hope also to offer a number of trips during the two year course to bring aspects of the syllabus to life – details of these will be advertised when the course begins.   

Where will it lead?

It is widely recognised that the subject develops and hones your skills of judgement, literacy, research and analysis; these are skills that are in high demand in a rapidly changing economy and in many different fields. Although sometimes described as a non-vocational subject, History actually opens up a great number of professional opportunities rather than narrows them.