To stimulate interest in this ‘never-ending’ subject; to increase understanding and knowledge, not only of historical events, their causes and consequences but also of human behaviour, past and present; to develop the many general and specialist skills of the historian. In brief, our aim is to make the study of history interesting and rewarding.
What will I study?
All girls will complete the AS and A2 examinations.
We will cover two main areas of history. The first is a breadth study of the Stuart period. You will learn how, between 1603 and 1702, successive monarchs faced a reduction in their power with the rise of the English parliament. We will look at the English Civil War, the execution of Charles I, the regime of Oliver Cromwell and the restoration of the monarchy. The second area of History is a study in depth; we shall consider the divisions that existed in the USA between 1845 and 1877. There will be significant attention paid to the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
In Year 13 you will complete a Historical Investigation which is a personal study based on a topic of your choice.
How will I be assessed?
At AS, you will complete an exam on each of the two areas of History; however, the content will cover roughly half of the chronological range required for the full A-level.
At A2, you will complete two examinations (Unit 1: Breadth Study, 40% of A-level and Unit 2: Depth Study, 40% of A-level) and submit a Historical Investigation of roughly 3000-3500 words (worth 20% of A-level).
Students who take Advanced Level History will have a love of the subject and should enjoy thinking, questioning, reading and discussing. The course requires an ability to write clearly and concisely, and present reasoned arguments. An interest in people is important, since history is a subject where the study of human beings is central.
How will I study?
You will be working both independently and in groups. Each group is taught by two members of the department. In class there will be some formal teaching, lots of opportunity for discussion, and use of written sources and audio-visual materials. Homework will be related to and extend work done in class.
A willingness to undertake thorough background reading and research is essential for class discussion, essay writing and the personal study.
There will be opportunities to attend lectures in and out of school, visit places of historical interest both in this country and abroad, and to enjoy a visit to the cinema or theatre when the subject is related to our History course. We often arrange trips abroad, particularly to the USA, to enhance knowledge and enjoyment of the subject.
Where will it lead?
That is up to you. The answer to the question “What can I do with History?” is “virtually anything”. The attitudes and skills acquired by the historian are attractive to most employers, and history students enter a wide range of professions, especially Law, Administration, Management, Journalism, the Media and Broadcasting, Museums, Archive and Library work, to name but a few.
“At A Level, I have chosen to study French, Religious Studies, English Literature and History. In History, I am particularly enjoying the topic of the American Civil War and, also, find that my subjects fit well together. The essays at A Level are much longer with a greater depth of study needed, but this makes the subject more interesting. History develops good analytical skills for looking at sources, as well as essay-writing abilities, which is also extremely useful for a wide range of subjects. I believe that the skills I am learning in History will be helpful for my chosen course in Philosophy at University.”