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GCSE History

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our History curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in History for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Mrs Robertson if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Please click here to view a copy of the History curriculum map.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

Students are taught in mixed ability groups and receive five one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in this subject will have an interest in how society, politics and the economy has changed over time and will be comfortable with analysing different interpretations of the past. Successful students will also have the ability to form rational arguments, supported with evidence, whilst they will also be able to write at length.

What are the key concepts students will study at this level?

  • Understanding of the key features and characteristics of the past
  • Analysing historical events and periods
  • Using sources to make judgements
  • Evaluating interpretations and explaining the differences and the reasons for these

What will students learn at this level?

Paper One:

USA: Opportunity and Inequality 1920-1973:

  1. American People and the Boom
  2. Bust – Americans’ experiences of the Depression and New Deal
  3. Post-War America

Conflict and Tension: The Inter-War Years, 1918-1939:

  1. Peacemaking
  2. The League of Nations and International Peace
  3. The Origins and Outbreak of the Second World War


Paper Two:

Elizabethan England c. 1568-1603

  1. Elizabeth’s Court and Parliament
  2. Life in Elizabethan Times
  3. Troubles at Home and Abroad

Health and the People c. 1000-Present Day

  1. Medicine Stands Still
  2. The Beginnings of Change
  3. A revolution in Medicine
  4. Modern Medicine

What skills will students develop at this level?

  • Analytical and evaluative skills
  • Literacy, communication and essay-writing skills
  • Source analysis skills
  • Interpretation skills

How will students learn at this level?

  • Collaborative work with peers
  • Flipped learning where you are responsible for preparing in advance of lessons
  • Reading and note taking
  • Using the internet to support your learning, particularly Quizlet
  • Recall and retention – quick quizzes and inter-leaving previous topics

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

All topics are assessed at the end of Year 11, through two exams, each lasting 2 hours.

USA and Conflict and Tension make up Paper One, whilst Elizabeth and Health make up Paper Two.

There are a variety of question types across the two papers, with questions worth from 4 to 20 marks.

When do key assessments take place?

Formal assessments will be at the end of Y11. There are mock exams for all subjects in the Summer term of Y10 and the Autumn/Spring term of Y11.

In-class assessment will run as follows:

USA: Sept-Jan Y10

Health: Jan-July Y10

Elizabeth: Sept-Jan Y11

Conflict and Tension: Jan-May Y11

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • Encourage your child to re-visit their classwork at home and help them test their understanding of that information – e.g through quizzing them on key names/dates/events
  • Encourage your child to watch relevant programmes about our topics on TV/online – there are lots of programmes on BBC iPlayer as well as Youtube.
  • Encourage your child to access information on the internet as a way of enriching and consolidating their knowledge – e.g through using the BBC Bitesize website.
  • Encourage your child to spend quality time on their homework; the course is incredibly detailed and HW is essential.
  • Purchase revision guides that can be used at home and support your child in actively engaging with them – e.g completing some of the activities together
  • Check the quality of the work in your child’s exercise book and encourage them to make improvements where possible. 

What equipment do students need for this subject?

Essential basic equipment – pen, pencil, ruler, exercise book etc.

Textbooks for in-class activities

Access to SMHW

Access to Quizlet

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • English and other Humanities subjects: Literacy and communication
  • Science: Developments in medicine,  healthcare and scientific understanding

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

Exam board information - https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/history/gcse/history-8145/subject-content/understanding-the-modern-world

KTS GCSE History Quizlet classroom - https://quizlet.com/join/vbD3ZU3HF

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

Y10: Battlefields Trip May half term

Y11: Breakfast Club is available

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

History can lead to a hugely wide range of careers:

  • Law
  • Teaching
  • Museums and art gallery curatorship
  • Research
  • Finance
  • Politics
  • Media and marketing
  • Public relations
  • International relations
  • Journalism

The most traditional route into many of these careers is to undertake a History degree at university, before doing a conversion or post-graduate qualification in a slightly different discipline (a law conversion or a PGCE for example). Having completed a History degree also opens opportunities for accessing internships in areas such as marketing, public relations or journalism

What does student work look like in this subject at this level?

Student work takes a range of forms in GCSE History. Class notes vary hugely in format, from mindmaps, to bullet points, to tables and diagrams and so on. Students are required to regularly self-assess and “audit” their work, to ensure that it is completed to a good standard and includes all of the detail that they need. Students will also regularly complete practice exam questions which will always be completed on templates that include a mark scheme and a bank of feedback comments.

Please follow this link to see examples of exam papers GCSE History assessment resources

How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?

As a subject, History provides students with regular opportunities to make links between their learning across different subjects. History allows students to connect their learning about the past with developments and events in the present day, whilst the range of topics covered allows students to take in economic, social, political and religious history across a vast time period, going from the ancient Romans and Greeks up to the present day. Students study a combination of British and wider world History, ensuring that a range of experiences are covered. In terms of developing core skills, History students will regularly utilise and hone their analytical and evaluative skills, through exploring different interpretations of the past and building their contextual knowledge to reach their own judgements and conclusions. Students also regularly complete longer pieces of writing, giving them opportunities to develop essay-writing skills and develop their use of subject specific key terms, whilst also practicing their general spelling, grammar and punctuation. 

How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?

History at KTS includes a range of activities aimed at getting students to utilise their creativity to help them to learn a vast amount of contextual knowledge; students are regularly given a choice of how to complete tasks and record notes, allowing them to create their own resources, whilst students are regularly given opportunities to work collaboratively and create responses as a group. Critical thinking is integral to GCSE History and analytical and evaluative skills are central to answering the exam questions fully. In terms of resilience, students are routinely expected to complete difficult tasks and all students are encouraged to be aspirational and ambitious. As we cover such a huge range of history, from the ancient period to the modern day, students are regularly required to make links between different developments and time periods; for example, when studying Elizabethan England and the technological advances, students make links with their study of Health and the People c. 1000-Present Day.

How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?

Students cover a huge range of History as part of their GCSE, allowing them to explore a massive range of different topics and developments across a thousand years, allowing them to study a huge array of changes and developments over time. For example, students go from studying feminist movements in America in the 1960s to the discovery of what germs were in the 1860s. As part of GCSE History, students are able to dip into the social, religious, political, cultural and economic changes over time. Students also have the opportunity to take part in a trip to the Battlefields of Belgium and France, enriching their understanding of the Conflict and Tension 1918-1939 course. Whilst the trip is not directly relevant to any exam content, it does give students the chance to appreciate the scale of the damage and destruction caused by WW1 and why this made the major powers so desperate to avoid WW2, which is a central part of the Conflict and Tension course.