GCSE History

GCSE History is a rewarding, but demanding course. During their two years of study, students will be expected to expand and enhance their knowledge base of a wide range of historical topics. Without this knowledge and the continual revision needed to expand it, they will FAIL the course.

Units and examinations

The History Department follows WJEC Specification Route A and the topics currently studied are:

Unit  2 – 1 hour 15 mins examination

The Elizabethan Age 1558-1603

  • Political and Social trends in Elizabethan England e.g. Privy Council; Parliament; Local Government; rich and poor; attitudes towards poverty; housing; popular entertainment; the theatre.
  • The threat from religious controversy e.g. Elizabethan Religious Settlement; the Catholic threat; Mary, Queen of Scots; the rise of the Puritans.
  • The importance of foreign and maritime affairs e.g. the expansion of maritime power; the slave trade; colonial ventures; the Spanish Armada.

Unit 1  – 1 hour 15 mins examination

Popular Movements in Wales and England 1815-1848

  • The growth of Radicalism e.g. problems in post-Napoleonic War Britain; government attitudes; protests for reform; the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ 1819.
  • The threat from industrial protest e.g. the long and short term causes of unrest; the Merthyr Rising; Dic Penderyn; Chartism; protests for the vote; the Newport ‘Rising’ 1839; the legacy of Chartism.
  • Rural Protest e.g. the ‘Swing’ Riots; causes, events and results of the Rebecca Riots.

Unit 3 – 1 hour 15 mins examination

The Development of Germany 1919-1991

  • The Development of Germany since 1919 e.g. how did Germany change during the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich and the post-war era?
  • Changes in the lives of the German people since 1919 e.g. how were the lives of the German people affected during this period?
  • Germany and the wider world since 1919 e.g. what changing role did Germany play in world affairs during the Weimar, Nazi and Cold War periods?
  • Students will sit this examination at the end of year 10.

Controlled Assessment

This is a vital component of the course and the successful completion of this element will enable students to improve their overall grade. Regulations now stipulate that the topic studied changes every year. However, we expect to be studying the importance of the following figures during the forthcoming examination cycles: 

  • Martin Luther King
  • Yasser Arafat

All controlled assessment is expected to be completed under supervised classroom conditions and will count for 25% of the final mark.

How you can help

  • Reinforce the message to your child that without regular review and revision they will FAIL the course.
  • Stress the need to write full, detailed responses.
  • Test your child regularly on their historical knowledge of the topics covered.
  • Ensure that your child is up to date with their coursework and that it is submitted on time.