A Level History

Head of History: Dr S Wallace
The study of History teaches students to be concerned with differences of historical opinion, to critically analyse human behaviour, to be able to detect bias and falsehood and to present reasoned arguments.

By teaching students to have an interest in the past, we encourage them to be creative, independent thinkers and be prepared to challenge accepted ideas – skills which are essential in the modern world.

Course content
Examination board: Edexcel

In Search of the American Dream: the USA c.1917-96
Students explore themes in modern American history which include: the changing role of the President, the quest for Civil Rights and sexual equality, the impact of popular culture and the changing quality of life.

Examination – 30% of overall grade

India, c.1914-48: the Road to Independence
Students study in depth the impact of both the First and Second World War on India as a British colony, the development of nationalism and the role of Mohandas Gandhi in India gaining independence in 1947.

Examination – 20% of overall grade

Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors:
1485-1603
In this unit students study the various rebellions during the Tudor period and the way in which these challenges were met. The unit enables the students to explore the way in which, despite a shaky start, the Tudors were able to establish their dynasty as one of the most powerful England has ever seen.

Examination – 30% of overall grade

Historical Enquiry
This is an internally-assessed personal study which will be based on an area of controversy within the America unit: historians’ views of the effectiveness of Roosevelt’s New Deal or Johnson’s Great Society.

Coursework – 20% of overall grade.

Co-curricular
The History Department provides the Sixth Form with opportunities to broaden their historical understanding and hone their leadership skills:
– Biannual trip to Washington DC which complements both the History and Government and Politics year 12 curriculum.
– Biannual trip to Berlin which complements the History and RS curriculum.
– Students in the Sixth Form have the opportunity to become History prefects and help organise and run Black History Month at Sydenham High School.

University and beyond
Studying History beyond A Level is a popular choice for our students. Employers and universities appreciate the academic rigour and the variety of transferable skills provided through the study of History. Historical skills provide a great basis for many careers but especially careers in law, teaching, journalism and politics.

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