Exam Board


Assessed by

Written examinations



Students will follow the AQA Specification, which enables students to sPicture2tudy a broader spectrum of History including; 50% British History, a thematic sweep through 1000 years and in-depth studies into Korea and Vietnam. The course will therefore provide students with an understanding of some of the key events which have shaped the country and world we live in today.


The GCSE course is interesting and always very popular, building on the skills students have developed in Key Stage 3. It is an academic subject which develops source evaluation skills and the ability to write extended answers; both of which are used extensively during the two years.



The course is assessed in two units, as follows and has no Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)


Paper 1: 

Understanding the modern world” will be studied in Year 10. 

Unit 1  

America, 1920-1973: opportunity and inequality. This period of study focuses on the development of the USA during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the 'American Dream' whilst others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination and prejudice.


Unit 2     

Conflict and tension in Asia 1950-1975. This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War in Asia, specifically the Korean and Vietnam wars, and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose.


Paper 1 is assessed in a 2-hour examination and accounts for 50% of the overall marks.


Paper 2:

Shaping the nation” will be taught in Year 11.

Unit 1  

Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day. This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain have been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It will consider the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain and evaluate their motives and achievements. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.


Unit 2     

Elizabethan England, c1568-1603. This British depth study focuses on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign - considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies. This unit also includes the study of an historical site, which is chosen by the AQA every year.


Paper 2, like Paper 1, is assessed via a 2-hour exam with 50% of the overall marks.  Both exams will be sat at the end of Year 11.

Page Documents Date  
KS4 reading list 04th Oct 2021 Download