History Curriculum

GCSE Courses from September 2014

From September 2014, Brentwood School History has offered the IGCSE programme. The course offers excellent preparation for both IB Diploma and A Level courses and is an interesting and exciting programme for students to study.  The course offered is entirely twentieth century based and offers students a real understanding of how the world developed up until 2000.  It builds upon work completed in the Third Year course but does not repeat material already studied. The courses offered are:

Paper 1 (50%)

  • Examined unit 1 hour 30 minutes
  • International relation between the wars; 1919-1939
  • The early Cold War; 1945-1962

Paper 2 (50%)

  • Examined unit 1 hour 30 minutes
  • America in the 1920s
  • International organisations – the League and the UN; 1919-2000

Both units are examined in May of students’ Fifth Form.

IB History (Higher & Standard Level)

Content
Two papers are studied during the course of two years:

  • A study of the Cold War and the Origins and Developments of Single-Party States, including Mao (China), Castro (Cuba) and Hitler (Germany)
  • A study of civil rights which covers the development of Apartheid in South Africa and civil rights in the USA between 1954 and 1965.
  • (HL Only) A study of aspects of the Americas, allowing for in-depth study of Twentieth Century United States.

How the course is taught
Each course is normally taught by two subject teachers. A heavy emphasis is placed on student participation, presentation, research and independent learning. The School Library is well resourced for all courses. Further learning resources are available through the History Department Virtual Learning Environment.  Students are supervised through the process of completing their Internal Assessment.

Expectations/Homework
Subject teachers set tasks according to an agreed work programme which helps students to manage their time. All students are expected to engage fully in lessons, keep up-to-date and to read and research widely in order to support their independent learning. IB students are expected to be resourceful and committed to intellectual enquiry. 

The Extended Essay
Higher Level pupils may wish to consider History as the focus for their Extended Essay, particularly if they intend to study History or a closely related discipline at university. Students are free to select any topic that lends itself to an enquiry focus, requires assessment of conflicting evidence and has a holistic worth. The essay must be completed within 4000 words. Up to five hours of staff supervision are available to assist with the planning, research and execution of the Extended Essay. 

Preparatory Work
It is recommended that all students read an introductory text to familiarise themselves with the periods of study before they embark on the course. 

A Level History

Content:
AQA A Level History consists of three units of study:

  • Unit 1 (A Breadth Study covering approximately 130 years) 40% of A Level
  • Unit 2 (A Depth Study covering approximately 60 years) 40% of A Level
  • Unit 3 Historical Enquiry 20% of A Level.

How the course is taught
Each course is normally taught by two subject teachers. A heavy emphasis is placed on student participation, presentation, research and independent learning. The School Library is well resourced for all courses. Further learning resources are available through the History Department Virtual Learning Environment.   

Expectations/Homework
Subject teachers set tasks according to an agreed work programme which helps students to manage their time. All students are expected to engage fully in lessons, keep up-to-date and to read and research widely in order to support their independent learning.

Preparatory Work
It is recommended that all students read an introductory text to familiarise themselves with the periods of study before they embark upon the course.  All students complete summer work before entering the Lower Sixth and this provides them with an excellent introduction to the topics that we study at A Level.