What is the most important thing you ever study? People. History is about people: what they do and why, how others react to them and how their actions impact upon others. It’s about how they communicate their ideas and how that brings about a reaction; it’s about how we understand the ideas of others. In the end, it’s about how we – as individuals, as a country and as a species – have got to where we are now. History can only attempt to reconstruct the parts of the past – but some interesting and important parts!
Component 1- Breadth Study: The Tudors-1485-1603
In 1485 England was rocked by internal conflict from the Wars of the Roses-decades of competition and betrayal. Henry VII had just won the crown through conquest and embarking on his attempt to secure a Tudor Dynasty. His reign was to be littered with rebellions and his continual attempt to secure his throne. His success enabled the beginning of one of, arguably, the most famous English dynasties-the Age of the Tudors. The Tudors oversaw dramatic social and economic changes; including the Break from Rome, the growth of Humanism and drastic population growth. Despite all of these changes the authority of the monarch survived-you will investigate how this was possible. The Tudors also saw the reign of two Queens, including Elizabeth and her ‘Golden Age’, you will investigate how this was possible within a patriarchal society. Other significant questions we will investigate are: To what extent do the Tudors deserve their glowing reputation? How did England operate on an international stage? Was Thomas More correct that the Tudor Age was the Age of ‘sheep eating men’?
Component 2 – Depth Study: Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945
Pupils will trace the journey of Germany from a vibrant and cultural Democracy post WWI and how this was dismantled by Hitler as he established his Nazi Dictatorship through to World War II and the creation of the infamous Death Camps. We will explore the political spectrum, notions of nationalism and liberalism as well as ideological Concepts such as racialism, anti-Semitism and Social Darwinism. What could drive German soldiers to murder 7 million Jews? Are all Germans responsible for the holocaust? This course also encourages reflection on how Governments work and the problems we encounter as individuals when faced with hatred and oppression which is so relevant to the political climate in the world today. How far can humanity go when faced with economic and social unrest? This course will show us.
Historical Enquiry: Pupils will launch their own in-depth historical enquiry based an in-depth analysis of the French Revolution and its causes. Great enlightenment thinkers, economic downturn, American War of Independence and the decisions made by significant individuals will all be considered and debated! This unit is student centred – good preparation for university, degree level work. It will involve study through use of primary and secondary texts alongside an in depth appreciation of historiography and will require the writing of an extended essay.
Component 1: Stuart Britain – written exam at the end of Year Thirteen. 40% of A Level.
Component 2: Germany, 1918–1945 – written exam at the end of Year Thirteen. 40% of A Level.
Historical Investigation: Coursework - 3000-3500 words: marked by teachers & moderated by AQA. 20% of A Level
Level 6 or higher in GCSE History is recommended. Although it is not ideal, if you have not studied History at GCSE, and achieve a level 7 or higher in English GCSE you are welcome to discuss taking History A Level with the subject leader.
All applications to Gravesend Grammar School Sixth Form must be made directly via our website. Our sixth form information evening is on Wednesday 13th January at 7pm, applications open on Thursday 14th January.
History at A level will gain you entry into most general degree courses. The subject is highly regarded by university admissions tutors as a strong academic option. Skills of recall, critical reading, research and balanced argument are sought in many disciplines, so History widens your options, rather than narrowing them. Many skills required for a whole range of future leadership roles within both the public and private sector are honed within the study of history.