History at Key Stage 4 – GCSE

After you’ve fallen in love with History at key stage 3, it make logical sense to continue the affair further up the school! Peruse at the magnificence of our Key Stage 4 curriculum below!
The course covers a broad chronology of British, European and world history through the 20th century. From the impact of the Great War on the people of Britain through the rise and fall of Hitler and the Nazi regime to a world teetering on the brink of nuclear warfare, the History course examines human action on an individual and mass level, revealing positive and negative lessons the past has to offer us today.

• Unit 1: International Relations – The Cold War 1943-1991
• Unit 2: Germany 1918-45
• Unit 3: War and the transformation of British society c.1903-1928
• Unit 4: Controlled Assessment

Year 10

The GCSE course revolves around the skills students have been preparing for since their time with us at St Crispin’s – Causation, interpretation, source evaluation, change and continuity and significance are all covered.

The source based paper in our year 10 curriculum focuses on the changing face of early 20th century British history. The struggle fir suffrage, the establishment of the welfare state and the rise of trade unions feature. Students also engage in the Great War itself – its course and how Britain as a country was able to survive it.

The knowledge based papers cover the disaster, recovery, ruin and rise that Germany faced after the end of the First World War. Students consider why and how Hitler was able to seize control and establish the grounds of a dictatorship capable of committing the most unspeakable of crimes. Students finish the course analysing the origin of the Cold War – a conflict that would shape the future of post-World War Two global affairs.



Year 11

Students continue to develop skills in preparation for their final exams. The issue of how representations of history have been created is dealt with in the Controlled Assessment element of the course.

The Controlled Assessment centres on the causes, impact and consequences of the Vietnam War. Students also complete their examination if the Cold War, analysing the causes of the ‘Flashpoints’ of the Cold War – Berlin; the Cuban Missile Crisis and Czechoslovakia. We finish by examining the reasons for the conflicts end – including the Afghan conflict, the disaster of Chernobyl and the fall of the Berlin Wall.



Exam Board:

  • EDEXCEL SPEC A (Modern World)


  • A Controlled Assessment (coursework making up 25% of the total mark)
  • Three 1hr 15minute examinations (25% each of the total mark)
  • The examinations involve answering structured questions and analysing primary and secondary sources.


Enrichment Opportunities

In the autumn term of year 11, we take the British Tommies First World War advice and head to Berlin! 2 full days of touring for what we believe is one of the historical capitals in the world – make the study of unit 2a come to life! The Reichstag, Saschenaussen and the Olympic Stadium combine to make one of the most powerful educational experiences we can think of!
Alongside this, we run History Film Club termly to engage in academic debate about discourses in History, using historical fiction and academic literature alongside filmatic representations of History, titles include ‘Can warfare ever truly be represented on the screen’ using Rpbert Leckie’s ‘Helmet for my Pillow’ and ‘How effective are works of fiction and film at exposing different discourses about everyday life’ by studying Kathyrn Stockett’s ‘The Help’.