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History GCSE

Subject: History

History is about people and people are complex, fascinating and a whole lot of other things besides. That is why history is probably the most comprehensive and certainly one of the most intriguing subjects there is!

What do students learn at KS4?

The curriculum at KS4 encourages students’ interest in and enthusiasm for history. Over the two years students will have the opportunity to study a range of historical periods. Through the interrogation of sources and analysis of interpretation students will be able to reach well- substantiated judgements and draw links and comparisons with historical events and current affairs.

Over the course of KS4 students will study

  • The Elizabethan Age, 1558 – 1603 – A depth study that allows students to understand how life in England changed during the reign of Elizabeth I. Students will look at the key features of the Elizabethan ‘golden age’ including the Religious Settlement, the development of legislation to tackle poverty and the causes and consequences of the Spanish Armada.
  • Germany in Transition, 1919 – 1939 – A depth study that considers the climate in Germany, following its defeat in the First World War, that created political instability and allowed for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Students will look at how the Nazis influenced life in 1930s Germany and paved the way to the outbreak of the Second World War.
  • The Development of the USA, 1929 – 2000 – A breath study that looks at how the USA developed economically, politically and socially emerging as the world’s super power. Students look at a range of significant events including the Great Depression, Cold War, Civil Rights movement.
  • Health and Medicine in Britain, c.500 to present day – A thematic study that is focused on change and continuity over time. Students study how medical knowledge developed through time periods, considering a range of themes such as treatments, prevention and public health.

How will students receive feedback?

At Paddington, all students will receive regular feedback from formative assessment tasks. Within the curriculum, specific tasks are allocated for feedback. This ensures all students gain regular feedback. Teachers will mark student work and provide targeted feedback that enables students to improve their work and make progress. To support student understanding, teachers plan high-quality re-teach time to prepare students for their feedback. Across each term, students will receive feedback from multiple tasks.

What examinations / assessments do students have at the end of KS4?

Exam board: Eduqas

Students will sit two exams at the end of Year 11. These exams are made up of four papers:

Paper 1 (2 hours)

  • The Elizabethan Age – 5 questions (1 hour)
  • Germany in Transition – 5 questions (1 hour)

 Paper 2 (2 hours)

  • The Development of the USA – 5 question (45 mins)
  • Health and Medicine – 7 questions (1hour 45 mins)

What resources can be used to support learning?

  • There are curriculum books for Year 10 and Year 11. These books contain all the knowledge that will be covered in lessons.
  • Students in KS4 have a carefully selected revision guide that covers the content of the course and provides a set of exam question.
  • The 100% books contain the knowledge organisers with core knowledge for each cycle. Students can use this to revise key information through self-quizzing. 
  • BBC Bitesize has revision resources that support the GCSE History course. 


GCSE History Overview


History GCSE Option Video



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