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The Curriculum at Key Stage 3:

In years 7 and 8, History is about creating a fascination in the world in which we live and finding out about how our ancestors once lived in the past.

Our very first topic in year 7 is called 'The Norman Conquest of Wales', and gives students an understanding of what Britain was like during Medieval times and how William Duke of Normandy’s invasion of our country changed the way Wales and England were ruled. Throughout the 2 years we study a range of topics across the different time periods from Medieval times to Industrial Britain through to the twentieth Century. In Year 8 we will be looking at events in the C20th that “shook the world” such as the events of 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to name just a few.

Incorporated into these are key skills which are vital for students within History and for their future. These include knowledge and understanding, chronology, source enquiry, interpretation and organisation and communication skills.

The Curriculum at Key Stage 4:

We study the WJEC GCSE specification.

Pupils will develop an understanding of the events of the twentieth century; the ability to understand different points of view; an ability to discuss and argue; an ability to think clearly and logically and an interest in individual research. GCSE History is unitised and there are 4 units in total:

Unit 1

Study in Depth 25%

Depression, war and recovery in Wales and England, 1930-1951

  • The impact of the Depression Years
  • The impact of War on life on the Home Front – The Blitz, evacuation etc.
  • Political, social and economic developments in post – War England and Wales.

Pupils will be examined on these in paper 1 which you will sit in year 10 and the exam will be 1 hour. 

Unit 2

Study in Depth 25%

The USA: A nation of contrasts, 1910-1929

This option focuses in depth on issues relating to the history of the USA between 1910 and 1929. Candidates will consider the main problems and challenges facing American society during the period, the major economic problems and the development of American culture and society including the following:

  • Immigration into the USA
  • Race and religion
  • Crime and corruption
  • Economic prosperity in the 1920s
  • ‘The Crash’ and depression years
  • Popular entertainment
  • The changing role of women.

Pupils will be examined on this in Paper 2 which you will sit at the end of year 10. The exam will be 1 hour.

Unit 3

Thematic Study 30%

CHANGES IN CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, c.1500 to the present day

This option focuses thematically on the main trends in the history of crime and punishment in Britain from c.1500 to the present day. 

Learners will be required to consider:

  • the causes and types of crime,
  • law enforcement,
  • combating and punishment of crime
  • changing attitudes towards crime and punishment over time. 
  • Learners will also be required to examine the major political, social, economic and cultural perspectives.

Pupils will be examined on this in Paper 3, which you will sit at the end of year 11.

The exam will be 1 hour and 15 mins.

Unit 4

Working as an historian: non-examination assessment (NEA) Nazi Germany, 1929 – 1939


One assignment with two parts: 

(a) How useful and reliable are these sources in showing how Hitler gained support in Germany by 1933?

(b) Some historians argue that life up to 1939 Hitler’s government improved the lives of the German people. How valid is this interpretation of life in Nazi Germany? 

The actual assignment must be completed under teacher supervision. Internally controlled assessment.

Examinations – 75%

Three written papers:  Unit 1 – 1 hour, Unit 2 – 1 hour, Unit 3 – 1hour 15 mins

Questions vary from 1 sentence answers to paragraph answers. GCSE History is modular and there will be opportunities to sit unit 1 and 2 at the end of Year 10. Our exam results are always excellent!

Tips for success at GCSE:

1. Start making your ‘revision tools’ in preparation for your final exams ASAP, eg. ‘Mind Maps’ or ‘Structured overviews’

2. Practise as many past paper questions as possible and hand them in to Mrs D’Amato or Miss Williams for marking and feedback.

3. Learn and practise applying the correct exam techniques for each question as these will get you extra vital marks!

4. Make revision fun – Can you make up a song, a pneumonic or an anagram for your topic to help you remember all the information you need for each essay question?

Useful websites, Podcasts and Youtube channels for revision

  • GCSE Pod
  • GCSE Bitesize
  • Simple History clips on Youtube
  • Mr Green History clips on Youtube
  • Mr Allsop History clips on Youtube
  • 10 minute History videos on Youtube on History Matters
  • Teacher Talks - Roaring Twenties - Watch, Revise, Repeat on Youtube

Important dates for the calendar

(A) Year 10 and 11 GCSE History Exam Unit 1: Depression War and Recovery in Wales and England, 1930-1951– Monday 3rd June 2019

(B) Year 10 GCSE History Exam Unit 2: USA: A nation of contrasts-1910-1929 – Thursday 6th June 2019

(C) Year 11 GCSE History exam Unit 3: Changes in Crime and punishment from 1500 to the present day– Tuesday 11th June 2019

(D) Year 8 trip to Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit – 1st May 2019 (E) Year 10 and Year 11 tour to New York City and Washington DC – 5th April 2020

Subject Enrichment

We run a range of field trips giving students the opportunity to see what we’re learning outside the classroom.

Goodrich Castle – year 7 visit 

Big Pit and Blaenavon Ironworks – Year 8 visit 

Morfa Bay reconstructed trenches of World War One – Year 9 visit.

USA Visit – New York and Washington for our GCSE History pupils.

Year 9 and Year 10 pupils have been given the opportunity to be a part of our upcoming tour of the USA. GCSE History and Art pupils will take off for New York on 5th April for a 7 day tour of some of the most famous landmarks of America, such as the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Wall St and the 9-11 memorial that they have studied about as part of their GCSE course on the developments of America. We will then move on to the capital Washington DC via Philadelphia where we will visit the Liberty Bell and the ‘Rocky Steps’. Our itinerary in Washington includes visiting the Capitol building, Arlington Cemetery, the Vietnam memorials and the White House, to name just a few! This is a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to actually see and experience the places they have been learning about first hand and an opportunity that will certainly enrich their learning experiences as we literally ‘bring History to life’ and make memories that no doubt will stay with them a lifetime!