History

History is a popular subject at Blenheim. Each year over 100 pupils sit the GCSE exam and we have two groups studying History at A-level. Many of our students make excellent progress in History, with over 1/3 of students gaining A*-A grades at GCSE and we have seen many of our A-level students leave to study at Oxbridge.

Our aim in the History department is for students to make excellent progress, enabling them to learn from the mistakes of the past and to develop into questioning, curious, imaginative, informed members of a democratic society.

 

 

 

A level History

Course Details

A level History comprises of four units of study. Students will explore the following topic areas:

  • Italian Unification (1789-1896) - Students will seek out answers to questions such as ‘why did the revolutions in Italy 1848-49 fail to unite Italy?’ and ‘how important were the role of individuals to the Italian Unification? This unit will develop extended writing skills.
  • British period studies (1930-1997) - This module will develop both extended writing skills and skills of historical enquiry. This unit explores questions such as: How well did Churchill handle the Second World War? What was Churchill’s relationship like with other wartime leaders? What was post-war Britain like?  This unit also encompasses the study of the Thatcher years and British politics up to the Blair years in 1997.
  • The Challenge of German Nationalism (1789-1919) - This module will develop skills of writing thematic themed essays, focusing on making links and comparisons between different time periods. This unit explores issues such as how a unified Germany developed a sense of nationalism and the key people and events which contributed towards this.
Coursework - This is an independent investigation of an historical issue.  Students may be able to choose a particular area of history which complements their exam units or is of a particular personal interest to them. 
Link to course specification

Assessment

Students will be assessed by 80% examination and 20% coursework.

Enrichment opportunities

You will have the opportunity to attend an A level lecture day about modern British History and hear top university lecturers and experts in their field speak about the topics you have studied. You will also get the opportunity to visit the Churchill war rooms in London. In addition, History students in the past have teamed up with the Philosophy department and visited Rome which is an excellent link to your studies on the Italian Unification.

Student quotes

“History at sixth form is different to GCSE. You have lots of opportunities to present your ideas in class debates and discussions. The topics are interesting, and you learn to develop your ideas and arguments about these fascinating topics.”

“A level History is really interesting, we have learnt things that have helped contribute to my general knowledge and everyday life. It’s more than just learning about what happened in the past.” 

Progression

History is a well-respected A level choice for any course at university. Past Blenheim history students have gone on to study degree courses such as History, Law, History and Philosophy, Criminology and English… but the possibilities of what the subject will lead on to are endless!

With an A level in History you can make many career choices; law, accountancy, management consultancy, teaching, the Civil Service, PR, journalism and the media often look favorably on Historians because they will have developed sharp, critical minds and are able to analyse material quickly and intelligently.