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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School

History - A Level

History is a multi-faceted subject which will develop not only your knowledge and understanding of the past, but also your transferable skills. You should opt for this subject if you find it interesting, and have an appreciation for past societies and civilisations. We will support you to learn how to research effectively, analyse information to identify strengths and weaknesses, reach critical and substantiated judgements.

Course Content

Year 12

In year 12 we study two units consecutively – The Early Tudors 1485 – 1558 and Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963. We investigate the social, political, economic, religious and military situations within England during the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I, and consider the stability of the monarchy, civil unrest and whether or not there was a ‘Mid-Tudor’ Crisis by analysing primary and contemporary sources and evaluating them for their reliability and utility. You will also explore life in post-First World War Germany, and the impact of this on German citizens and politics before analysing the truth behind the era of the ‘Golden Twenties’ and the descent into World War Two. The aftermath of this and the beginnings of the Cold War through the division of Germany will also be studied.

Year 13

We dedicate Year 13 to the final examined unit of work – The Renaissance c.1400 - c.1600, to your NEA and to revision. The Renaissance course explores the origins of the movement, considering the climate in which the Renaissance evolved. It is more than just art history; we assess the political and military situations in Europe at the time, as well as conducting case studies into life in Renaissance Italy, France and the Netherlands. This unit links incredibly well with the Early Tudors Unit from Year 12, as we consider the roles the counter-parts to the English monarchy played in developing the Renaissance, as well as the impact that the Break with Rome had on religion at the time.

The Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) is a 4000 word essay, written on a topic of your choosing. Using primary sources and historians interpretations which you will research independently, this essay is marked out of 40, and worth 20% of your A-level History course.


  Exam Board: OCR

Paper 1: The Early Tudors 1485 – 1558

1 hour 30 minute written exam containing a mixture of essay and source questions

50 marks worth 25% of the A-level

Paper 2: Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany 1919-1963

1 hour written exam containing short and long essay question

30 marks worth 15% of the A-level

Paper 3: The Renaissance c.1400-c.1600

2 hour 30 minute written exam containing a mixture of essay and interpretation questions

80 marks worth 40% of the A-level

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in History, 5 in Maths and 5 in English Lit or Lang

Are you interested in: Investigating and finding things out about the past; forming your own opinions and debating ideas; challenging yourself to work hard, completing wider reading to find evidence to back up your ideas; completing a piece of work on a topic entirely of your choosing?

Leading to a career in: Archaeology, Journalism, Media, Law, Museum Curation, Politics, Teaching

This subject goes well with: Art (Art History), English, Geography, Politics

Student views

“I like history as it provides an understanding of events and figures and the impacts they had on society which I find engaging and often relevant to current situations.”