Modern History is a pleasurable subject to learn, and is ideal for anyone keen to understand some of the major events and developments which have dominated the world. It will be of interest to anyone who likes to think critically about the way in which our lives have been shaped, who are keen to express their own opinions, and who are ready to argue in favour of their own interpretation of events. It will also be of interest to anyone who is enthusiastic to develop their skills of analysis and critical thinking. History is a subject that inspires debate—indeed, historians never cease to learn through active participation. History perfectly complements a range of other subjects— especially in the Humanities, and is a recognised facilitating subject for a wide range of undergraduate programmes of study.
The A Level History programme here at Wyke comprises of three taught modules, with an independently-researched coursework component to be undertaken in the second year of study. In this programme, students will study the following fascinating history:
THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
All History students are issued with a substantial body of learning resources including books, articles, PowerPoints, maps, printed notes, study guides, progress trackers, historical sources, essay plans and revision exercises. Additional learning materials, together with supplementary learning resources, are available for students to access on the College intranet.
The Department also has a substantial library of History books for students to use. Members of the History staff team provide additional support for those students who need further guidance regarding their written work, and more generally for students who wish to discuss issues arising from the topics which they have been studying.
COURSE DETAILS FOR YEAR 1 (50% OF A LEVEL)
PAPER 1 – BREADTH STUDY WITH INTERPRETATIONS
The search of the American Dream: The USA 1917-1996
You will learn about the dramatic political, economic and social transformation of the USA in the twentieth century, an era that saw the USA challenged by the consequences of political, economic and social inequalities at home and of its involvement in international conflict.
PAPER 1 ASSESSMENT (30%)
2 hour 15 minute examination comprising of two essay questions and one interpretation question.
PAPER 2 – DEPTH STUDY
India 1914-1948: Road to Independence
In this topic, you will complete an in depth study of the transition of the Indian sub-continent from a colony to independence. The gaining of Indian independence influenced both the nature of civil rights campaigning and the search for national self-determination throughout the world. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the changing relationship between Britain and India from the outbreak of the First World War to the achievement of independence for the Indian sub-continent, and of the reasons for this, with particular reference to Indian nationalism.
PAPER 2 ASSESSMENT (20%)
1 hour 30 minute examination comprising of one source question and one essay question.
COURSE DETAILS FOR YEAR 2 (50% OF A LEVEL)
PAPER 3 – STUDIES IN BREADTH AND DEPTH
British Experience of Warfare: 1790-1918
This topic comprises of two parts: the aspects in breadth focus on long-term changes and contextualise the aspects in depth, which focus in detail on key episodes. Together, the breadth and depth topics will allow you to explore the British experience of war in different aspects of major overseas conflicts and the changing relationship between the state and the people as the government attempted to create an effective fighting machine and prepare the people for war.
Within the primarily military focus on the experience of warfare, you will have the opportunity to explore its political, social and economic dimensions and their part in generating pressure for change.
PAPER 3 ASSESSMENT (30%)
2 hour 15 minute examination comprising of one source question and two essay questions.
COURSEWORK– INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
Enquiry into historical interpretations:
- Origins of the First World War
- Female Suffrage
- Russian Revolution
- Battle of Trafalgar
COURSEWORK– ASSESSMENT (20%)
3000-4000 word essay.
A Level History is taught as a ‘linear’ course, which means that the course runs for two years with the final assessment/exams taking place at the end of the two years of study. If you choose to study history here at Wyke, you will be expected to study inside and outside of college to ensure your success on the course.
HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED?
Each History class takes place in a dedicated History classroom, with the resources appropriate to the course immediately to hand. Teaching and learning combine presentations, discussions, and debates, skills lessons including essay writing skills, source analysis, exam techniques, research skills, and teamwork activities. At Wyke we encourage you to complete independent learning and critical thinking, and so to be actively involved at all times, and to undertake plenty of reading. Striving toward 100% attendance is also crucial to success in A Level History.
This year, the History Department will be taking History students to various places of international historic importance, including Washington, Auschwitz, and Belgium Battlefield Tours. The History department also runs Master Classes for students with a passion for History, and for those who have high ambitions in the subject. The History department is also keen to invite university lecturers in History to come to Wyke to talk to our History students, thereby giving them a taste of studying History at university.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE LEAD TO?
Understanding History is a superb asset for if wish to progress to study at university, no matter what the subject — History, Law, Politics, Philosophy, Sociology, Heritage Studies, Languages, Classics, American Studies, Economics, English Literature, and so on. History here at Wyke is so much more than just knowledge of the past: it provides you with training in analytical thinking, and develops a variety of transferable skills which are highly relevant to your future employment. Industry and commerce seek critical thinkers, who can absorb lots of information, ask critical questions of the data, and formulate their own logical conclusions. These industries seek people who can analyse problems, research and interpret information, present reports that consider different options and varying points of view, communicate clearly, and use their powers of persuasion to argue in favour of a particular decision or policy. All these skills are acquired through the study of History here at Wyke.
The study of History is therefore ideal if you are intending to pursue a career in, for example, journalism, broadcasting, the law, the police force, the civil service, local government, politics, marketing, and the heritage and leisure and tourism industries, and publishing. It is also highly appropriate if you are intending to pursue business or managerial careers in manufacturing industry and commerce as a whole.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME FOR THE COURSE?
Choose a prominent figure or event from the last 200 years who you find interesting — perhaps Admiral Nelson, Lord Wellington, Otto von Bismarck, General Haig, David Lloyd George, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt, Mao Tse Tung, John F. Kennedy, the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, the Second World War, the Civil Rights Movement and so on — and then try to research your chosen subject. Consider what it was that made them so important, powerful or influential. Rather than merely relying on Google or Wikipedia, go to the central library and find a biography of your chosen figure, and dip into the book to find out more about their personality, beliefs and attitudes. Consider their achievements in the context of the difficulties of the period. Possessing more detailed knowledge of such an individual or event will provide you with a useful analytical perspective to help with your future studies of History.
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