GCSE History

Why study GCSE History

Studying GCSE History helps us make sense of the world we live in now by revealing how the events and developments of the past have influenced and shaped society, politics, economics and culture.

The huge range of skills you learn studying GCSE History – being able to critically analyse information, sifting out what is truly important and drawing conclusions from your research – are highly transferable and will assist you in many aspects of your life, both academically and personally.

History is a very highly regarded subject and excellent foundation for many degree courses.

GCSE History at Ashbourne

Ashbourne’s GCSE History students travel back more than 800 years, from the signing of the Magna Carter to Elizabethan England and end up with the Second World World, exploring how the events, people and ideas of the past that have shaped our world today.

You will use your detective skills to analyse, evaluate and interpret a wide range of sources so you can build a picture of the past and debate the issues from differing views.

We encourage you to take advantage of the fantastic selection of exhibitions and events taking place in London, as well as the historic buildings, to help you contextualise your studies and get a taster of what life might have been like in the past.

You will also receive plenty of individual help in the class and extensive exam technique practice.

Which syllabus do we follow?
Ashbourne follows the AQA specification for GCSE History.

Who teaches this course?
Joanna Budden
BA History (Leeds); PGCE (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Joanna has been teaching History at Ashbourne for many years and is also an examiner for the Edexcel exam board. She is a keen traveller and loves the great outdoors.

What is covered in this course?

Understanding the modern world: Russia, 1894–1945: Tsardom and communism (period study) and Conflict and tension: The inter-war years, 1918–1939 (wider world depth study).

Shaping the nation: Britain, Power and the people c1170 to the present day (thematic study) and Elizabethan England, c1568–1603 (British depth study).

Understanding the modern world

Russia, 1894–1945: Tsardom and communism

This period study focuses on the development of Russia during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of autocracy and communism – the fall of the Tsardom and the rise and consolidation of communism.

You will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in influencing change. You will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Conflict and tension: The inter-war years, 1918–1939

The period building up to to the Second World War was fraught with tension. You will look in depth at the complex and diverse interests of different states, including the Great Powers, to understand how and why conflict occurred. You will also consider how key individuals and groups helped shape change and were affected by international relations. You will take three focal points to examine this period: Peacemaking, The League of Nations and international peace and The origins and outbreak of the Second World War.

Shaping the nation

Britain: Power and the people: c1170 to the present day

Why have people’s rights and their relationship with the state changed? How have people challenged authority and how have governments responded to those challenges? How has Parliament and parliamentary democracy evolved? What impact have changes in political status had on people’s lives? What is the significance of key individuals and events in the changing relationship between the individual and the state?

You will sweep across nearly 850 years of British history to examine how the relationship between citizen and state has developed, from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality. You will consider a wide range of factors shaping this connection including war, religion, chance, government, communication, economy, new ideas such as equality, democracy and representation and the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

You will explore four contexts: Challenging authority and feudalism, Challenging royal authority, Reform and reformers, Equality and rights.

Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

Elizabeth I, daughter of notorious Tudor King Heny VIII and Anne Boleyn, kept a tight reign for 35 years during a time of religious tension, political scheming and power struggles, and turbulent relations in Europe.

In this British depth study you will explore three themes: Elizabeth’s court and Parliament, Life in Elizabethan times and Troubles at home and abroad. You will also carry out a study of an historic environment of Elizabethan England, such as a Tudor manor house, theatre or village, town or city for example, and relate your understanding of the events and developments of the period to that site.

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