Assessment Details

Students selecting History at George Spencer College follow the OCR Specification


Year 12

AS History is broken down into 2 units:


Unit 1 - British Period Study and Enquiry (50% AS and 25% A2)

  • We have chosen Alfred the Great (exam)



  • Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Candidates will be required to answer two questions worth 30 marks each.
  • The questions will require candidates to present historical explanations and assess their significance in the historical context of events, individuals' ideas, attitudes and/or beliefs, and the ways in which they influenced behaviours and action.



Unit 2 - Non British Period Study (50% AS, 15% A2)

  • We have chosen Russia 1894-1941 (exam)



  • Written examination: 1 hour 20 minutes.
  • Candidates are required to answer two source-based questions for their chosen topic, question (a) and question (b)The first question (a) is worth 20 marks and will focus on reaching a judgement by analysis, cross-referencing and evaluating source material.
  • The second question (b) is worth 40 marks and will ask candidates to address an historical view or claim using two sources in conjunction with their own knowledge. A choice of questions will be provided for each topic.


Year 13

Unit 3 - Thematic study and historial interpretations 40% A2

  •   We have chosen Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors 1485-1603 (exam)

This unit will study the nature and frequency of rebellion and disorder in the Tudor period. It will focus on the major rebellions in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth, with analysis of their religious, economic and political causes



Written examination: 2 hours.


Candidates will be required to answer the following from their chosen topic:

  • one question in Section A out of a choice of two (30 marks). The essay questions will have an analytical focus that will require candidates to reach a substantiated judgement on a historical issue or problem
  • one question in Section B out of a choice of two (40 marks). The question will require candidates to compare the provided source material while exploring an issue of historical debate, and to reach substantiated judgements in the light of their own knowledge and understanding of the issues of interpretation and controversy.



Unit 4 - Topic based essay (20% A2)

3000-4000 wird essay (non-exam)




  • All students are provided with textbooks
  • Students are required to bring their textbook and their unit folder to all lessons. This folder should contain previous lesson hand-outs and notes, exam questions and an assessment record sheet.
  • In addition, there are a number of other excellent textbooks available on loan from one of the History Teachers
  • There is also an extensive Moodle Site with articles and extension reading.

Why do GCSE History?

As well as being a fascinating subject, GCSE History is also an extremely useful qualification. It is highly respected by colleges, employers and universities because historians develop high-level transferable skills such as evaluation, synthesis and the ability to present a clear argument.


History is useful for students who wish to follow the following careers. For example:

  • Data Analyst
  • Social Services
  • Civil Service
  • Politics
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Education
  • Archaeology
  • Leisure e.g. Museums
  • Secret Service
  • International Relations
  • Police
  • Medicine


The Course

Two main units:



  •  Germany 1919-1945 - Depth Study of Germany after the Great War, with a focus on the rise of the Nazis and Hitler's Germany.
  • Medicine Through Time - Breadth Study of developments in cures, surgery and public health from prehistoric times up to the modern day- covering 4000 years of history!


Coursework: History Around Us (25%)

This unit involves a visit to the Galleries of Justice Museum and the coursework involves an extended piece of writing (about 2,000 words). The work assesses students understanding of the Museum's interpretation of Crime and Punishment at the end of the C18th and early C19th.




Excersising in the yard

Revision Guides

All 3 books contain Medicine and Germany with lots of exam advice.


GCSE History Schools History Project:
Complete Revision and Practice Guide
(Bitesize GCSE) By AllanTodd
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: BBC Active; 1 edition (Jan 2010)
ISBN-10: 1406654434
ISBN-13: 978-1406654431


OCR (A) GCSE Schools History Project:
By Louise O'Gorman
My revision notes
Publisher: 978 1 444 15854 0


GCSE History Schools History Project
The Revision Guide (Jan 2010)
Coordination Group Publications
ISBN 978 1 84762 281 5



History GCSE is broken down as the following:

  • 75% Exams (2 separate exams; 45% Paper One Medicine Through Time and Germany 1918-45, 30% Paper 2 Evidence Skills and Medicine through Time)
  • 25% Controlled Assessment (History Around Us) The Galleries of Justice

Exam Results 2013 (96 students)

  • A*-G 100%
  • A* – C 89%
  • A*-A 51%


In Year 8 students study early modern History from the C17th – C19th. Students continue with an enquiry based approach to big issues like the development of democracy, the British Empire and the story of slavery and the effect of the Industrial Revolution on England. Students have opportunities to follow their own lines of enquiry, for example, with the Project Spencer work, and they also make links between past and present by taking part in a debate about whether we should return to a Victorian system of punishment.


Units of Study




  • Project Spencer (Enqiury)
  • Why was Charles I ececuted (Organisation and Communication)
  • How significant was the Slave Trade (significance)
  • Why are there different interpreations about conditions in the factories? Should we return to the Victorian system of punishing criminals?




Year 9 History is an important year for students to develop their History skills in preparation for GCSE. The content is modern History and students not only look at some of the key events of the C20 / C21st but also look at political ideology and consider moral and ethical issues.


Units of Study

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3


Democracy and Dictatorship

The Holocaust

Causes of the First World War

Hitler Youth

Nelson Mandela

World War One

World War Two

The Treaty of Versailles    











  • Who was to blame for the Titanic Disaster? (Evidence)
  • What caused the First World War? (Causation)
  • Do you agree that the Battle of the Somme was a bad day for England? (Interpretation)
  • Why did some children oppose the Hitler Youth? (Knowledge and Understanding)
  • Second World War hypothesis testing (choice of Topic) (Enquiry)
  • Why do we remember the Holocaust? (Significance)



Students are invited to apply for a place on our Year 9 residential trip to the First World War Battlefields. The visit includes entry to various sites and museums, likely to include the Menin Gate (where we will hear the Last Post), Tyne Cot Cemetery and the acclaimed Flanders Field Museum. The trip will include active experiences such as a tour of actual trenches and tasting the meals which were typically eaten by soldiers in the war.


Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June 2014, Cost £160





In Year 7 students are introduced to the different historical skills that involve historical enquiry, the use of evidence and communicating about the past. We study Medieval and Early Modern British and World History. Students complete one assessment every half term.


Units of Study

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Mystery of the Skeletons

King John


Norman Conquest

Black Death



Medieval Baghdad










  • The Mystery of the Skeletons (enquiry)
  • 'The Norman Conquest was good for England.' How far do you agree with this statement? (significance)
  • Does 'Bad King John deserve his reputation'? (interpretations)
  • Was the Black Death a total disaster? (consequences)
  • Making sense of the Tudors (chronology) or An enquiry into the famous artists and inventors of the Renaissance (significance)


Trip to Warwick Castle


Warwick Castle Trip