4 in English Language
What will I study
Year 12 is focused on two markedly different communist states. The first is a breadth study of the USSR from 1917 to its collapse in 1991. The second is a depth study in Mao’s China from 1949-76. Both of these topics are fascinating, and the attempts of the regimes to force their interpretation of Marx’s theory on to countries not ready for change result in some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.
In year 13 you complete your coursework module on the Holocaust. You choose your own question to study, and research it yourself. Lessons become more akin to a university style seminar debate, and you develop into independent historians. The final module is on the Tudors between 1485 and 1603 and how they dramatically changed the course of British history.
How will I be assessed?
Unit 1, Russia, externally assessed and is 30% of your A-level.
Unit 2, China, externally assessed and is 20% of your A-level.
Unit 3, Tudors, externally assessed and is 30% of your A-level.
Unit 4, coursework, internally assessed and is 20% of your A-level.
Is this subject for me?
Firstly you have to love history. Secondly you need to have high levels of literacy and thirdly you need to be prepared for the academic demands of the course. There is a huge wealth of information to digest, and you need to be independent about how you go about this course. It is not merely enough to rely on the core text, you need to supplement your reading weekly with chapters from key books and articles from experts. This is the joy and the challenge of the course. The highlight of teaching A-level is when top students come to lessons armed with the knowledge, and the lesson focuses on debating ideas, causes, motives and successes, rather than the teacher simply telling the story. Choose this course if you are passionate, argumentative and love reading and writing.
Where can this lead me?
History at A-level is a facilitating subject, meaning that a range of university disciplines value the rigorous academic demands of the course, and will allow you into their degrees as a result. These include history, politics, law, business, international relations and many other literacy based subjects. Many journalists, politicians, lawyers, business people and teachers have backgrounds in history.
What else is there?
Every year, two students are selected for a project centred around the Holocaust, which involves a trip to Auschwitz and a meeting with Holocaust survivors. This trip costs around £50 as we heavily subsidise it. There is also potential on the course for a visit to Berlin. We also send many students on a range of lectures at Sussex, Brighton and Chichester universities, and there is a trip to London to hear expert historians debate some of the key issues of the course.