Key Stage 4

Students study AQA GCSE History (specification code – 8145)

The Key Stage 4 curriculum is developed over two years with five hours of taught content per fortnight.  

Year 10

Year 10 content 

Germany, 1890–1945 

In this topic we study a turbulent period which shaped not only the twentieth century but many aspects of our world today. We study: the First World War and the German revolution which overthrew Germany’s emperor in 1918; the Great Depression and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party after 1929. We finish the unit by exploring life in Nazi Germany and how the Nazis used a diabolical mixture of terror and propaganda to maintain their power. We finish the course with the Second World War and the Holocaust.  

The Cold War between the East and West, 1945–1972  

In this topic we study the ‘Cold War’ between capitalism and communism, focusing on the conflict between the USA and the USSR. We begin by looking at the end of the Second World War: the effect of the dropping of the first atom bomb and the division of Europe into capitalist and communist countries separated by the ‘Iron Curtain. We then go on to study the development of the Cold War: the significance of the Communist Revolution in China; the Korean War; the Vietnam War; the Arms Race and the Space Race. We then finish with a study of the transformation of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Year 11

Year 11 content  

Britain: Migration, Empire and the people, c.790-Present Day 

In this topic we study how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. Students will learn about: invasions and conquests (e.g. Viking invasions); our relationship with Europe and the wider world (e.g. Britain’s role in slavery); the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain, their motives and achievements (e.g. the foundation of the USA and the Windrush generation). Students will also study the causes, impact and legacy of Empire (e.g. on Egypt, South Africa and India) and the retreat from Empire and decolonisation (e.g. Gandhi in India and Nkrumah in Ghana). 

 The Elizabethan Age, 1558 – 1603  

In this topic we study the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. We look at her character and image, how she attempted to solve her problems and how she established a ‘Golden Age’ in culture and ‘Gloriana’ in defeating the Spanish Armada. This topic also includes a study of a ‘historic environment’: this will involve students investigating a specific site such as a Tudor house, castle, palace, battlefield etc.