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 Ten

 1.           Conflict and tension between East and West, 1945–1972

This wider world depth study enables students to understand the complex and diverse interests of different states and individuals and the ideologies they represented. It considers revolutionary movements during this time. It focuses on the causes and events of the Cold War and seeks to show how and why conflict occurred and why it proved difficult to resolve the tensions which arose during the Cold War. This study also considers the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and how they were affected by and influenced international relations. The unit is split into three parts:

  • Part one: The origins of the Cold War (1945-1948)
  • Part two: The development of the Cold War (1949-1960)
  • Part three: Transformation of the Cold War (1960-1972)

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

This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of the development of the relationship between the citizen and the state in Britain over a long period of time. It considers the causes, scale, nature and consequences of protest to that relationship. By charting the journey from feudalism and serfdom to democracy and equality, it reveals how, in different periods, the state responds to challenges to its authority and their impact. It allows students to construct an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of the citizen.

Students will have the opportunity to see how ideas, events or developments in the wider world affected the course of Britain's political development and will promote the idea that ideas of authority, challenge and rights did not develop in isolation, but these developments should be seen in terms of how they affected Britain and British people. Students will study the importance of the following factors:

  •  war
  •  religion
  •  chance
  •  government
  •  communication
  •  the economy
  •  ideas such as equality, democracy, representation
  •  the role of the individual in encouraging or inhibiting change.

Students will study how factors worked together to bring about particular developments at a particular time and their impact upon society. Students will develop an understanding of the varying rate of change, why change happened when it did, whether change brought progress, and the significance of the change(s).

They should also be able to distinguish between different types of causes and consequences, eg short/long-term causes, intended/unintended consequences. This option focuses on the following questions:

  • 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?

This unit is split into four parts:

  • Part one: Challenging authority and feudalism
  • Part two: Challenging royal authority
  • Part three: Reform and reformers
  • Part four: Equality and rights

Year 11

3.            Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies. This unit is split into three parts:

  • Part one: Elizabeth's court and Parliament
  • Part two: Life in Elizabethan times
  • Part three: Troubles at home and abroad
  • Part four: The historic environment of Elizabethan England