GCSE History

GCSE History at Archbishop Holgate’s contains a variety of topics and challenges to develop students into skilled and well-rounded Historians. The course not only prepares students to take their studies further beyond GCSE, but allows them to build skills that they will keep for life.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Joseph Stalin

Course description

Pupils will study four different topics that will be assessed on three different exam papers in the summer of year 11. In year 10 pupils will focus on two of these four topics; Crime and Punishment Through the Ages with Weimar and Nazi Germany studied at the end of year 10. Crime And Punishment is the breadth study and will allow pupils to look at changes and continuity toward crime and punishment from 1000AD to the present day. This exciting topic allows pupils to examine the brutality of medieval punishment, the fascinating with trials of the 17th century, the development of the professional police force and the causes of global terrorism in the present day. The focus study of this time period will be on the mysterious Whitechapel murders and Jack the Ripper! Weimar and Nazi Germany will allow pupils to study the rise of one of the cruellest and most significant dictators of the 20th Century. They will examine the long term effects of the Wall Street Crash and how Hitler used this to gain support for his party. Finally they will study how Hitler led Germany to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Year 11 will focus on the final two topics of the course which include the Development of Super Powers and the Cold war 1941-1991 and Norman England 1060-1088. These to exciting topic cater for both the medieval and modern Historian. The Norman England course will allow pupils to study in depth the struggle for power following the death of Edward the Confessor and the resulting Battle of Hastings. They will focus on the methods William used to maintain order and control in England following his success in 1066. The Development of Superpowers and the Cold War takes pupils back to a period of suspicion and tension between the USA and USSR. Within this they will focus on the nuclear arms race, the causes and consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space race, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet expansion within Eastern Europe.

Exam board

  • Edexcel

Course code

  • (Paper codes: 1HI0/10–12)
  • (Paper codes: 1HI0/20–29)
  • (Paper codes: 1HI0/30–33)

Exam board website

Link to past papers


Pupils will receive one formal assessment every half term that will be taken from past exam papers. This is designed to assess the pupils knowledge of the content and to highlight areas of improvement in terms of written skills. The pupils will be expected to revise thoroughly for these assessments, and the grade data will be kept to assess the progress made by the pupil.

Ways to help my child succeed

As we are a ‘content heavy’ subject Revision is key to success. make sure you child has prepared detailed written revision notes that they use for their half term assessments and for their final examinations. The department will provide pupils with extensive revision materials that the pupil is expected to work on in the lead up to their GCSE examinations. There are a range of excellent websites, books and documentaries that will ALSO assist with this. Please don’t hesitate to contact the department for further ideas.

Useful websites


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