Ercall Wood Academy

Empower | Respect | Aspire






Subject leader of History

Mrs Carys Evans


Click on the image left to watch a video explaining the History EBACC GCSE option

Introduction to History


History is a fascinating subject that relates to all of our lives, explaining how we have come to live the way we do.  This course focuses on British and American history across a broad range of periods. 

Pathway A students have 5 lessons / fortnight.

Pathway B students have 6 lessons / fortnight.



This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. GCSE History students must take assessments in both of the following papers in the same series:


  • Paper 1: Understanding the modern world
  • Paper 2: Shaping the nation


Paper 1: Understanding the modern world

Section A: Period studies

  • America, 1920–1973: Opportunity and inequality.
  • This period study focuses on the development of the USA during a turbulent half century of change. It was a period of opportunity and inequality – when some Americans lived the 'American Dream' whilst others grappled with the nightmare of poverty, discrimination and prejudice.
  • Students will study the political, economic, social and cultural aspects of these two developments and the role ideas played in bringing about change. They will also look at the role of key individuals and groups in shaping change and the impact the developments had on them.

Part one: American people and the 'Boom'

Part two: Bust – Americans' experiences of the Depression and New Deal

Part three: Post-war America

Section B: Wider world depth studies

  • 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.

  • Part one: The origins of the Cold War
  • Part two: The development of the Cold War
  • Part three: Transformation of the Cold War

Paper 2: Shaping the nation

Section A: Thematic studies

  • 2C Britain: Migration, empires and the people: c790 to the present day
  • This thematic study will enable students to gain an understanding of how the identity of the people of Britain has been shaped by their interaction with the wider world. It will consider invasions and conquests. It will also study the country's relationship with Europe and the wider world.
  • It will consider the ebb and flow of peoples into and out of Britain and evaluate their motives and achievements. It considers the causes, impact and legacy of Empire upon the ruled and the ruling in the context of Britain’s acquisition and retreat from Empire.
  • Part one: Conquered and conquerors
  • Part two: Looking west
  • Part three: Expansion and empire
  • Part four: Britain in the 20th century

Section B: British depth studies including the historic environment

  • Restoration England, 1660–1685
  • Students study in depth the restoration of the monarchy. The study will focus on the major aspects of Charles II’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints of this period and arising contemporary and historical controversies.
  • Part one: Crown, Parliament, plots and court life
  • Part two: Life in Restoration England
  • Part three: Land, trade and war
  • Part four: The historic environment of Restoration England



There are four assessment objectives (AOs) across all GCSE History specifications and all exam boards. These are:

  • AO1: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key features and characteristics of the period studied.
  • AO2: explain and analyse historical events and periods studied using second-order historical concepts.
  • AO3: analyse, evaluate and use sources (contemporary to the period) to make substantiated judgements, in the context of historical events studied.
  • AO4: analyse, evaluate and make substantiated judgements about interpretations (including how and why interpretations may differ) in the context of historical events studied.


The table below shows how these objectives are weighted over the two 1 hour and 45 minute papers.




History is one of the most sought-after qualifications for further and higher education because it teaches pupils a range of skills in research, communication and presentation that are essential to employers and gives pupils a clear knowledge and understanding of how the world works.

Students are encouraged to purchase revision guides specific to the AQA syllabus. Students will find this useful to support their weekly homework that will practise exam technique from the very beginning of the course. Further online materials such as past papers, SAM Learning and GCSE Bitesize provide additional support to students with homework tasks and exam preparation.



Tasks are set weekly and comprise exam questions and research. If students are absent it is their responsibility to ensure that they catch up on any missing work.



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