GCSE Paper 1

All four texts are reccomended reading



GCSE Paper 2

GCSE Paper 2

GCSE Paper 3

Medicine Though Time

GCSE Paper 1 - Thematic study and historic environment



Written examination: 1 hour and 15 minutes
30%* of the qualification
52 marks
 (16 for the historic environment, 36 for the thematic study)

Assessment overview

Section A: historic environment

Students answer a question that assesses knowledge plus a two-part question based on two provided sources.

Section B: thematic study

Students answer three questions that assess their knowledge and understanding. The first two questions are compulsory. For the third question, students answer one from a choice of two.


Introductary Lessons


Activity - Overiview - Life Expectancy Timeline


Chronology Test Video


Activity - Ancient World Overview


Activity - Hippocrates


Activity - Galen



c1250–c1500: Medicine in medieval England


1 Ideas about the cause of disease and illness

  1. Supernatural and religious explanations of the cause of disease. 
  2. Rational explanations: the Theory of the Four Humours and the miasma theory; 
  3. the continuing influence in England of Hippocrates and Galen. 

2 Approaches to prevention and treatment

  1. Approaches to prevention and treatment and their connection with ideas about disease and illness: religious actions, bloodletting and purging, purifying the air, and the use of remedies. 
  2. New and traditional approaches to hospital care in the thirteenth centuries. The role of the physician, apothecary and barber surgeon in treatment and care provided within the community and in hospitals, c1250–1500. 

3 Case study

Dealing with the Black Death, 1348–49; approaches to treatment and attempts to prevent its spread.


Overview - Boardworks Summary

Case Study - The Black Death

Hospitals, Training and Who Treated People

Medieval Public Health

Dan Snow - Filthy Cities - Medieval London



c1500–c1700: The Medical Renaissance in England


1 Ideas about the cause of disease and illness

Continuity and change in explanations of the cause of disease and illness. The influence in Britain of Pasteur’s Germ Theory and Koch’s work on microbes.

2 Approaches to prevention and treatment

  1. The extent of change in care and treatment: improvements in hospital care and the influence of Nightingale. The impact of anaesthetics and antiseptics on surgery. 
  2. New approaches to prevention: the development and use of vaccinations and the Public Health Act 1875. 

3 Case studies

  1. Key individual: Jenner and the development of vaccination. 
  2. Fighting Cholera in London, 1854; attempts to prevent its spread; the significance of Snow and the Broad Street pump. 


The Great Plague

Plague - Fire, Plague and Treason - Worksheet to support the Channel Four Documentary

Plague - Documentary

Renaissance Medicine



Training and Hospitals


c1900–present: Medicine in modern Britain


1 Ideas about the cause of disease and illness

  1. Advances in understanding the causes of illness and disease: the influence of genetic and lifestyle factors on health. 
  2. Improvements in diagnosis: the impact of the availability of blood tests, scans and monitors. 

2 Approaches to prevention and treatment

  1. The extent of change in care and treatment. The impact of the NHS and science and technology: improved access to care; advances in medicines, including magic bullets and antibiotics; high-tech medical and surgical treatment in hospitals. 
  2. New approaches to prevention: mass vaccinations and government lifestyle campaigns. 

3 Case studies

  1. Key individuals: Fleming, Florey and Chain’s development of penicillin. 
  2. The fight against lung cancer in the twenty-first century: the use of science and technology in diagnosis and treatment; government action. 





Pasteur and Germ Theory


Development of Vaccinations


Chiolera and the Public Health Acts





What was wrong with surrgery before Simpson




Life of the Germ




The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: surgery and treatment



1 The British sector of the Western Front, 1914–18: surgery and treatment

  1. The context of the British sector of Western Front and the theatre of war, including the rural landscape, the battle front, the trench system and the medical facilities behind the lines. 
  2. Conditions requiring medical treatment on the Western Front, including the problems of ill health caused by conditions in the trenches and the nature of wounds from rifles used by snipers and in battle and from explosives. The problem of shrapnel and wound infection. The effects of gas attacks, including the use of chlorine gas at Loos (1915), chlorine-phosgene at Ypres (1915) and mustard gas at Ypres (1917). 
  3. Recovery and treatment of the wounded. The problem in dealing with the high number of casualties, including in the Battle of the Somme. The RAMC and system of transport, treatment and facilities at various stages: aid post and field ambulance, dressing station, casualty clearing station and base hospital. 
  4. Developments in surgery and medicine, including: new techniques in the treatment of wounds and infection, the search for effective treatment after a gas attack, the attempts to deal with increased numbers of head injuries. 
  5. The historical context of medicine in the early twentieth century: the understanding of infection and moves towards aseptic surgery; Geoffrey Marshall’s work on anaesthetics; the development of x-rays and use of mobile x-ray units to detect shrapnel; blood transfusions – limitations caused by the need for donor-to-patient transfusions, developments in storing blood and blood banks. 


2 Knowledge, selection and use of sources for historical enquiries

  1. Knowledge of national sources relevant to the period and issue, e.g. army records, national newspapers, government reports, medical articles. 
  2. Knowledge of local sources relevant to the period and issue, e.g. personal accounts, photographs, hospital records, army statistics. 
  3. Recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of different types of source for specific enquiries. 
  4. Framing of questions relevant to the pursuit of a specific enquiry. 
  5. Selection of appropriate sources for specific investigations. 


Superpower Relations and The Cold war

 GCSE Paper 2 Period Study





Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
40%* of the qualification
64 marks (32 for the period study and 32 for the British depth study)


Assessment overview Section A: Period study

Students answer three questions that assess their knowledge and understanding. The first two questions are compulsory. For the third question, students select two out of three parts.

Section B: British depth study

Students answer a single three-part question that assesses their knowledge and understanding. The first two parts are compulsory. For the third part, students select one from a choice of two.





Key topic 1: The origins of the Cold War, 1941–58


1 Early tension between East and West


● The Grand Alliance. The outcomes of the Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences. 

● The ideological differences between the superpowers and the attitudes of Stalin, Truman and Churchill. 

● The impact on US-Soviet relations of the development of the atomic bomb, the Long and Novikov telegrams 

   The creation of Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe




Lesson - Ideology - What is ideology and how does it affect both ourselves and countries?


Activity - QED - A Guide to Armageddon - How did the development of nuclear wars change the rivalry betwen the USA and USSR into a different type of international confrontation than had existed before?




Ext - NukeMaps


Ext - The Nuclear Revolution - Reading Article


Lesson - Introduction to the Cold War


Activity - Boardworks Presentation - What were the origins and causes of the Cold War and how did it emerge from an alliance that fought and defaeted both Germany and Japan?




Lesson - The Big Three - Tehran (1943), Yalta (1945), Potsdam (1945)


Activity - What was discussed, agreed and argued over. How did the conferences contribute to the Cold War?


Activity - Boardworks Presentation




Ext - How Empires Die - Reading Article


Ext - Cold War Ep.1 - Comrades - Both the United States and the Soviet Union drifted apart after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Civil War and the Paris Peace Conference. Diplomatic and extensive trading relationships were established under Roosevelt, but relations soured following the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States and eastern Poland. After Hitler broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact the Western powers worked closely with the Soviet Union during the Second World War. Distrust reemerged as Stalin's plans for placing Eastern Europe in the Soviet Union's sphere of influence became apparent towards the war's end, and came to the fore at the Potsdam Conference, just before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Interviewees include George F. KennanVladimir Yerofeyev, Zoya Zarubina, Hugh Lunghi and George Elsey. The pre-credits scene shows the US Congress nuclear bunker at The Greenbrier, and introduces the television series by explaining how for several decades the world was close to a nuclear holocaust.


Lesson - The Long & Novikov Telegrams - How did their interpretations in Washington and Moscow contribute to the Cold War?


2 The development of the Cold War 


● The impact on US-Soviet relations of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, 1947. 

● The significance of Cominform (1947), Comecon (1949) and the formation of NATO (1949). 

● Berlin: its division into zones. The Berlin Crisis (blockade and airlift) and its impact. 

   The formation of the Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic. 




Lesson - The Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine


Ext - Cold War Ep.3 - The Marshall Plan - For both altruistic and self-serving purposes, the United States provides massive grants of aid to the countries of Europe in the form of the Marshall Plan. Stalin, concerned that the intent of the Marshall Plan is to weaken Soviet influence in Europe, prevents countries in its orbit from participating, and establishes the rival Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Communists come to power through a coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948. Tito, while originally aligned to the Soviet Union, adopts a more independent foreign policy and eventually switches to receiving Marshall Aid Assistance. The CIA and the Catholic Church conspire to help oust the Italian Communist Party and its coalition allies in the 1948 Italian election. The Marshall Plan has the effect of modernising European economies and societies, bringing Western Europe closer together, and closer to the United States. Interviewees include Vladimir YerofeyevGianni Agnelli and Giulio Andreotti. The pre-credits scene portrays the squalor in post-war Italy, and Truman delivering his Truman Doctrine speech of 1947.

Lesson - Cominform, Comecon, The Warsaw Pact and NATO - How diod their establishment reflect the deterirotaing circumstances of the Cold War and contribute to it?


Lesson - The Arms Race - An arms race simulation played out against the context of the Cold War


3 The Cold War intensifies 


● The significance of the arms race and the formation of the Warsaw Pact. 

● Events in 1956 leading to the Hungarian Uprising, and Khrushchev’s response. 

● The international reaction to the Soviet invasion of Hungary. 




Lesson - The Berlin Blockade




Ext - Cold War Ep.4 - Berlin - By 1947, the United States placed as a high priority the revival of the German economy, an approach opposed by the Soviet Union. After the introduction of a Deutsche Mark the Soviet Union began to allow increasingly stringent checks on passenger and cargo flows travelling to the French, British and American sectors of Berlin, located in the heart of East Germany. This ultimately led to a blockade on all rail and road transport linking West Berlin, but an extensive airlift operation (Operation Vittles) allowed the city to survive. The Communists were however successful in staging a putsch in the Berlin municipal government, eventually leading to the divisions of both Berlin and Germany. Interviewees include Gail HalvorsenSir Freddie Lakerand Clark Clifford. The pre-credits scene shows the Berlin airlift in operation.


Lesson - The Formation of the FDR and GDR


Lesson - The Hungarian Uprising and Kruschev's response


Ext - Cold War - Ep.5 - After Stalin -Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet leader after the death of Stalin. Khrushchev rolls back a number of oppressive measures that existed under Stalin, restores relations with Yugoslavia and redirects resources to consumer needs. In a secret speech to the Soviet leadership he condemns Stalin's ruthless rule. West Germany is allowed to rearm, provoking the formation of the Warsaw Pact. Khruschev still wants Eastern Europe to remain within the Soviet orbit - he sends in troops to quell revolts in East Germany, Poland and, most significantly, Hungary. Interviewees include Anatoly Dobrynin, Charles Wheeler and Sergei Khrushchev. The pre-credits scene shows life in Soviet Union under Stalin's personality cult.


Key topic 2: Cold War crises, 1958–70 


1 Increased tension between East and West 

● The refugee problem in Berlin, Khrushchev’s Berlin ultimatum (1958), and the summit meetings of 1959–61. 

● Soviet relations with Cuba, the Cuban Revolution and the refusal of the USA to recognise Castro’s government. The significance of the Bay of Pigs incident. 

● Opposition in Czechoslovakia to Soviet control: the Prague Spring. 


2 Cold War crises 


● The construction of the Berlin Wall, 1961. 

● The events of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

● The Brezhnev Doctrine and the re-establishment of Soviet control in Czechoslovakia. 


3 Reaction to crisis 


● Impact of the construction of the Berlin Wall on US-Soviet relations. Kennedy’s visit to Berlin in 1963. 

● The consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis: the ‘hotline’, the Limited Test Ban Treaty 1963; the Outer Space Treaty 1967; and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 1968. 

● International reaction to Soviet measures in Czechoslovakia. 


Key topic 3: The end of the Cold War, 1970–91 


1 Attempts to reduce tension between East and West 


● Détente in the 1970s, SALT 1, Helsinki, and SALT 2. 

● The significance of Reagan and Gorbachev’s changing attitudes. 

● Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’ and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) Treaty 1987. 


2 Flashpoints 


● The significance of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Carter Doctrine and the Olympic boycotts. 

● Reagan and the ‘Second Cold War’, the Strategic Defence Initiative. 


3 The collapse of Soviet control of Eastern Europe


● The impact of Gorbachev’s ‘new thinking’ on Eastern Europe: the loosening Soviet grip on Eastern Europe. 

● The significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

● The collapse of the Soviet Union and its significance in bringing about the end of the Warsaw Pact. 


Henry VIII and His Ministers

 GCSE Paper 2 Period Study





Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes
40%* of the qualification
64 marks (32 for the period study and 32 for the British depth study)


Assessment overview Section A: Period study

Students answer three questions that assess their knowledge and understanding. The first two questions are compulsory. For the third question, students select two out of three parts.

Section B: British depth study

Students answer a single three-part question that assesses their knowledge and understanding. The first two parts are compulsory. For the third part, students select one from a choice of two.

The Course

Key Topic 1: Henry VIII and Wolsey, 1509-29

1 Henry VIII, Renaissance Prince

England in 1509: society and government. The young Hnery and his acession to the throne

Henry's character and views on sovereignty and monarchy. His personalstyle of government

Strengths, weaknesses and aims as a monarch


Henry Introduction

Henry VIII The Renaissance Prince

England in 1509

2 The rise of Wolsey and his policies

Reasons for Wolsey's rise to power. His persdonality, roles and wealth

Wolsey's reform: enclosures, finace and justice. The Eltham Ordinances

Reasons for and reactions to the Aimicable Grant


The rsie of Wolsey and his polices

Wolsey's reforms

Wolsey's domestic polices


3 Wolsey’s foreign policy

●  Aims of Wolsey’s foreign policy.

●  Successes and failures, including relations with France and the Holy Roman Empire, the Treaty of London (1518), the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ (1520) and increasing difficulties in the 1520s.


  • Wolsey’s Foreign Policy


  • Wolsey’s Foreign Policy – Success or Failure?


  • Test


4 Wolsey, Catherine, the succession and annulment


●  Catherine of Aragon and the succession.

●  Henry’s reasons for and attempts to gain an annulment. Opposition to the annulment, including the role of Pope Clement VII.

●  Reasons for Wolsey’s fall from power, including the failure of the divorce proceedings in London, 1529. The influence of the Boleyns.


- Catherine of Aragon and the succession

- Henry's reasons for divorce & opposition

- Wolsey's fall from power

- Rise of Ann Boleyn and Test

- Failure to gain an annulment essay

Key topic 2: Henry VIII and Cromwell, 1529–40

1 Cromwell’s rise to power, 1529–34

●  Personality and early career, including service to Wolsey, election as MP and eventual membership of the Royal Council.

●  Handling of the king’s annulment and influence over Henry. Role as the king’s Chief Minister.



2 Cromwell, and the king’s marriages

●  Reasons for the fall of Anne Boleyn, including the role of Cromwell.

●  Jane Seymour: marriage, heir and death. The influence of the Seymours.



3 Cromwell and government, 1534–40

●  Reform of government and royal finance.

●  The management and use of parliament.

4 The fall of Cromwell

●  The significance of Henry’s marriage to Anne of Cleves.

●  Reasons for Cromwell’s fall from power in 1540, including the influence of the Duke of Norfolk.











Key topic 3: The Reformation and its impact, 1529–40

1 The break with Rome

●  Henry as ‘Defender of the Faith’. Reasons for Henry’s campaign against the Pope and the Catholic Church, 1529–33.

●  The significance of the Act of Succession and the Act of Supremacy 1534. Cromwell’s role in their enforcement, including the use of oaths and treason laws.



2 Opposition to, and impact of, Reformation, 1534–40

●  Elizabeth Barton (the Nun of Kent) and John Fisher.

●  The significance of opposition from Thomas More.

●  Impact of the Reformation on the English Church, including the work of Thomas Cranmer and the influence of Thomas Cromwell.


Weimar and Nazi Germany 1918-1939

            GCSE Paper 3 - Modern Depth


Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes 30%* of the qualification
52 marks

Assessment overview Section A

Students answer a question based on a provided source and a question that assesses their knowledge and understanding.

Section B

Students answer a single four-part question, based on two provided sources and two provided interpretations.

Assessment/Marking/Feedback Templates



Key topic 1: The Weimar Republic 1918–29


1 The origins of the Republic, 1918–19

  1. The legacy of the First World War. The abdication of the Kaiser, the armistice and revolution, 1918–19. 
  2. The setting up of the Weimar Republic. The strengths and weaknesses of the new Constitution. 



Lesson - The Nazis:A Warning From History - Helped to Power


The Weimar Republic, 1918-24 - Why such troubled times? - Flipped reading activity



Lesson - The Weimar Constitution - The rules of running a country and how different rules lead to not only democracy and dictatroship , but to a potentially infinite amount of variations even within democarcies. Students will study the purpose and aims of the Weimar Constition and critically reflect over the problems the Weimar Republic both inherited and created, as well as its ability to deal with them.


Voting Systems


Lesson - The Treaty of Versailles - Group Role Play simulation with members representing the UK, USA and France arguing to secure terms most favourable to their own national interest. In negotiating, arguing and compromising students will gain an insight into the motivatiosn behind punisihing Germany and the terms inflicted upon them.


Lesson - Exam Practice - Inference Questions: 4 Mark Questions


Lesson - The Sparctacist & Kapp Revolts - How did Weimar deal with the challeneges from both the LEFT and RIGHT wing of German politics and how we can use the political spectrum diagram to not just map these groups but undertsand their motivations

Political Compass


Lesson - Exam Practice - Mini Essay: 12 Mark Questions


2 The early challenges to the Weimar Republic, 1919–23

  1. Reasons for the early unpopularity of the Republic, including the ‘stab in the back’ theory and the key terms of the Treaty of Versailles. 
  2. Challenges to the Republic from Left and Right: Spartacists, Freikorps, the Kapp Putsch. 
  3. The challenges of 1923: hyperinflation; the reasons for, and effects of, the French occupation of the Ruhr. 




Lesson - Inflation and Hyperinflation - What is inflationa dn why it is imporatnt to understand then as now. How did Weimar create the economic catastrophe of 1923? How was it linked to WWI and the Teaty of Versailles? What were the economic, sopcial and political consequences and how are they interlinked


Lesson - The Year of Crisis


Lesson - The Recovery Years and Domestic Policies of Stresseman



3 The recovery of the Republic, 1924–29

  1. Reasons for economic recovery, including the work of Stresemann, the Rentenmark, the Dawes and Young Plans and American loans and investment. 

The impact on domestic policies of Stresemann’s achievements abroad: the Locarno Pact, joining the League of Nations and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. 


Activity - Stressemen and The Golden Years

4 Changes in society,1924–29

  1. Changes in the standard of living, including wages, housing, unemployment insurance. 
  2. Changes in the position of women in work, politics and leisure. 
  3. Cultural changes: developments in architecture, art and the cinema. 


Activity - Social, Cultural and Economic Change


Activity - Weimar to 1929 - A Summary

Key topic 2: Hitler’s rise to power, 1919-33


1 Early development of the Nazi Party, 1920–22

  1. Hitler’s early career: joining the German Workers’ Party and setting up the Nazi Party, 1919–20. 
  2. The early growth and features of the Party. The Twenty-Five Point Programme. The role of the SA. 

2 The Munich Putsch and the lean years, 1923–29

  1. The reasons for, events and consequences of the Munich Putsch. 
  2. Reasons for limited support for the Nazi Party, 1924–28. Party reorganisation and Mein Kampf. The Bamberg Conference of 1926. 

3 The growth in support for the Nazis, 1929–32

  1. The growth of unemployment – its causes and impact. The failure of successive Weimar governments to deal with unemployment from 1929 to January 1933. The growth of support for the Communist Party. 
  2. Reasons for the growth in support for the Nazi Party, including the appeal of Hitler and the Nazis, the effects of propaganda and the work of the SA. 

4 How Hitler became Chancellor, 1932–33

  1. Political developments in 1932. The roles of Hindenburg, Brüning, von Papen and von Schleicher. 
  2. The part played by Hindenburg and von Papen in Hitler becoming Chancellor in 1933. 


Key topic 3: Nazi control and dictatorship, 1933–39


1 The creation of a dictatorship, 1933–34

  1. The Reichstag Fire. The Enabling Act and the banning of other parties and trade unions. 
  2. The threat from Röhm and the SA, the Night of the Long Knives and the death of von Hindenburg. Hitler becomes Führer, the army and oath of allegiance. 

2 The police state

  1. The role of the Gestapo, the SS, the SD and concentration camps. 
  2. Nazi control of the legal system, judges and law courts. 
  3. Nazi policies towards the Catholic and Protestant Churches, including the Reich Church and the Concordat. 

3 Controlling and

influencing attitudes

  1. Goebbels and the Ministry of Propaganda: censorship, Nazi use of media, rallies and sport, including the Berlin Olympics of 1936. 
  2. Nazi control of culture and the arts, including art, architecture, literature and film. 

4 Opposition, resistance and conformity

  1. The extent of support for the Nazi regime. 
  2. Opposition from the Churches, including the role of Pastor Niemöller. 
  3. Opposition from the young, including the Swing Youth and the Edelweiss Pirates. 


Key topic 4: Life in Nazi Germany, 1933–39


1 Nazi policies towards women

  1. Nazi views on women and the family. 
  2. Nazi policies towards women, including marriage and family, employment and appearance. 

2 Nazi policies towards the young

  1. Nazi aims and policies towards the young. The Hitler Youth and the League of German Maidens. 
  2. Nazi control of the young through education, including the curriculum and teachers. 

3 Employment and living standards

  1. Nazi policies to reduce unemployment, including labour service, autobahns, rearmament and invisible unemployment. 
  2. Changes in the standard of living, especially of German workers. The Labour Front, Strength Through Joy, Beauty of Labour. 

4 The persecution of minorities

  1. Nazi racial beliefs and policies and the treatment of minorities: Slavs, ‘gypsies’, homosexuals and those with disabilities. 
  2. The persecution of the Jews, including the boycott of Jewish shops and businesses (1933), the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht. 
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