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Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School

History - A Level

Everything happening around us today has been influenced by and is a result of what has happened in the past. History can help us predict what could happen in the future. History is one of the Russell Group universities’ ‘facilitating’ subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study. One of the most flexible of qualifications, History provides an excellent pathway to degrees such as History, Law, English and Philosophy, and beyond that to a range of interesting careers including the civil service, teaching, librarianship, banking and commerce, the law, publishing, museums and art galleries and a wide variety of social work.

Course Content

Year 12

In Year 12 we study two units concurrently with two separate teachers.  With your first teacher you will study The Early Tudors 1485 – 1558 (Y106).  You will investigate the social, political, economic, religious and military situations within England during the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I. Throughout the module you will evaluate the stability of each monarch, by considering challenges to their rule like civil unrest and their position domestically and abroad.  Our goal by the end of the module will be to decide whether or not there was a ‘Mid-Tudor’ Crisis by analysing primary and contemporary sources and evaluating them for their reliability and utility. With your second teacher you will study Civil Rights in the USA 1865– 1992 (Y319). This unit focuses on the struggle of citizens in the United States to gain equality before the law, including African Americans, Trade Unions, Native Americans and women. You will understand the factors which encouraged and discouraged change during this period and reflect on how much progress has really been achieved for these groups of people. This course is very interesting and relevant to the many ongoing social, economic and political issues that still exist in society today

Year 13

In Year 13 we dedicate our study to the final examined unit of work Y223 The Cold War in Europe.  The Cold War in Europe 1941–1995 is a module which explores the rise and fall of the USSR as a superpower and the changing relationship with America. This module has a strong grounding in politics as we explore the differences between capitalism and communism.  In this course you will study some of the biggest flashpoints in History such as the creation of the atom bomb and the building of the Berlin Wall.  

Non-Examined Assessment (NEA)

Your coursework is a 4000 word essay, written on a topic of your choosing (from a bank of questions)*. Using primary sources and historians’ interpretations which you will research independently, this essay is marked out of 40, and worth 20% of your A level History course.

*Students who receive an A in their Year 12 mock can pick any topic of their choosing outside of the Departmental question bank. 



  Exam Board: OCR


Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in History, 5 in Maths and 5 in English Lit or Lang

Are you interested in: Investigating and finding things out about the past; forming your own opinions and debating ideas; challenging yourself to work hard, completing wider reading to find evidence to back up your ideas; completing a piece of work on a topic entirely of your choosing?

Leading to a career in: Archaeology, Journalism, Media, Law, Museum Curation, Politics, Teaching, Civil Service, Archaeology and Architecture, Records and Archives, Police and Armed Forces

    This subject goes well with: Art (Art History), English, Geography, Politics, RS, Economics, Sociology  


Student views

“I like history as it provides an understanding of events and figures and the impacts they had on society which I find engaging and often relevant to current situations.”