• Block 3 (Year 9)
  • Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11)
  • Sixth Form

We begin the year by examining the subject of History itself and Great Men and Women in History.  We look at the contribution of Individuals to History and consider what might qualify some for Greatness. This leads to a brief project by students in which they select, study and present their chosen 'Great' figure from History. In the process they will learn about research: how to use the library, how to use the Internet responsibly and even how to use a book! We then embark on a study of World War One, looking at causes, women's roles in the War, some key individuals (Haig, Lawrence of Arabia for instance) and the campaigns of the Somme and Ypres, leading to a 'Battlefields Tour' in the second term where we visit Belgium and France. 

Here students have an opportunity to trace the History of members of their family and to see how they were involved in the War. We also look at how Bedales was involved in the war through individual case studies of Bedalians. Towards the end of the year, students follow topics driven by the interest of their particular set teacher and the subject varies from set to set.

In History, we are attempting to develop the students' understanding of the process of historical argument by encouraging them to collect, sift and evaluate evidence. We also aim to improve their skills, such as reading, note-making, the construction of coherent explanations and extended writing. A wide range of resources will be used during the year, including ICT software and the Internet, alongside more traditional sources of information.

BAC History

What will you study in BAC History?

- B4 Autumn Term: the Renaissance in Italy (art and violence in equal measure)
- B4 Easter Term: the Tudors in England, 1509-1603 (religion, sex and violence in equal measure)
- B4 Summer Term: Civil Rights in the 1960s: Global Comparisons (the emergence of campaigns for civil rights in Britain, Ireland the USA, c. 1955-1979)
- B5 Autumn and Spring Terms: ‘Special Subject’ From Unification to Reunification: Berlin 1871-1989.

How will I be Assessed?

- Weekly reading and writing preps to build familiarity with the content, and to develop skills in source analysis, historical writing and research
- B4 units of the course assessed by a mixture of short answers, longer essay writing, source criticism, project work and presentations: B4 will count for 40% of the total grade at BAC
- B5 Special Subject: one long essay (2500 words) on an aspect of the history of Berlin 1871-1989 (chosen by you), and a ‘response paper’ on a set of historical sources relating to how Berlin changed over the course of the period 1871-1989. Worth 60% of your total grade
- Graded under new GCSE grades 9-1 (A** to lower than G at GCSE)
- Marked ‘in the round’, taking into account the progress you will have made over the course of the five terms of the BAC course
- Marks and grades awarded for genuine understanding and analysis – not telling the story, and not jumping through hoops

History A Level

- Unit 1: From Pitt to Peel 1783-1832 (Outline Paper) and The Age of Peel (1832-1853). Essays and Sources. Constitutes 25% of final grade
- Unit 2: South Africa, 1948-1999. Constitutes 15% of final grade
- Unit 3: Russia and its Rulers, 1855-1964 (Thematic Paper, constitutes 40% of final grade)
- Unit 4: Personal Investigation (independent task of 4000 words, written in 6.2).

History A Level at Bedales is intended to be engaging, rewarding and historically rigorous. At the heart of success at A Level is a sense of intellectual ownership and engagement, and we believe that the courses we have chosen allow for high levels of academic engagement.

In 6.1 (Year 12/Lower Sixth), students are given a firm grounding in the History of Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century; a time of economic, industrial and political torment. How was Britain to be ruled? What was that Britain becoming? And how might Britain avoid executing its monarch (again), like the French did in 1789? Also in 6.1, students examine South Africa from 1948-1999, which examines apartheid South Africa until the collapse of the regime and the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994. This course forms part of the school’s wider commitment to Global Awareness, and we are confident it will excite, enthuse and challenge pupils.

In 6.2 (Year 13/Upper Sixth), students focus on the thematic paper on Russia between 1855 and 1964, a course which affords them enormous scope for intellectual breadth, challenge and analysis. Students also write a 4000 word essay on a topic of their own choosing that forms 20% of the final grade; for many pupils, this project becomes an important part of their university applications and personal statements.

The course is complemented by two trips, one in 6.1 to Manchester and Liverpool, which builds on the Pitt to Peel Course; in 6.2, there is the flagship trip to Russia, which many Bedalian Historians regard as the highlight of their time at school, not just in History.

Examining board: OCR

Head of Department: Nick Meigh