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HISTORY

A LEVEL

Xaverian and History. We go way back (just not as far as Ancient History).

“When you study history, you’re really studying yourself.”

John Sedgwick, author of War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation.

“Study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft,” told Winston Churchill to former US presidential speechwriter James Humes.

History is one of the most important subjects taught at Xaverian because it’s only while studying the past that we can make sense of the present.

On this course you’ll be studying two components – The Tudors from 1485 to 1603, and the American Dream between 1945 and 1980.

We’ve been teaching these topics since 2015 so you can be assured we’ve built up great expertise and resources keeping you inspired and excited to succeed in your History studies.

History is not only a fascinating subject. This course requires you to think critically and to explore different perspectives of the past to develop your own arguments and conclusions.

To properly immerse you in History, tutors – all dedicated exclusively to teaching this subject – lead trips across the world. In recent years students have walked to the People’s History Museum and flown to The White House in Washington DC.

You’ll study in the historical surroundings of Ward Hall. Ward Hall was also once a US consulate and servicemen arrested for being drunk and disorderly were detained in its basement. Those cells are still used today – albeit in a much more welcoming state – by the Art department.

Everywhere you look, there are traces of history. On this course, you’ll find out how we got here – and from here, you’ll go forward confidently into a fruitful future.

LESSON TIME!

You’ll have heard all about the American Dream. It shaped the modern United States. And it also featured prominently in the smash-hit musical, Miss Saigon.

But what actually is the American Dream? While we research the people who fought bravely throughout the 20th century for equal rights in the land of stars and stripes, you’ll assess whether this concept was propaganda – or the proper thing.

During this session you’ll hear from teachers Miss Flanagan and Mrs Greaves all about the US civil rights movement, which played a huge part in this chapter of American history.

As the first female minority to be an American Vice President, Kamala Harris is the latest figure to bring attention to the achievements of African Americans.

In today’s lesson you’ll be hearing about four hidden figures whose roles in the civil rights movement ultimately led to Kamala’s appointment. From the six-year-old activist Ruby Bridges to space technology pioneer Katherine Johnson. John Lewis, who went from battling for equality on segregated transport networks to election for the House of Representatives. And Freedom Democratic Party Founder Fanny Lou Hamer, a voting and women’s rights campaigner.

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What’s next?

Accordion Content

History is a springboard to a wide range of careers. While your career path may be contingent on what you study next, having a firm grounding in research through your History A-level may lead you to roles including:

  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Conservation officer
  • Heritage manager
  • Information officer
  • Librarian
  • Museum curator or education officer
  • Policy officer
  • Politician’s assistant
  • Researcher
  • Solicitor
  • Talent agent
  • Teacher

The AQA History A-level is highly respected by universities and employers.

Many students continue their History studies at university. English, Politics, Art and modern languages are other popular choices. Journalism, Media, Law, Economics and Teaching are also favourites among our History students.

The Tudors: England 1485-1603:

The policies and power of Tudor monarchs, King Henry VII, King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I are assessed in this component

The American Dream: Illusion and Reality 1945-1980:

A depth study of the challenges faced by the USA at home and abroad as it emerged from the Second World War as a superpower

Coursework:

Russia and its Rulers 1855- 1953. You will be introduced to Russian History through exploring significant events, personalities and themes. You will then undertake an independent study of your chosen topic/title.

 
Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from English and Grade 5 from History, if taken

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

2 final exams, 1 coursework

Exam board:

AQA

Course type:

Linear A-level

History at A-level requires you to read and write extensively. Classwork will include evaluating sources and texts, writing structured notes, using audio-visual materials as well as debating and practising exam skills. You will work both independently to conduct background reading and research as well as in groups to complete tasks.

The lessons have always been fun and engaging, and my History Teacher never gave up on me and always encouraged me when I was struggling. Being able to have lessons in buildings that are so rich in history, for example, learning about the Victorian poet Rossetti in a Victorian building helped to bring her literature to life.

Amy Berry, History A Level

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