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GCSE History

Why Study History?

History is a very popular and vibrant subject at Soham Village College.  It is taught by an enthusiastic team who enjoy bringing the subject to life. To this end, we plan lessons to be fun, engaging and thought provoking.  We use a range of different ways of learning at all ability levels and we have a deep understanding of how to perform well at GCSE.  As well as planning excellent lessons we also provide extensive revision materials, revision plans, and revision sessions after school; and we keep a close eye on the stress levels and anxiety some students experience and provide individual support when necessary.

History GCSE seeks to encourage students to develop the ability to think independently, to form a reasoned argument and to evaluate sources of information in a critical way.  History qualifications are highly regarded by employers, businesses and universities, because History students develop skills in communication, research, independent thinking, problem solving, and analysis.  History GCSE is exam based, so a GCSE in History requires reading and writing skills as well as the ability to work independently. We have a very inclusive attitude to history GCSE and all students who are willing to work hard are very welcome in GCSE History.

History Options Information Video


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GCSE Specification (9 – 1)

Thematic study and historic environment
Crime & Punishment c.1000 – present day.
Whitechapel – c.1870 – 1900. 

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


Period study and British depth study
Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941 - 1991
Early Elizabethan England – 1558 – 1588 

Paper 2
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)


Modern depth study
Weimar & Nazi Germany

Paper 3
Written examination: 1 hour and 20 minutes
30%* of the qualification
52 marks


The tables below is a breakdown of the units studied at GCSE and the format of the assessments.