History

The History Department at Fairwater High School is a vibrant and innovative subject area within the school. Situated in the upper school building, there are currently three members of staff teaching within the department. Our focus is on both academic achievement and individual pupil development and, consequently, history tends to be a popular option choice at GCSE, AS and A2 levels. In recent years between 70 and 85 per cent of GCSE candidates in history have achieved A* – C grades.

History at AS and A2 builds upon pupil achievement at GCSE. The department has enjoyed considerable success at ‘A’ level over many years, and few candidates can expect to be unsuccessful in the AS or AL examinations. Indeed, candidates consistently achieve grades A – C; many of these students then choose to read history at undergraduate level.

This success is built on good teaching, enthusiasm and challenge, while the school’s target grade system allows us to regularly monitor progress and intervene at an early stage if required. The department runs a lunchtime family history club each week, enabling pupils to research their own history and to tell their own story.

HISTORY AT KEY STAGE 3

At Key Stage 3 we follow the National Curriculum for Wales:

Year 7 – Medieval Realms, c. 1066-1500
Year 8 – The Making of the United Kingdom, c. 1500 – 1750
Year 9 – Expansion, Trade and Industry, c. 1750 -1918

In 2013, 82% of pupils achieved a Level 5 or higher in history. This has helped consolidate the position of the History Department within our family of schools. In each term we provide two formal written assessments which address the five key elements – chronology, knowledge, historical interpretations, evidence and communication – for History within the National Curriculum. History teachers also use a set of common literacy and numeracy strategies in lessons which relate to the National Numeracy and Literacy Framework.

We have designed our written assessments to make accurate judgements on pupils’ ability to progress through Key Stage 3. Work is marked in National Curriculum levels, grade descriptors for which are found in the table below. Typically, pupils will be working from Level 3 to Level 7, although a number of more gifted and talented pupils may reach Level 8 at the end of Key Stage 3. Assessed work of this kind will mainly take place in class, but regular pieces of homework are set to support these tasks.

Download Key Stage 3 curriculum content >

GCSE

The GCSE course has four units, which are studied over a two-year course. At the end of Year 11, pupils sit three examinations (worth 75%). The Controlled Assessment consists of two extended-writing assignments, which are completed with the teacher in lessons (worth 25%). The focus in this section is the analysis and evaluation of historical sources and the role of historical interpretations.

The modules for GCSE History (WJEC):

1. USA: A NATION OF CONTRASTS, 1910-1929 (DEPTH)

  • The main problems and challenges facing America
  • The rise and fall of the American economy
  • Changes American culture and society

2. RUSSIA IN TRANSITION, 1905 – 1924 (DEPTH)

  • The causes and impact of the Revolutions of 1917
  • The causes and impact of the Civil War, 1918-1921
  • The development of the Communist state, 1921-1924

 3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF GERMANY, 1919-1991(OUTLINE)

  • The main features of Germany’s political development since 1919
  • Changes in the lives of the German people since 1919

4. CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT: Britain during Total War 1914-45

The content for this module will change every year. This is an examination requirement. For more information, use the link below:
Http://www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/18260.pdf

HISTORY AT AS AND A LEVEL

History is an academic discipline that involves research, essay writing and source evaluation. The development of historical skills plays a significant part in preparing students for the demands of Higher Education. To be accepted onto the AS course, candidates have to show an aptitude for the subject at GCSE level. We usually ask for a minimum requirement of a ‘C’ grade at this level to start the AS course. We also ask that prospective A Level candidates demonstrate a high level of commitment and enthusiasm for the subject.

At Fairwater, both the AS and the A2 courses involve an outline period study in European History and a depth study in British History. There are four modules that are examined, two in each of the courses. The coursework module (HY3) is contained within the British element of the A2 course only. Currently this focuses on a study of Chartism in Wales, 1838 – 1848.

The topic areas currently studied are:

  • ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF EUROPE, 1878 – 1989 (OUTLINE)
  • REFORM AND PROTEST IN WALES AND ENGLAND, 1830 – 1848 (DEPTH)

For more information, use the link below:
Http://www.wjec.co.uk/uploads/publications/15726.pdf

CAREER OPTIONS

A qualification in History is regarded as being highly desirable in many occupations, and can lead to a career in teaching, law, broadcasting, publishing, architecture, museum work, journalism, the police force and the civil service.

CONTACT US / VISIT

T (01633) 643950 head.fairwatercomp@torfaen.gov.uk
Fairwater High School
Ty-Gwyn Way
Cwmbran
Gwent
NP44 4YZ