Rosemary Allen
Team Leader For History
Claire McGuinness-West
Whole School Lead for Teaching and Learning / History Teacher
Ian Davies
Leader For Staff Wellbeing & Absence Management / History Teacher
Dylan Evans
Humanities & Welsh Baccalaureate / Skills Teacher
Daniel Jenkins
Humanities Teacher MC

Subjects Offered: 

At GCSE We Offer:

  • History GCSE (WJEC Specification A)

At A Level We Offer:

  • AS History (WJEC)

  • A2 History (WJEC)

At Key Stage 4:

Unit 1: USA 1910-1929 (25%) This is examined in a written examination lasting 1hr 15 minutes.
Students will study and answer a range of source based and knowledge questions on the following themes:

  • Political and social challenges facing America

  • The rise and fall of the American economy

  • Changes in American Culture and Society

Unit 2: Germany in transition (25%) This is examined in a written examination lasting 1hr 15 minutes.

Students will study and answer a range of source based and knowledge questions on the following themes:

  • The rise of the Nazi Party and its consolidation of power, 1929-34

  • Changing life for the German people, 1933-39

  • War and its impact on life in Germany, 1939-47

Unit 3: The Development of the USA 1930-2000 (25%) This is examined in a written examination lasting 1hr 15 minutes

Students will study and answer a range of knowledge based questions on the following themes:

Section A

  • What were the main influences on American life between 1929-1945?

  • What were the main political and economic developments in the USA after 1945?

  • What were the main social developments in the USA from 1945-2000?

Section B

  • Why was there so much racial inequality in the USA between 1929 and 1945?

  • Why was it difficult for black Americans to gain equal rights in the USA in the 1950s and 60s?

  • How much progress has been made by black Americans since the 1960s?

Unit 4: Controlled Assessment (25%). Students analyse and evaluate a range of historical sources to complete two pieces of extended written work on WWI or WWII. (Topics change every year).  Controlled assessment is completed in class and marked by the class teacher. A sample is sent to the WJEC for external moderation in May.

At Key Stage 5:

During Year 12 students will study for the AS History qualification. 
This is comprised of two units.

HY1 : Europe 1815-1917 (30 % 1 hour 40 min Written Paper 120 marks)

Students study two core topics:

International Relations 1815 – 1851: A study of the main changes and developments in post-Napoleonic Europe to 1851.  This will focus on the Vienna Settlement and the concept of the Concert of Europe, the characteristics of autocratic rule in Europe, the development of the Congress system and the causes and importance of the revolutions of 1830 and 1848.

Italy 1830-1871: The factors promoting and inhibiting Italian unification, c.1830.  This will focus on the growth of the Italian nationalist movement, the impact of the 1848 revolutions on Italian nationalism, the contribution of key personalities to Italian unification, the attitude of the other powers to unification, diplomacy and war after 1852 and the new Italy, post-1861.

HY2: Reform and Protest in Wales and England, c.1830-1848 
(20 % 1 hour 20 min Written Paper 80 marks 80UMS)

Students study topics and problems relating to the period of Reform and Protest c.1830-1848. They consider a range of perspectives including political, social, economic, religious and cultural issues.  This will be primarily through a variety of different types of historical sources, including contemporary and later sources and historical interpretations.

Students will consider the reasons for the demand for Parliamentary reform leading to the Reform Bill Crisis of 1830-1832, the passing of the Great Reform Act, the causes and importance of the Merthyr rising, the reasons for the emergence of Chartism and its challenge to authority, the passing of the new Poor Law of 1834 and opposition to it, reasons for change in conditions in the factories and mines, social reform 1830-1848: public health, mines and factories, and education for children.

Year 13 students will study for the A2 History qualification. This is also comprised of two units.

HY3: Controlled Assessment – 20 % Assessed internally 80 marks (80UMS)

Students complete an Historical Investigation of between 3000-4000 words focussing on the Rebecca Riots.

HY4: Europe 1815-1917 – 30 % 2 hours 30 min Written Paper 120 marks (120UMS)

Students answer 3 synoptic style essay questions based on 2 outline studies and the in-depth study used for controlled assessment at HY3.

Outline study 1: Russia, c.1881 -1917

A study of the end of Tsardom and the beginning of the revolution.  Students consider the condition of Russia in 1881 including the nature of Tsarist rule and the effects of reform and modernization.  They look at the economic and industrial development, the influence of revolutionary groups, the causes of revolution in 1917 and the roles of Lenin and other key figures.

Outline study 2: International relations, c.1815-1914

A study of international rivalry and co-operation in Europe.  Students build upon topics covered at HY1 and consider the Vienna Settlement and the idea of the Concert of Europe, emerging differences amongst the powers and the breakdown of the Congress System, the Eastern Question and the Crimean War, Imperial and colonial issues, the setting up of alliances and ententes, the importance of the Balkan question and the causes of World War I.

In depth study: The period of Rebecca, c.1839-1844

A study of the significance and consequences of the Rebecca riots.  Students consider the causes, events and results of the Rebecca Riots, the outbreak and spread of the riots, the activities of the rioters, Government and local reaction to the riots and how the riots came to an end.

Extra-curricular Activities

The History Department has run a series of successful trips.  These have included visits to Berlin and Krakow to support the GCSE course of the study of Nazi Germany and WWII.  Trips to Belgium have also brought the study of WWI out of the classroom and all excursions have been a fantastic experience for both students and staff.

In February 2014 the History department is running a trip to Berlin, Krakow and Prague.  This trip will include a visit to the Story of Berlin Museum, a visit to a Salt Mine and a guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp.  There will also be time to explore the beautiful city of Krakow and attend a Polish Music and Folk Dancing evening.  Our final day will include a two hour walking tour of Prague.

History Club is held weekly and is open to all to catch up on missed work or homework.  The department also holds a series of master class sessions throughout the year for KS4 students who wish to extend their knowledge and improve their exam technique.

History at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen

GCSE History is taught as a one-year course and is available as an option for students in years 9-11.  History is a popular subject at Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen, with large numbers opting to study it at both GCSE and A level.  Our enthusiastic team aims to bring History to life using a wide variety of stimuli to engage and encourage our students to be active participants in our lessons. 
These include: pictures, cartoons, written sources, films, documentaries, newspapers and music.

History allows people to make sense of the world they live in and discover how and why people behaved in the way they did.  It encourages students to ask questions and not take everything at face-value.  The study of History helps pupils express their own opinions in a reasoned manner, while equipping them with a vast array of skills that are useful in the wider world.