History and Politics

Course ID
A Level (Government and Politics, History) and IGCSE (History)

Introduction to History and Politics

The History and Politics Department at Wolverhampton Grammar School provides challenging academic discourse for students throughout the school.

The combination of teachers with interests across history and politics ensures lively debate and discussion in all classes. The department also supports a number of extra-curricular activities including War Room and Political Forum, and regular visits to sites of historical interest, from the local Black Country Museum to our annual WW1 Battlefields trip to France.

There are three teaching staff in the department:

As students progress through the KS3 and IGCSE curriculum, they explore a number of areas including the Middle Ages, Tudors and Stuarts, the Italian Renaissance, the industrial revolution, World War I and II, and Nazi Germany. A level history includes Tudor England and Communist Russia, with politics students exploring people and politics, governing the UK, British political issues and governing the USA.

Introduction to the Course

This course will enable students to acquire a detailed knowledge and understanding of the modern world. The core content is chiefly concerned with international relations in the 20th century. In addition, students undertake a Depth Study on Germany 1918-45, and coursework on the First World War. The latter is supported by a trip to the battlefields every July. Throughout the IGCSE course, students will need sharp thinking in lessons and analytical rigour on paper. The course follows a linear structure.

What the student will learn

  • The First World War and subsequent peace settlement.
  • The rise and fall of the League of Nations.
  • The Great Depression.
  • The collapse of international order in the 1930’s.
  • Germany under the Weimar Republic and Third Reich.
  • How to listen to and participate in historical discourse.
  • How to work through a range of historical problems, individually and in groups.
  • How to read and respond to different types of historical sources.
  • How to make a convincing historical case, orally and in writing.
  • How to apply appropriate historical vocabulary.
  • Above all, how to think for oneself.

How the student will be assessed


Paper 1


2 hours



  • Structured essay questions on the International Relations Core and the Germany Depth Study.
  • 40% of total marks.

Paper 2

2 hours

  • Source work on a topic from the International Relations Core.

  • 33% of total marks.



  • 2000 word essay on the First World War.

  • 27% of total marks.

There has never been a more fascinating time to study  Government and Politics at Wolverhampton Grammar School.

This A Level subject gives students a grounding in the current  affairs of the UK and other countries, notably the USA. We don’t always like politicians or agree with the things that governments  do, but politics touches every aspect of our lives.

Government and Politics is an inter-disciplinary subject that brings together the study of history, economics, sociology and psychology. If you are  interested in democracy, society, current affairs and public policy then this  is the subject for you.

 The Government & Politics course abounds with contemporary life, controversy and colour. Students who are interested in current affairs, and  in how the country is run, will find it a stimulating and eye opening subject. They will have the opportunity to debate political ideas in depth, and  relate their own political beliefs to the policy-making process. It is a subject
grounded in the real world, yet underpinned by academic rigour. It is the subject for people who are interested in why things are run the way they are.

It is an interesting and challenging course, which obliges students to stay abreast of the contemporary political landscape. Students also learn about  key political thinkers and ideas. A level Politics dovetails well with almost  any subject combination, and it opens doors at university and beyond.  Politics degrees from good universities lead to careers in law, business and
finance, the arts and media and much more.


Component 1: UK Politics

  • Written Examination
  • 2 hours
  • 33.3% of qualification

Component 2: UK Government

  • Written Examination
  • 2 Hours
  • 33.3% of qualification

Component 3: Comparative Politics

  • Written Examination
  • 2 hours
  • 33.3% of qualification

For further details of the specification, please visit edexcel.org.uk

Students who study history are fearless explorers of the past. They investigate past politics, societies, cultures, languages, health, art, education, money, conflicts and more, look at how things have developed over time and connect the dots to understand how we got where we are today.

However, History at A Level is about much more than what happened in the past. It is a civilising discipline, elucidating man’s towering achievements, his darkest folly, and everything in between. Students must therefore consider the motives and actions of people involved in both important
and everyday events. The consequences of these actions, both great and small, will be investigated. The course will be stimulating, challenging and exciting. It will involve wide reading and extended writing, as well as vigorous argument in class.

This subject is key to sharpening your critical thinking abilities, which combine analysis, research, essay writing and communication skills to help you to solve problems and form arguments for debate – incredibly useful to universities and employers alike.

History is a good fit with most A Level combinations, not just those on the arts side. It is valued at university and beyond because of the skills of argument, analysis and sharp thinking that  historians develop in the course of their studies. Historians with good degrees from good universities are still sought after in today’s ultra competitive job market.


Unit 1 is the Breadth Study:

  • This paper considers historical developments over a period of around 100 years, and associated interpretations. There is one compulsory question linked to historical interpretations. Students write two essays from a choice of three.
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • 40% of A Level.

Unit 2 is the Depth Study:

  • This paper considers a period of major historical change and
    associated primary evidence. There is one compulsory question linked to primary sources. Students write two essays from a choice of three.
  • 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  • Worth 40% of A Level.

Unit 3 is Coursework:

  • A 3500 word essay on an issue set in the context of a hundred years.
  • Coursework is worth 20% of A Level.

For further details of the specification, please visit www.aqa.org.uk

© Wolverhampton Grammar School 2015. Registered Charity Number: 1125268