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La Retraithe Sixth Form


Studying History at the La Retraite 6

Exam Board: Pearson/Edexcel

Entry Criteria: 5 GCSE Level 5 grades including History

Why study this course?

History at La Retraite is an exciting course to choose! In addition to the stimulating content of the courses, History is an excellent way for students to develop highly sought after and transferable skills. These include being able to effectively communicate complex ideas, the ability to research, analyse and evaluate information, both orally and in writing, and the capacity to make substantiated judgements, all whilst developing independent work skills.

History is one of the Russell Group universities’ ‘facilitating’ subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study. One of the most flexible of qualifications, History provides an excellent pathway to degrees such as History, Law, English, and Philosophy, and beyond that to a range of interesting careers.

What will I learn?

The course is designed to be exciting and engaging. Throughout the A Level students will learn about a range of varied and intriguing topic areas that we hope will continue to spark interest in History.

Student’s first year’s study of life in Britain in the 20th century will be complemented by studying the USA from the end of The First World War until 1955. In the second year you will be investigating the witch craze which swept through Europe and the USA from the 16th century.  Students will also get the opportunity to undertake an independent historical enquiry, further developing your research and analysis skills and demonstrating extended writing in depth.

How will I be taught?

Students aim to incorporate a range of styles into our teaching and your learning. This might include group work, presentations, debates, film, and television as well as individual reading, research, and writing. We aim to supplement your learning with appropriate visits and excursions.

How many hours a week of private study are recommended?

Students will be expected to complete around five hours of independent work a week, roughly about the same amount of time spent in lessons.

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You are interested in finding out how History influences and explains the modern world. Everything happening around us today has been influenced by and is a result of what has happened in the past. History can even help us predict what could happen in the future.

Course description

Paper 1:

  • Breadth study with interpretations; Britain transformed, 1918–97
  • 30% A level Exam: 2 hours 15 minutes

Paper 2:

  • Depth study: The USA, 1920–55: boom, bust and recovery
  • 20% A level Exam 1 hour 30 minutes

Paper 3:

  • Themes in breath with aspects in depth.
  • Option 33: The witch craze in Britain, Europe, and North America 1580-1750
  • Exam 2 hours 15 minutes.


You will be assessed throughout the course in essay writing, source analysis and mock exams to ensure you gain the expertise need to succeed in A level history.