Subject Information - History

National 5

Head of Department: Mr Bobby Chaudhry

Course Progression: History

The History Department is committed to providing a curriculum appropriate to each and every pupil.  Accordingly, the curriculum that we offer is underpinned by our determination to provide pupils with breadth, depth, choice and specialisation. 

As enthusiastic historians we have developed a coherent, relevant, challenging and diverse curriculum which:

  • supports progression from S1 through to S6
  • develops a range of transferable skills
  • stimulates knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of historical study

History (S3/S4) National 5

In S3 pupils will begin the SQA certificated course, National 5 History. The fundamental aim of this SQA National 5 History course is to enable pupils to understand their own communities, their country and the wider world. Pupils study three units which cover Scottish, British, European and World context in a variety of time periods. 

Course Unit

Historical Study: Scottish Migration and Empire, 1830-1939
The first unit is a historical study of an aspect of Scottish history, “Migration and Empire, 1830-1939”. This study is a thematic investigation into the causes and results of movements of population into and away from Scotland during the period 1830s to 1930s, focusing on issues of identity and community and on the experiences of migrants in their new countries or communities.

This unit offers is excellent scope to examine the reasons for emigration using sources such as posters, adverts and newspaper articles, to look at the impact that Scotland has had on the world. Pupils can examine a country such as the USA and investigate the impact that Scottish migrants had on the USA up to 1939. Pupils can identify an individual migrant from research and tell their story.

Historical Study: European and World, Free at last? Civil Rights in the USA, 1918-1968
This unit is a study of the growth, successes and failures of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA over the course of the 20th Century. Although there is some examination of the impact of immigrants on US society, the bulk of the topic deals with the African-American experience between the end of WW1 and the assassination of Dr King in 1968. This includes the impact of Jim Crow and the KKK; the Great Migration from the South to the Northern cities; the development of the movement and its principles; the leadership of Martin Luther King; the emergence of more radical Black Power movements in the 1960s and leaders like Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. Appropriate primary and secondary sources can be used to enable pupils to decide what were the key factors in the success of the Civil Rights Movement. Pupils can research the events in the US, using appropriate sources, and then choose a method of presentation that suits them.

Historical Study: The Atlantic Slave Trade, 1770-1807
This mandatory study looks at the triangular slave trade in Britain and the Caribbean. It assesses the impact of the trade on the development of British cities, and the negative impact on the development of the African and Caribbean economies. We examine the experience of the slave from capture to destination, and there is an appreciation of the captives’ experience and slave resistance. We also study the abolitionist campaigns; their increased support outside and within Parliament; and the role of William Wilberforce. We look at the arguments of the abolitionists: Christian, humanitarian, and economic; and the methods the various groups used to campaign against slavery.

Added Value Assessment — History Assignment 
In S4 pupils choose an historical issue for study which promotes debate; develops an understanding of the issue through using a historical perspective; and allows pupils to draw a well-reasoned conclusion. Having researched an issue pupils are required to write an Extended Response on their chosen subject. This written response is then submitted to the SQA and contributes towards the overall course grade.

This Unit provides rich opportunities for pupils to choose a range of possible titles for their History assignment, e.g.:

  • How significant was the role of the media in the success of the Civil Rights Movement?
  • To what extent did economic hardship motivate Irish migration to Scotland in the 19th century?
  • How important was William Wilberforce in the success of the abolitionist campaign?

Structure of the Course Assessment

National 5 History consists of two components: a question paper and an Added Value Assessment.

Question Paper
The question paper has 80 marks and assesses knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the Scottish, British and European/World contexts which pupils studied in S3/4. The question paper will be completed under exam conditions and submitted to the SQA for marking. The exam will last 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Added Value Assessment
This assignment will have 20 marks. Pupils will prepare their extended response in class and at home and they will have 1 hour to write up an extended response to a question of their choosing. Their response is submitted to the SQA for external marking.

 

 

Higher

Head of Department: Mr Bobby Chaudhry

Course Progression: History

The History Department is committed to providing a curriculum appropriate to each and every pupil.  Accordingly, the curriculum that we offer is underpinned by our determination to provide pupils with breadth, depth, choice and specialisation. 

As enthusiastic historians we have developed a coherent, relevant, challenging and diverse curriculum which:

  • supports progression from S1 through to S6
  • develops a range of transferable skills
  • stimulates knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of historical study

History (S5/S6) Higher

In S5 and in S6 pupils may choose to follow Higher History. With its unique appeal to a sense of historical development and understanding, and its promotion of high order skills, History at Higher level makes a vital contribution to any well-balanced curriculum whether based on Arts, Humanities or Science. While entry is at the discretion of the Department, candidates would normally be expected to have attained the following or equivalent, Grade A-B, National 5 History.

Course Units

The course involves the study of three units:

Unit 1 – Historical Study: Scottish. The Wars of Independence, 1249-1328
This unit deals with the crisis caused by the death of Alexander III and the subsequent subjugation of Scotland by Edward I of England. We examine the Great Cause; Balliol’s reign; the rebellion led by Wallace; and the events leading up to (and beyond) the Battle of Bannockburn. Whereas the other two units are essay-based, Unit 1 concentrates on the evaluation of primary and secondary sources.

Unit 2 – Historical Study: British. The Making of Modern Britain 1851-1951
In this unit learners cover a variety of topics, such as an evaluation of the reasons why Britain became more democratic, an assessment of how democratic Britain became, an evaluation of the reasons why women won greater political equality by 1928, an evaluation of the reasons why the Liberals introduced social welfare reforms, an assessment of the effectiveness of the Liberal social welfare reforms and an assessment of the effectiveness of the Labour social welfare reforms.

Unit 3 – Historical Study: European and World. The Growth of Nationalism in Italy 1815-1939
For those studying Italy, there will be an examination of the roots of Italian nationalism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and how this developed into demands for a unified Italian state. Following this, we learn about the causes and events of Italian unification by 1870. Finally, learners study the origins and rise of Mussolini’s fascist movement, and how he was able to stay in power between 1922 and 1939 (we don’t continue into the war itself).

Assessment

Component 1 - The Exam

There are two question papers, one of 44 marks and one of 36 marks, making 80 marks in total (approx. 72% of the final mark). Each paper lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The British and European and World sections are made up of extended response questions requiring the learner to draw on the knowledge and understanding and apply the skills acquired during the course. This paper comprises two essays, each of 22 marks.

The Scottish section is made up of four questions which will assess source-handling skills; evaluating and contextualising a selection of sources drawing from all aspects of the course. The source paper is worth 36 marks overall

Component 2 – The Assignment 

The assignment is worth 30 marks (approx. 27% of the overall course mark). The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate challenge and application by demonstrating the following higher order cognitive skills, knowledge and understanding within the context of an historical issue. Learners will:

  • identify a historical issue which invites debate and argument
  • research and investigate the historical issue, using a range of sources of information
  • draw on and apply knowledge and understanding to analyse the causes and/or impact of the historical issue
  • analyse, evaluate and synthesise information in a structured manner
  • refer to relevant historical sources
  • identify different perspectives and/or points of view
  • structure information and present a well-reasoned conclusion supported by evidence

The assignment write-up will be carried out under formal exam conditions. Learners will have 1 hour and 30 minutes for the write up. Course assessment will provide the basis for grading attainment in the course award. The course assessment is graded A–D. The grade is determined on the basis of the total mark for all course assessments together.

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Advanced Higher

Head of Department: Mr Bobby Chaudhry

Course Progression: History

The History Department is committed to providing a curriculum appropriate to each and every pupil.  Accordingly, the curriculum that we offer is underpinned by our determination to provide pupils with breadth, depth, choice and specialisation. 

As enthusiastic historians we have developed a coherent, relevant, challenging and diverse curriculum which:

  • supports progression from S1 through to S6
  • develops a range of transferable skills
  • stimulates knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of historical study

History (S6) Advanced Higher

In S6 pupils may study the Advanced Higher History Course. This challenging and stimulating course enables pupils to acquire depth in the knowledge and understanding of historical themes and to develop skills of analysing issues, developments and events, drawing conclusions and evaluating sources. These aims will be achieved through the study of a chosen context. Candidates will study one Field of Study. The Course will also provide the opportunity to integrate these skills in an extended piece of individual research (a 4400 word dissertation).

While entry is at the discretion of the Department, candidates would normally be expected to have attained the following or equivalent, Grade A-B, Higher History.

Courses

The department currently offer two courses at this level:

Scotland: from the Treaty of Union to the Enlightenment, 1707-1815

  • The Treaty of Union, Glasgow and the tobacco trade
  • Jacobite rebellions, 1715-19
  • The Jacobite Rebellion, 1745-46
  • The Highlands
  • Industrialisation and urbanisation
  • Agricultural improvement in the Lowlands
  • The Governance of Scotland
  • The Kirk
  • The Enlightenment
  • Education

Japan: The Modernisation of a Nation, 1840-1920

  • The twilight of mediaeval Japan, and the forces that caused the end of the Tokugawa period
  • The arrival of the Americans in 1853, and the collapse of the Bakufu
  • The Meiji Restoration in 1868
  • The Meiji social, political, economic and military reforms
  • The Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War
  • The ending of Ansei, and the acceptance of Japan as a ‘Great Power’
  • The impact of WW1 on Japan’s status

Course Assessment

Course assessment consists of three Components:

Component 1 - Unit Assessment
Candidates must achieve the Unit outcomes, during the course of the year. These will be assessed in a variety of ways throughout the course. Learners must meet each of these outcomes in order to progress to the Advanced Higher exam.

Component 2 - The Exam
The purpose of the question paper is to demonstrate depth of knowledge and understanding and application of skills. The question paper will give learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:
● factual and theoretical knowledge and understanding of complex historical issues
● factual and theoretical knowledge and understanding of different historiographical perspectives
● critical analysis and evaluation of a range of historical sources
● critical analysis and evaluation of the causes or impacts of complex historical developments
● synthesising information in order to structure and sustain lines of argument

The question paper is out of 90 marks and is made up of two sections. Part A: Historical Issues (50 marks) and Part B: Historical Sources (40 marks). The following command words will be used for source questions:
● Evaluate the usefulness of [source] as evidence of…
● How fully does [source] explain…
● How much do [sources] reveal about differing interpretations of…

The 25-mark questions will use a variety of command words including: 

● To what extent was [event] caused by [factor]…?
● How far does [factor] explain [event]?
● [quote] How valid is this view?
● [quote] How justified is this view?

The exam will last 3 hours.

Component 3 – Project (Dissertation)
The purpose of this project-dissertation is to demonstrate challenge and application by demonstrating skills, knowledge and understanding within the context of a complex historical issue. The project-dissertation will give learners an opportunity to undertake independent research in order to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:
● identifying an appropriate complex historical issue for research
● drawing on in-depth knowledge and understanding
● using information from a range of primary and secondary sources
● analysing perspectives from historiography
● synthesising the evidence and historiography in a sustained and coherent line of argument drawing a well-reasoned conclusion based on evidence
​● organising, presenting and referencing findings using an appropriate referencing system

The project-dissertation will have 50 marks. The project (dissertation) is an individual piece of work that learners will commence in August and then submit to the SQA before Easter.

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