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GCSE history- do all the exam boards set C20th based syllabus?

(11 Posts)
twoandahalftimesthree Thu 18-May-17 20:54:13

ds loves history but doesn't want to focus on C20th. From a brief look around it appears that most exam boards focus heavily on modern history. Is there an alternative?

traviata Thu 18-May-17 21:00:17

DD is doing Edexcel . One paper is C20th, then for the rest the options are mostly 'early modern history' ie C13th onwards. Although her teacher has selected the Cold War module so about half of the course will in fact be concerned with the 20th century.

TeenAndTween Thu 18-May-17 21:37:01

2 years ago DD did medicine through time, American west and northern Ireland.

However this won't help you at all unless you home ed - your DS has to do whatever syllabus the school teaches.

Have heard said that 20C is a better grounding for A level history.

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 18-May-17 21:44:19

Thanks, that was one of the ones I'd looked at and it's pretty impossible to avoid C20th completely no matter what options the teacher chooses. It does seem funny, when you actually think about the full range of world history, that gcse seems so heavily biased towards the C20th. Personally the thing I find most fascinating about history is exploring pre-industrial societies quite different to our own. Studying more recent times is less of a stretch to the imagination for me.

twoandahalftimesthree Thu 18-May-17 21:48:58

I think A levels are similarly biased towards C20th, which was why after doing my own C20th based gcse history I chose Ancient History A level, I couldn't bear to go through the same period again but just in more depth.
ds isn't home educated but I reckon we could study a syllabus of his choosing at home in addition, I'd enjoy it at least!

Lancelottie Thu 18-May-17 21:49:04

DD's school has an option specifically for Ancient History (Greeks and Romans). It sounds, though, that you'd like something in between?

Iamastonished Thu 18-May-17 21:59:11

DD did AQA history last year, and it was all 20th century. Most of it focused on both world wars. They also did Vietnam, the post first world war boom in the US and the Wall Street crash and subsequent depression. I found it far more interesting than the history O level I failed which seemed to focus on Gladstone and Disraeli and their boring ministries.

boys3 Thu 18-May-17 21:59:36

DS1 (a few years back) had a split between 20th century and Tudors at GCSE. Went on to do early modern option at A level, so Peter the Great I think was the latest period he studied then. However now reading for a degree in History an interest in more modern periods rekindled.

DS2 doing history currently at A levels; American reconstruction onwards and War of the Roses.

DS3 starts history GCSE, so Yr 10, this Autumn, seems to have a mix of periods including Vikings, and Normans, and then pre war Germany. Also has theme of crime and punsihment in Briton from c.1200 to modern day.

boys3 Thu 18-May-17 22:06:29

forgot to add DS2 doing AQA, DS3 looks to be OCR in terms of exam boards.

mummytime Thu 18-May-17 22:32:27

Well DD is doing Edexcel, that is 1000 years of History focussing on Crime and Punishment, they've done a bit on the Anglo Saxons, will do the Cold War and Weimar Republic but also Whitechapel 1870-1900.

All student have to do one study which is outside the 20th century for the new Edexcel syllabus.

DumbledoresApprentice Sun 21-May-17 08:36:09

I'm a history teacher. In the old GCSEs you could do "Modern World" and only study modern history. I've never taught that syllabus as I've always believed in a broad curriculum. The new specs require a mixture of modern, early modern and medieval history. I think this is a good thing. You won't be able to avoid the 20th Century entirely but it doesn't have to dominate the GCSE course. Oddly I'm now teaching more C20th than I used to (about 50% on the new spec) but that because I chose the Middle East period study. If I'd chosen Golden Age of Spain instead it would only have been 30% ish. At A Level we do one Early Modern and one C20th paper. Our students choose their own topic for coursework and I've had a mixture of medieval, early modern and modern courseworks this year. The twentieth century stuff doesn't have to dominate but I don't think it would be good to neglect it entirely either. My predecessor as HOD used to do everything he could to avoid it and I think it made our history students less well-rounded.

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