Years 10 & 11 Curriculum - History

History (Schools History Project B)

OCR J411


At GCSE the course is called the ‘Schools History Project’ which inspires students’ enthusiasm for history. It is one of the most popular GCSE History syllabuses in English schools. Students develop their understanding of the present by studying significant periods and themes from the past at a local, national and global level, engaging with a range of contemporary sources and later interpretations. The course has five equally weighted sections amounting to 20% of the total GCSE, which include:

  • The People’s Health, c.1250 to present day. In this section students are taught to gain a better understanding of the whole span of human development. They have to learn how Medicine has changed in Britain between the Medieval Period and the present day. This thematic study enables study of change and continuity across time periods and within each one.
  • The Norman Conquest, 1065-1087. This depth study enables students to understand how and why different interpretations of Norman England have been constructed. In particular they look at what lies behind the myth of ‘the Norman Yoke’ and should consider how much of this is myth and how much is reality.
  • History Around Us. Students are given an insight into the techniques of the local historian. They research the enormous changes that have taken place in the local area over the past 100 years, through a study of Portchester Castle over time. They must demonstrate understanding of how its role has altered from Roman times.
  • The Making of America, 1789-1900. This period study follows the unfolding narrative of the making of America from the inauguration of the first president in 1789 to the end of the 19th Century when the USA was set to become the world’s most dominant power. Students will need to understand how and why American territory expanded during these years and the relationship between this expansion and the cultures of indigenous Americans, African Americans and white Americans.
  • Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945. This world depth study should enable learners to understand the impact of the Nazi dictatorship on people’s lives both within Germany and across allied Europe. It explores the interplay of political, economic, social, racial and cultural forces at work in these societies.

The course encourages students to become curious, to develop their own opinions based on a respect for evidence and to build a wide knowledge of significant historical events. Historical enquiry continues to be the approach that is needed to make sense of the content in each of the studies. Students will also continue to develop a set of second-order concepts for history which include 'cause and consequence', 'change and continuity', 'similarity and difference', and 'historical significance’ to shape the enquiry questions asked in a topic and organise the subject knowledge. Students who take History at GCSE should have completed their foundation year in History in Year 9 in order to have the skills in place for the course.

History B (SHP) consists of three component groups. All components are externally assessed.

  • Component 1 – 40% The People’s Health, c.1250 to present and the Norman Conquest, 1065-1087. 1 hr 45 mins paper – 40 marks each (80 marks total).
  • Component 2 – 20% Candidates have to complete a source based local study exam. 1hr paper – 40 marks + 10 SPaG
  • Component 3 – 40% The Making of America, 1789-1900 and Living under Nazi Rule, 1933-1945. 1 hr 45 mins paper – 40 marks each (80 marks total)

We encourage students to buy a Revision Guide, which we stock for around £10.00 in the school shop, which covers all of the units. Web address for specification:


Enquiries to:  Mr O Hoskins – Learning Leader: History