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Devonport High School for Girls

Head of Department

Miss L Matthews, BA (Hons) QTS

Statement of Intent 

History at DHSG will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of purposefully selected historical events, cause and consequence, and resonance to the modern day in line with the National Curriculum.  

The diversity of the content also acknowledges the narrative of marginalised groups, which challenges and provokes curiosity to be developed through debate. This is delivered in harness with the development of core history and historiographical skills centering on analysis, evaluation, interpretation, and significance.  

We interleave the curriculum across the three key stages to provide students with a sound understanding of the world in which they live, carefully developed transferable skills which are monitored and delivered with intent by subject experts.    

A Level Course Outline

The course is designed to offer students the opportunity to develop as independent learners in readiness for degree studies and the workplace. The Personal Study provides students with a chance to investigate a period of 100 years of their choice. Students must cover a period of 200 years of study overall including the taught units.

The legacy history study programme focuses on political, economic and social developments in the period c 1783 – 1885.  From September students will study The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 when England arguably transitioned from a medieval to a modern state.

This period contrasts with the dramatic era in Germany from 1918-45, which witnessed the collapse of an autocratic state in 1918, the revolution of 1918, the transition to a democratic Republic, the rise of the Nazis followed by the collapse of democracy in the wake of the world depression and the establishment and consolidation of the Nazi Dictatorship

AS Level Course Outline

The AS course covers the same material as the A-Level, but the scope of the examinations covers a briefer period and the question types are designed as a means of transitioning from GCSE to full A-Level. The  British unit covers British History from c1783 - 1832 and explores the early industrial revolution and social and political developments.  The German unit covers the period 1918 - 33 and focuses on the origins of the Weimar Republic, the development of democratic institutions and its eventual collapse and the rise of the Nazis and appointment of Hitler as Chancellor. 

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

History is a well-respected academic subject which provides a good foundation for many careers. Archaeology, Conservation and History Teaching are amongst those directly related to the subject, but there are many other careers where historians excel: Architecture, Banking, Economics, Journalism, Law, Marketing and Publishing, all of which draw on historical skills such as analysis and the ability to form judgements based on scrutiny of the evidence.

Course Content

Examination Board


Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website

History  A - 7042
History AS - 7041


A Level

Unit 1

Legacy  Breadth Study - Protest and Reform: The Transformation of Britain, c1783–c 1885 (40%)


Unit 1

From 2022 Breadth Study - 1C The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 (40%)


Unit 2

Depth Study - Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945 (40%)


Unit 3

Historical Investigation - A personal study based on a topic of student’s choice, 3000-3500 words (20%)

AS Level


Unit 1

Breadth Study - The Tudors: England, 1485–1603 Part one: consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty: England, 1485–1547 (50%)


Unit 2


Depth Study - Democracy and Nazism: Germany, 1918–1945 (50%)

Curriculum Programmes of Study 


Cycle Content
           Breadth unit        Depth unit

Year 12

Cycle 1

  • Henry Tudor’s consolidation of power: character and aims; establishing the Tudor dynasty

  • Henry VII Government: councils, parliament, justice, royal finance, domestic policies

  • Relationships with Scotland and other foreign powers under Henry VII; securing the succession; marriage alliances

Henry VII’s Society: churchmen, nobles and commoners; regional division; social discontent and rebellions

  • The impact of war and the political crises of October to November 1918; the context for the establishment of the Weimar Constitution; terms, strengths and weaknesses

  • The Peace Settlement: expectations and reality; terms and problems; attitudes within Germany and abroad

  • Economic and social issues: post-war legacy and the state of the German economy and society; reparations, inflation and hyperinflation; the invasion of the Ruhr and its economic impact; social welfare and the social impact of hyperinflation

Political instability and extremism; risings on the left and right, including the Kapp Putsch; the political impact of the invasion of the Ruhr; the Munich Putsch; problems of coalition government and the state of the Republic by 1924

Cycle 2

  • Economic development under Henry VII: trade, exploration, prosperity and depression

  • Religion under Henry VII; humanism; arts and learning

  • Henry VIII: character and aims; addressing Henry VII’s legacy

  • Henry VIII’s Government: Crown and Parliament, ministers, domestic policies including the establishment of Royal Supremacy

Henry VIII’s relationships with Scotland and other foreign powers; securing the succession

  • Economic developments: Stresemann; the Dawes Plan; industry, agriculture and the extent of recovery; the reparations issue and the Young Plan

  • Social developments: social welfare reforms; the development of Weimar culture; art, architecture, music, theatre, literature and film; living standards and lifestyles

  • Political developments and the workings of democracy: President Hindenburg; parties ; elections and attitudes to the Republic from the elites and other social groups; the position of the extremists, including the Nazis and Communists; the extent of political stability

Germany’s international position; Stresemann's foreign policy aims and achievements including: Locarno; the League of Nations; the Treaty of Berlin; the end of allied occupation and the pursuit of disarmament

Cycle 3

  • Henry VIII’s society: elites and commoners; regional issues and the social impact of religious upheaval; rebellion

  • Economic development under Henry VIII: trade, exploration, prosperity and depression

  • Religion under Henry VIII: renaissance ideas; reform of the Church; continuity and change by 1547

  • Edward VI, Somerset and Northumberland; royal authority; problems of succession; relations with foreign powers

The social impact of religious and economic changes under Edward VI; rebellion; intellectual developments; humanist and religious thought

  • The economic, social and political impact of the Depression: elections; governments and policies

  • The appeal of Nazism and Communism; the tactics and fortunes of the extremist parties, including the role of propaganda

  • Hindenburg, Papen, Schleicher and the 'backstairs intrigue' leading to Hitler’s appointment as chancellor

  • Political developments: the Reichstag Fire; parties and elections; the Enabling Act and the end of democracy; the state of Germany by March 1933


NEA – preparation and commencement

Year 13 


Cycle 1

  • Mary I and her ministers; royal authority; problems of succession; relations with foreign powers

  • The social impact of religious and economic changes under Mary I; rebellion; intellectual developments; humanist and religious thought

  • Elizabeth I: character and aims; consolidation of power, including the Act of Settlement and relations with foreign powers

The impact of economic, social and religious developments in the early years of Elizabeth's rule

  • Hitler’s consolidation of power, March 1933–1934: governmental and administrative change and the establishment of the one-party state; the Night of the Long Knives and the impact of the death of President Hindenburg

  • The 'Terror State': the police, including the SS and Gestapo; the courts; extent, effectiveness and limitations of opposition and non-conformity; propaganda: aims, methods and impact; extent of totalitarianism

  • Economic policies and the degree of economic recovery; Schacht; Goering; the industrial elites

  • Social policies: young people; women; workers; the churches; the degree of Volksgemeinschaft; benefits and drawbacks of Nazi rule

The radicalisation of the state: Nazi racial ideology; policies towards the mentally ill, asocials, homosexuals, members of religious sects, the Roma and Sinti.

Completion of NEA for end of Cycle 1

Cycle 2

  • Elizabethan government: court, ministers and parliament; factional rivalries

  • Foreign affairs: issues of succession; Mary, Queen of Scots; relations with Spain

  • Society: continuity and change; problems in the regions; social discontent and rebellions

  • Economic development: trade, exploration and colonisation; prosperity and depression

Religious developments, change and continuity; the English renaissance and ‘the Golden Age’ of art, literature and music

  • Anti-Semitism: policies and actions towards the Jews, including the boycott of Jewish shops and the Nuremberg Laws

  • The development of anti-Semitic policies and actions; the effect of the Anschluss; Reichkristallnacht; emigration; the impact of the war against Poland

  • The treatment of Jews in the early years of war: the Einsatzgruppen; ghettos and deportations

  • Rationing, indoctrination, propaganda and morale; the changing impact of war on different sections of society including the elites, workers, women and youth

The wartime economy and the work of Speer; the impact of bombing; the mobilisation of the labour force and prisoners of war

Cycle 3

  • The last years of Elizabeth: the state of England politically, economically, religiously and socially by 1603

Exam preparation

  • Policies towards the Jews and the ‘untermenschen’ during wartime; the Wannsee Conference and the 'Final Solution'

  • Opposition and resistance in wartime including students, churchmen, the army and civilian critics; assassination attempts and the July Bomb Plot; overview of the Nazi state by 1945


Exam preparation