History is a popular subject at A Level and the skills learned at GCSE will provide a solid foundation for further study in this subject.  History will appeal to those students who wish to improve their analytical skills, enjoy investigation and discovery, enjoy debate and like putting forward a well-argued case.

History at Crickhowell High School has a good tradition of achieving excellent examination results and students benefit from experienced and well qualified teachers and good resources.  We strive to offer students the opportunity to study contrasting periods of History so that a better breadth is achieved and this is particularly valuable for those students who go on to study History at university. 

Although often studied alongside other Arts subjects, History can also be taken by those students taking a more scientific route.  In terms of future career pathways, History can lead to possible careers in teaching, law, journalism and heritage, although the skills acquired through studying History are respected by many potential employers.

Getting Ready to Start Your AS / A2 History Course

Your exams are over and quite rightly you want a rest.  You can have one but before you start your course in September, there’s some work that must be done during the holidays.  Read on!  If you don’t want to read on, just download the handy booklet by clicking on the link below:

AS & A2 History Course Prep Work 2018

AS History Preparation

The core text for the course is Weimar & Nazi Germany, 1918-1945, Hite & HintonAll students will be required to purchase a copy.  Amazon has a range of copies available for purchase second hand.

A very useful, contextual understanding of this period can be found in Ben Elton’s Two Brothers, so it is recommended that you also purchase a copy of this.

For a understanding and analysis of the Nazis, the following mini series available on Youtube is extremely useful:

Hitler—The Rise of Evil:  Robert Carlyle stars as the German dictator during his rise to power in this television miniseries.  After spending years as a frustrated artist in Vienna, Adolf Hitler enlists in the German army during the First World War.  Embittered by Germany’s defeat, Hitler begins his gradual rise to power in the ranks of the newly-formed National Socialist Party.  At the same time, he begins a tortured relationship with his half-niece Geli and a more stable relationship with the devoted Eva Braun (Zoe Telford).  Meanwhile, commentating on the rise of the invigorated Nazi Party is anti-Nazi journalist Fritz Gerlich (Matthew Modine), compelled to record the growing violence in his country as Hitler achieves the Chancellorship in 1933 and begins to drag Germany into the war that will destroy it.

Other documentaries available on YouTube are to be found in the following search urls:


A2 History Preparation – The Home Front NEA

Unit 5 Non Examination Assessment is the Home Front question that was supplied to students in June, a subject that was reinforced through our trip to Aberystwyth University.  A PowerPoint presentation and supplementary information is available on the student shared area.

The minimum expectation is that prospective students have achieved at least a Grade B at GCSE level in History and/or the English Language.  This is a requirement in order to continue with the course at A2 Level.  Evidence of your research must be brought  to your lessons in the first week of term in September.

We anticipate that you will submit your completed NEA before Christmas.  We will give you specific dates when to hand things in when you return in September.  As always, if you miss a deadline without prior agreement, we cannot guarantee you time in lieu.  We have to be fair to all students.  All deadlines will be published via SMH so that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.  You will be expected to be working on your NEA at the same time as you are studying the two examination courses.  Planning and effective use of your time is therefore, critical at Advanced Level.

A2 History Preparation – Russia c. 1881—1989

Students must purchase a copy of Revolutionary Russia 1881- 1991: A Penguin Introduction by Orlando Figes.  This text provides a brilliant introduction to this breadth study course.  Figes integrates his analysis into a highly readable story.  Readers will find themselves absorbing a great deal of information and insight with very little effort.  Bear in mind that homework will be set from this text during the year!

Read into Communism.  Find out more about it, what it involves, and how/ when it occurred.  I would like c. 500 words on this topic please for the first week back in September. 

What do you think about Communism?  How you answer this is down to you but your response must show that you have done some research and have thought about the answer.

There are a number of excellent documentaries on YouTube that will help you with this.  Try these for starters:

The Voice of Lenin—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7wXlRBGrDU

The Russian Revolution —https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV9G1QUIm7w

Stalin: Inside the Terror—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIzApqzlP3Q

Stalin: Man of Steel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_pQLI9Vo58

The following YouTube search url brings up a range of fascinating documentaries, which again are well worth watching:


And of course don’t forget to look at what is already on the student shared area.