Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Course title:  History A Level OCR (Block B)

Academic year:


Course Venues:

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School

Course Type:

A Level

Course Code:



2 years

Course Description: 

This qualification will develop both critical and reflective thinking with an understanding of historical topics and issues; it will also encourage an awareness of the importance of historical awareness in explaining contemporary issues.  

History A-level provides a fantastic curriculum to ignite and engage learners’ passions and interests. Our content will create independent learners, critical thinkers and decision–makers – all personal assets that can make them stand out as they progress to higher education and/or the workplace.

A Level History challenges students’ minds and develops their abilities in a number of key ways: Research, analysis, communication, Time management, ICT, working with others, problem solving, as well as planning and organising.

Course Content: 

Unit 1: England 1445–1509: Lancastrians, Yorkists and Henry VII (Enquiry topic: Wars of the Roses 1445–1461) 


Unit 2: The USA in the 19th Century: Westward expansion and Civil War 1803–c1890 


Unit 3: Russia and its Rulers 1855–1964


Unit 4: Coursework on the American Civil War 1861-5


Entry requirements: 

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form are a 9-4 in at least seven different subjects, including English and mathematics, which would usually be at grade 4 or above.

To study other subjects already taken at GCSE you must achieve at least a grade 5 or above in that subject.


Unit groups 1–3 are assessed entirely through written examinations that are externally marked.

All examinations take place at the end of the course

Unit group 4 is assessed internally, then moderated externally and submitted before the examinations begin, in May.

Financial Information:

Core text books will be given on loan for the duration of the course. However, further reading is expected and this may involve purchasing a range of books.

Future opportunities:  

History is referred by the Russell Group of Universities (Making Informed choices 2014) as a facilitating subject which will enable you to have a much wider range of options available to you when applying to universities. 

All key skills are covered.