Higher History: Course Handbook

Download 49.78 Kb.
Date conversion15.05.2016
Size49.78 Kb.
Higher History: Course Handbookhttps://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/cl/lornshillhistorys5and6/files/2013/03/social-media-history1.png

Welcome to the Higher History course. Over the coming year you will build up your historical knowledge, increase your understanding of world events and Scotland’s place within the world and, further develop literacy and numeracy skills essential for life outside of school.

What topics will I study?

You will study three units in this course: Britain 1851-1951; Germany 1815-1939 and, Migration and Empire 1830-1939.

In the British unit we explore the growth of democracy in the UK between 1851 and 1951. We look at the development of basic democratic principles, female political equality and social reforms made by successive governments.

In the German unit we learn about the circumstances surrounding the creation of Germany as a nation in 1871 and in particular the growth of German nationalist feeling. We then look at the further rise of German nationalism in the form of the Nazi Party between 1933 and 1939.

In the Empire and Migration unit we study population movement in Scotland and the Empire between 1830 and 1939 by studying Scots and groups who came to Scotland. We focus on the themes of empire, identity and, the reasons for and impact of migration.


You will find detailed content lists at the back. You should use these as check-lists for exam and prelim revision and, assessment preparation.

How will I be assessed?

You will have unit assessments to pass for all three units studied. These assessments have no time restrictions and they are also open-book. These are marked simply pass or fail. A pass in each unit is a mandatory part of the course however, you can be re-assessed. Different skills and knowledge will be tested in each of the three units; the British and German units will test different aspects of essay based skills and, the Scottish unit will test source based skills.
We will also carry out an interim assessment under timed conditions in class. This will be made up of a combination of essay and source based questions. This will be in preparation for the interim report in November and will also give us a very good indication of how well you are coping with the course.
You will also have to choose, research and write-up an assignment based on what we have studied. This will be an individual piece of work. You will be given support and some time in class to work on this however, an element of homework will be also required. You will be allowed to take one A4 side of research notes into the write-up; it will be carried out over 1 hour 30 minutes under exam conditions and sent away to the SQA before the final exam.
Your final exam will last two hours and twenty minutes and, you will sit only one paper. The paper will be made up of three sections; one for each unit you have studied. It is worth a total of 60 marks; 20 marks per section. You will answer one from a choice of essay questions in both the British and German parts of the paper. Each essay is worth 20 marks. The Scottish section will be made up of source based questions worth between 5 and 9 marks.

What will be expected of me?

Higher History is a very interesting course that offers great opportunities to develop your knowledge, research, essay writing and analytical skills. It is hard work but very rewarding.
We will expect regular homework handed in on time and done to a high standard. The normal discipline will be applied for not complying and if this happens on more than three occasions we will inform guidance and contact home. However, if you need extra support then there will be a weekly lunchtime study club that you can come along to.
We will also expect you to catch up on missed work as this is your responsibility. You will have your textbooks and resources saved on the pupil shared drive to help you do this. There will also be a weekly study club that you can come along to.
We will expect you to come prepared to class and to keep your own work organised. We will issue a lot of important information and resources over the course of the year and it is vital that you keep track of everything. However, you may print off extra copies from the pupil shared drive if things get lost.
It can be a stressful course at times and we are happy to provide extra help with essays or assessments. However, you must also be prepared to take the initiative and approach us if you need that extra support and, our weekly study club is the perfect way to get extra tuition. You have chosen this course and it is up to you to work hard and take responsibility.
Finally, you will be given two textbooks to use over this year, they are your responsibility and we will send a bill to replace them should they get lost or damaged.

Get a good folder and some poly pockets to help you stay organised this year. Trust us you’ll need them! Always remember that we save most resources onto the pupil shared drive and you can access this at any time in school. You also have access to the Social Subjects website and there is a link on the school homepage.
What will my classwork involve?

In class you can expect to take part in different types of activities: group and paired tasks; plenty of discussion; presentations; using ICT; individual tasks; peer assessment; research tasks; timed work and, assessment preparation.

Essay writing is an important part of the course. We have devised a particular way of marking essays that is designed to really get you thinking about how to improve your work instead of focusing on marks. We put a lot of time and effort into marking and giving feedback and we want you to make the most of this. You will always receive a grid like the one below attached to your work which is a list of all of the elements a good essay should have. You will be given a mark for your first essay and after that only + or – to indicate whether you are improving or not. We will start letting you know your marks after Christmas.



Have I?

What can I improve?



1. Set the scene

2. Used the wording of the question

3. Made reference to the key factors

4. Outlined a line of argument


1. All relevant factors addressed

2. Detailed info given

3. Facts and figures back up the points made



  1. Key phrases of analysis used in each paragraph

  2. Made links within or between factors

  3. Referred to the question in each paragraph

4. Used historical debate to show argument



  1. Presented as an argument and not as a story

  2. A judgement has been applied to the factors

  3. There is an overall line of argument focused on the question

  4. The overall argument is supported by the evidence/ historiography


1. Answered the question directly at the start

2. Detail of each factor that supports this answer

3. Re-state overall argument

Source work will also be an important element of class and homework activities. You will continue to learn how to use different types of resources to research your assignment, how to use the information and how to reference it. You will get a lot of support throughout this process and feedback on your work both verbally and in writing.
You will also further develop your skills in answering three different types of source question: how useful sources are; how fully sources describe events and, comparing sources to each other. The break-down of marks will be fully explained to you and we will continue to use the criteria to improve your work.

Always look at the feedback from your previous work before writing a word. That way you can focus on what you need to improve.

Scottish Unit: Empire and Migration, 1830-1939

This unit explores both the British Empire AND immigrants to Scotland from other parts of the world. It is made up of four main issues or topics to study.

  1. Migration of the Scots

  • Push and pull factors of internal and external migration

  • Economic, social and cultural aspects of migration

  • Whether the movement of Scots in general was due to opportunity or coercion

  1. The experience of immigrants in Scotland

  • The social, cultural, political and economic experience of different groups of immigrants

  • The reaction of Scots to different groups

  • The level of assimilation into Scottish society and the identity of immigrants

Be careful! Not all immigrants came from the Empire.

  1. The impact of Scots emigrants on the empire

  1. The effects of migration and empire on Scotland

  • The social, economic and political impact of

immigrants in Scotland

  • The impact of the empire on Scotland

  • The significance of empire and migration on the development of Scottish identity

Guide to Source Questions

There are 20 marks available for source questions and there are always three questions; one of each type. Each question will test a different issue from the four parts of the unit which means that three issues will always appear in the exam. Revise everything!

How useful... 6 marks

  • Provenance: origin and purpose commenting on the date, possible purpose, author and potential bias: up to 4 marks

  • Content: always use quotes and your own words and, you can add a little recall as well: up to 2 marks

  • Recall: remember to make it detailed: up to 2 marks

Comparison... 5 marks

  • Detailed comparisons: use quotes and your own words in EACH of the four comparisons: up to 4 marks

  • Overall comparison: state how far they agree or disagree by making reference to the view of each source: 1 mark

How fully... 9 marks

In your answers you should always try to give points from all three parts of the issue asked about in the question.

  • Source points: Use your own words to describe points from the source: up to 3 marks

  • Recall: Give detailed recall to support your judgement: up to 7 marks

  1. Top Tips

    1. Give detail.

    1. Learn your issues.

    1. Always use the word because; it will MAKE you analyse.

    1. Watch out for ‘distractors’ i.e. points in the source that are not relevant to the question. They are always there.

    1. In ‘How useful’ questions use phrases like ‘…and so this makes it useful for finding out about…. because…

    1. Finally ATQ!


British Unit: 1851 - 1951

  1. Why did Britain become more democratic?

The effects of industrialisation and urbanisation; popular attempts to gain the franchise; campaign groups; foreign examples; political advantage; WW1.

  1. How far did democracy improve in Britain?

Extending the franchise, redistributing seats, making voting and campaigning fairer, in 1911 reforming the House of Lords and payment of MPs.

  1. Why did women win the vote?

The NUWSS, Social Change, WSPU, The Great War, Foreign Examples.

  1. Why were the Liberal Reforms of 1906 – 1914 passed?

National Security, national efficiency, Booth and Rowntree, political advantage, ‘New Liberalism’, municipal socialism.

  1. How successful were the Liberal Reforms?

The old, the unemployed, the young, the sick, the employed.

  1. How far did the Labour Government of 1945 tackle the 5 post-war social ‘giants’?

Want (poverty), disease (health), ignorance (education), squalor (housing), idleness (unemployment).

Germany Unit: 1815 – 1939

  1. Why did nationalism grow in Germany between 1815 and 1850?

The Zollverein and expansion of railways; cultural nationalism; population increase and industrialisation; effect of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars; 1848 Revolutions.

  1. How far had nationalism grown by 1850?

The Liberal middle class; cultural ties and the Romantic movement; attitudes of peasants; The Frankfurt Parliament and its failure; 1848-49 Frederick William IV.

  1. What were the obstacles to unification between 1815 – 1850?

Divisions among the nationalists and repression; Austrian strength; the Bund and role German princes; religious differences between north and south; other European powers.

  1. Why was unification eventually achieved in 1871?

The wars of unification, Bismarck and Prussian military strength; Prussian economic strength; the decline of Austria; attitudes of other states; actions of Napoleon III.

  1. Why did the Nazis gain power in 1933?

Resentment towards Versailles; weaknesses of Weimar and opponents; economic crises; the appeal of Nazi policies and Hitler; propaganda and the SA.

  1. How did the Nazis maintain power between 1933 and 1939?

Fear and terror; weaknesses of opposition and use of law to create a totalitarian state; propaganda; successful foreign policies; economic policies; social policies.

Guide to Higher History Essays


Some basic ‘golden’ rules to follow:

  • Do not use the first person (e.g. “I think… “)

  • Your introduction should set the scene, give all the points of your essay in the same order and give the reader your argument.

  • Once you have chosen an overall argument don’t change your mind!

  • If you are running out of time, ALWAYS write a conclusion.

  • Rank the factors in order. Write things like “The most important factor…” and “Arguably of equal importance was …”

  • Analyse – don’t just write a list of factors. Explain what makes them important and how important they are in relation to each other.

  • Link between paragraphs using phrases like “Another important factor…”

  • Link to the question by using the wording of the question in each paragraph.

  • Include historiography. Try to remember quotes, or at the very least paraphrase them in your own words.

  • Use historiography to show opinion and try to show debate over a factor if you can.

  • Do not introduce new information into your conclusion.

  • Don’t get bogged down with too much information or statistics – analysis and evaluation are the keys to good grades!

  • Write a good plan before you write a single sentence.

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page