GCSE History

Course Description

OCR History B (SHP)


This GCSE specification encourages learners to become curious, to develop their own opinions based on a respect for evidence, and to build a deeper understanding of the present by engaging with and questioning the past. The specification is based on content which helps learners to address fundamental issues in human history. It brings together people, events and issues that learners will find fascinating and that will stimulate a desire to explore the similarities and differences between people’s lives in the past and their own lives now.


The purposeful and constructive use of historical sources is an important feature of the specification, particularly in the site study and in the world depth study. In the site study the physical remains of the site are the chief source, supplemented by a range of other supporting source material. The focus here is on how these sources show the site’s past. In the world depth study, the focus is on the precise study of specific sources, encouraging learners to use them critically and constructively for a specific purpose.


In the British depth study, where there is a strong emphasis on understanding historical interpretations, an overarching historical issue has been indicated for the content of each section in The Elizabethan period, (e.g. Was Elizabeth I a Bully and a show off?’). This ensures that learners are consistently thinking about how and why it is possible to arrive at different interpretations of the same events.



Course Content


Component Group 1 – British History

Thematic study: The People’s Health c.1250 to present

British depth study: The Elizabethans 1580-1603


Component Group 2 – History Around Us

The site study: Saltaire


Component Group 3 – World History

Period study: The Making of America 1789-1900

World depth study: Living under Nazi Rule 1933-1945




Component Group 1: (40%) 1 hour 45 minutes

Focus of assessment: knowledge and understanding; explaining and analysing events and periods.


Component Group 2: (20%) 1 hour

Focus of assessment: knowledge and understanding; using sources.


Component Group 3: (40%) 1hour 45 minutes

Focus of assessment: knowledge and understanding; explaining and analysing events and periods




Future Opportunities

History is an incredibly popular subject at GCSE level at Holy Family School. History compliments a range of other subjects and a large number of GCSE students go on to study History at A Level and at degree level. Results in the department are in line with the national average and the great majority of students attain or exceed their target grade.


Further Information

See the OCR website for further information on assessment criteria and other relevant information.


Revision Materials

History 2


History 1