Last summer saw a varied and wide ranging series of topics covering several thousand years’ worth of history. We’ve seen some key insights come out as a result for all units.
Perhaps one of the most important things to remember, before any words have been written, is to be careful of the topic that you choose. Some topics have proven to be harder to resource than others. Be mindful of the demands of the assessment objectives, not only when marking, but when choosing the topic. Students have, perhaps unsurprisingly, shown their love of certain topics, but finding a decent number of credible or valid interpretations (AO3) have proven to be much harder and have hampered responses as a result.You can read more about choosing a topic in Mike Goddard’s blog.
We recommend that each coursework piece should use at least 10-15 sources in total, covering both primary and secondary, an essay that uses only a solitary historian’s view is not going to score high marks in AO3. Equally, if a response only uses one or two primary sources, they will be unlikely to score highly in AO2. So if a topic is proven hard to resource, it might be worth thinking again!
The other really important thing to remember is that this is a synoptic unit. The essay skills you need to show in papers 1 and 2 are similar to the essay skills needed in coursework. You have to write relevantly; answer your own question; discuss different interpretations and come to a reasoned and convincing judgement. The source skills of analysis and evaluation of primary sources by using provenance and knowledge must also be applied in coursework – remember that there are 10 marks for evaluating primary sources.
You also need to use the skills that you have been using in Unit 3 when you have evaluated the two extracts from historians by using your own knowledge. The difference between coursework and these units is that you can choose which secondary and primary sources to include – so be sure that you choose evidence which you can evaluate! You can read more about units 1-3 in the guide to assessment.
Let us look at some key bullet points for each of the assessment objectives. The focus here will be on common themes aimed at supporting overall improvements.
The full asessment objectives can be accessed via the website.
As some key takeaways, we would urge your students to remember the following:
Finally – scripts with commentaries from the summer series are now available on interchange
INSET material will also be available in due course.
We have a brand new interactive tool, giving you access to thousands of pre-approved coursework questions, bringing you a whole new way of submitting questions to us. Make sure you’ve signed up to updates to keep up to date with all the latest news and events.
Grant started working at OCR in February 2014 as a subject specialist in history and citizenship. His degree is in History and Politics, with a focus on modern European and African history and 19th century political thought. Previously, Grant was a Head of Politics, Law and Humanities in schools in Kent and Kingston upon Thames. Outside of work he is an F1 junkie, a passionate Charlton Athletic fan and spending time with his family.