A-Level History


The A-Level History curriculum at Edith Kay Independent School has been designed to build upon the personal and social aspects that were developed at GCSE. One of the primary aims is to develop a level of autonomy and an independent work ethic that can cope with the challenge of Key Stage 5 study. This is coupled together with increasing academic expectations for the pupils through greater quantities and layers of extracurricular work. The skills taught at GCSE will have prepared the pupils for their A-Level study, such as comparing and contrasting, cause and consequence, evaluating and analysis, interpretation, and source work. These skills blend nicely into the scaffolded step up into Key Stage 5.


The way in which the A-Level is taught is through a side-by-side approach in which both modules are taught together over the course of two years. The modules that are currently being taught are:

  • 1E Russia in the Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment, 1682–1796
  • 2S The Making of Modern Britain, 1951–2007

However, due to the nature of the Russian history module, the course can only be fully examined as an A-Level. The unique nature of the Russian history module is incredibly rewarding, and we are one of the few schools in London and the United Kingdom to teach this module. This is combined with 20/21st Century Britain in order to provide a contrast to the different time periods of study. The British history module has many modern applications and is one that is closest to our current social context.

Russia in the Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment takes pupils through the twists and turns of the beginnings of the Russian Empire to the time of Russia’s most famous rulers – Peter the Great to Catherine the Great. Filled with palace intrigue, landmark reform, journeys across Europe, devious plots, rebellions, and scandal – pupils apply their knowledge from GCSE by analysing sources from the imperial court and wider Europe. The extended writing that students undertook at GCSE is transitioned steadily into more academic levels of work through the integration of historical interpretations and evaluation. This is similar to the Making of Modern Britain in which we study the development of Britain as we know it but in a more factorised form. We look at cultural elements of the 1960s and the changing status of women through the final three decades of the twentieth century. Politics and Sociology factor nicely into the History A-Level, providing many cross-curricular links.


Pupils are provided with lessons based on their needs and ability, but the end goal remains the same. The A-Level History course aims to provide all pupils with a full A-level qualification by the end of their studies. Pupils are assisted along the way with personalised lessons, dedicated support and advice, detailed feedback, and a chance to build academic and personal confidence. Upon successful completion of the course, pupils will be able to receive a fully accredited A-Level qualification, as well as the skills for higher education and beyond.

Who is Edith Kay

Edith and Kay were an ordinary couple who are representative of all those who devote their lives to taking care of vulnerable children, fostering them and welcoming them warmly into their family home. Over many years, Edith and Kay worked to promote resilience in vulnerable young people, and to instil the values of compassion and generosity of spirit. Their deep-seated belief in the power of education and care to transform lives underpins the ethos of our school.
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