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Any A level History specialists with knowledge of Edexcel Unit 2 Option D [Britain and Ireland]?

Discussion in 'History' started by chiopara, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. chiopara

    chiopara New commenter

    Hello all,

    I'm an English specialist also tasked with aiding students who have made Oxbridge applications. A student I'm working with has had an offer from Cambridge to study History. In Year 12, his History teacher began the above unit with them and has now left the school. He is now in Year 13, hurtling towards the exams with a teacher who is essentially a non-specialist in this particular module.
    We're desperate for resources, particularly models of high-band responses.
    Please help?
    Thanks so much,
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    [I relied to this problem before - is it in another Forum? If it isn't the following thoughts may help]

    I'm not an expert on this particular Edexcel Unit, but - as an experienced (former) teacher, and Oxbridge co-ordinator), I'd suggest the following points:

    • Try asking for help on this forum: https://schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/index.php?act=idx
    • Contact Edexcel, make sure you (& the 'new' teacher/student) have all the key resources Edexcel supply, incl. SoW, specimen papers etc. Ask if they have any INSET planned this term. Also ask if they can put you in touch with another school teaching this Unit who might be able to advise.
    • Contact the Cambridge college who made the offer (Admissions Tutor) and inform them of the problem NOW, before the exam, to pave the way for any appeal for special consideration later
    • Contact the previous teacher in case he/she can offer some help/support by email (this is something I did once when I left school In Christmas and my replacement was new to the syllabus taught there).
    Hope this helps.
  3. zemmett

    zemmett New commenter

    Is he resitting his unit 2? If he is what did he get last year? A good place to start is the examiner reports for the unit, they can sometimes give you a good indication of what the top level students did to get the highest grades.

    The Unit 2 paper is a source based one and section A requires an understanding of the provenance of historical sources and how this can affect their use; the sources are usually primary. The students are not required to test the sources against own knowledge in this section. They have to explore a statement in relation to a key topic to see how convincing the statement is. This requires them to be able to pick out what each source can tell the historian regarding the topic and therefore the statement. They must cross reference the sources to add weight to arguments that they have identified. It is important that a conclusion is met in line with how far they agree with the statement.

    Section B will give them three sources (they choose one from two questions). There again will be a statement to answer or test the validity of against the sources and own knowledge.The test here is for the students to indentify the historical interpretation in the sources which are usually secondary. They do not have to consider the provenance of these sources, it is more about testing how convincing the statement is using the combination of sources and own knowledge to reach a substantiated judgement. It is important that they use the sources is combination and cross reference. It is better to lead with the historical interpretation of the source and then back up with own knowledge, rather than asserting own knowledge and using the sources to back that up. So they might use a statement such as:

    Both sources 7 and 8 assert that..................This can be seen to be a convincing point given that............

    Or something along those lines. I would imagine that a prospective Cambridge student has their own style and therefore as long as they tick the right assessment objectives they shouldn't need scripting. Something they must understand is "weight of evidence".

    If they are doing unit 3 this year and their coursework, the same sources skills are being tested so they just need to apply them to different topic areas.

    I will try to hunt out some of our past papers that we've had returned for moderation purposes. In the middle of packing all this up because this course is ending, but I will see what I can find. It will be on a different topic though because we did Britain 1945-90. One option is to think about getting the revision book for the "my revision notes" series of books. They give some examples of good answers (word of warning though- the notes they contain are not extensive).
    sabrinakat likes this.

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