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New to CIE A-level history.

Discussion in 'History' started by matryoshkadoll, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    Hi there
    I am teaching at a small international school in Spain that is quite new. In September we will be running the history option for the first time. (We only opened up to year 12s in September '16) As I am new to the A-level, I could do with some tips on resources. I have already scoured schoolhistory.co.uk's forum and nothing really being said.

    I have looked at the syllabus, and I am planning on doing the International option for components 1, 2 & 4 and then the European (Holocaust) option for component 3. For component 4, I plan to do the first two units on the Cold War.

    So far, I am looking at for component 1 and 2:
    Wadsworth (2013). Cambridge International AS Level International History 1871-1945. ISBN 9781107613232

    For Component 3:
    Farmer, A (2009). Access to History: Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust ISBN 9780340984963

    Hilberg, Raul (1993). Perpetrators Victims Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe, 1933-1945 ISBN 9780060995072 (Teacher Copy only)

    Neville, P (1999). The Holocaust. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521595018

    However, I am a little confused on Component 4
    I have found

    Murphy, D and Morris, T. (2008). International Relations, 1879–2004. ISBN 9780007268719
    McCauley, M. (2013). Russia, America and the Cold War, 1949–1991. ISBN 9781405874304
    Dockrill, M L, and Hopkins, M F. (2005). The Cold War 1945-1991. ISBN 9781403933386

    I was just wondering really whether you could recommend titles that you know are good. I have put the ISBN numbers on to find the books more easily. I would really appreciate your input.

  2. mnh2510

    mnh2510 New commenter

    Hi M,

    I've been teaching the CIE A Level for 2 years I'm happy to chat via email (I'll PM you my email) about how I've found it and the textbooks/resources I've found useful! I currently teach the International option for paper 1 and the European option for paper 2 because I feel they fit quite nicely.

    I start with P2 Origins of WWI, then do a couple of lessons about WWI and the Treaty of Versailles then move onto P1 about the League and UN then back to P2 for Russian Revolution. Not quite in chronological order, but means I get to switch back to P2 skills later in the year.

    The CIE textbook is certainly a useful starting point, but on the whole isn't great. I only use the CIE Wadsworth textbook for paper 1 and I have a personal copy of the European option one. I also wouldn't personally recommend purchasing the teacher resource CD-ROM unless you want to give A level students wordsearches...though there are some teacher notes and ideas for lessons, but the worksheets are shockingly bad. Have you got a CIE teacher login? You can access the CIE Schemes of Work for each option there, including recommended reading and useful websites.

    I've used alongside the CIE official textbook some of the Heinemann books (recommended to me by another CIE teacher) and the Edexcel old spec textbooks as they have some great lesson ideas and activities.

    I've shared A2 with a colleague this year who taught paper 3, though next year I will be teaching it and doing the Cold War. I have taught paper 4 this year and covered Europe of the dictators focusing on Lenin and Stalin, I don't think there are official textbooks for A2 but I've relied upon other A Level textbooks.

    I'm happy to give you a detailed list (including ISBN) of all the books I've used.

  3. joshgv1499

    joshgv1499 New commenter


    I am currently an A-Level student that is taking History AS as a private candidate. I am taking the International Option for Paper 1 and for Paper 2 as well because I find it a really interesting time-period and I feel the knowledge in one component only enhances the understanding in the other. However, as I am largely studying these topics by myself, I would really appreciate it if anyone could please assist me in how to manage the course and if there are any useful resources anyone is willing to share with me (especially in relation to exam technique which is exam neutral). Any help will be really great!

    Thanks :)
  4. hannahbanana13

    hannahbanana13 New commenter

  5. hannahbanana13

    hannahbanana13 New commenter

    Hi Megan
    I'm teaching the Component 1 International History for the first time in September and would love to chat about it with you if ok. My email is hgrant@saints.mw . I have taught Component 4 also already this year and would be interested to share experiences. Han
  6. josecompanioni

    josecompanioni New commenter

    I am also a new teacher to this International History. I'll be teaching the Holocaust. Now, I have a simple question. When the syllabus refers to historical approaches what is it really referring to?
  7. aaluke16

    aaluke16 New commenter

    From my experience as a current tutor and ex-student, in short -- 'interpretation' is what the historian is saying. 'Approach' is how they are saying it.

    Approach deals with things like:

    1. Time period: What time period is the historian focusing on in making their argument?
    2. Which party: Is the historian mostly making the argument thru the lens of a specific party?
    3. Tone: Is the historian conveying the argument in a scathing/sympathetic etc. tone?

    So students need to show awareness of how the historian is delivering the argument, rather than simply commenting on what the historian is saying.

    You might find this guide useful: http://history9389.com/2017/01/18/cie-historiography-structuring-your-essay-other-tips/

    It's a complete guide for the Historiography paper (Paper 3).
  8. Hi Megan

    Like M and Hanna, I am also knew to Cambridge A-Level and have chosen Paper 3: Holocaust Option. I`d be most grateful if you could email me some tips/resources to susannamariaharper@gmail.com or FB (Susanna harper) on all the papers you have experience in. I`d also be keen to chat on WhatsApp (I`ll send you my cell fone number once you`ve contacted me).

    I`ve just completed my first eight months teaching IG (Depth Study: Germany, 1918-45) and AS History (Paper 1 + 2: International Option) and have accumulated/created plenty of material which is all up on my Google Drive, if you are keen for me to add you. Of course I cannot guarantee its correctness, but I try hard to frequently update and improve my material.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Greetings from Johannesburg!
  9. mnh2510

    mnh2510 New commenter

    Hi all, I'm really sorry that I have taken so long to respond. I don't often check on here, I will email you both in the next couple of days as I'm keen to create a bit of a CIE A Level network online!

  10. felixbp2

    felixbp2 New commenter

    Hi there,
    I am a new teacher and have just completed Part A subject content for Component 3: The Holocaust.

    I am about to begin teaching Part B: Historians Interpretations and would really appreciate some guidance for how you answer the following question:

    "What can you learn from this extract about the interpretation and approach of the historian who wrote it? Use the extract and your own knowledge of the Holocaust to explain your answer"

    I assume there is an ideal structure and it will be pretty similar for all the questions. Could anyone send me an example of a perfect answer to one of the questions? My email address if fbadenpowell@gmail.com

    Thanks so much for your help! Happy to share resources back to the group on all of Part A lesson plans in return.
  11. felixbp2

    felixbp2 New commenter

    Hi Megan, I am also new to A-Level CIE. Could you please send me your email address? I'd really appreciate your guidance on exam technique for component 3 - specifically The Holocaust. Thank you so much!!
  12. robert_brown955

    robert_brown955 New commenter

    Hi, I'm an NQT, supposed to start teaching the CIE A level next year, it looks fascinating but there are no real resources or SOW. If anybody has any resources or lessons that they could share with me it would be hugely appreciated, and as my grasp of it improves I'll return the favour and share my resources.
  13. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    Hi Susanna

    Have you joined the CIE IGCSE Facebook group? It would be a great place to share your accumulation of resources via Google Drive.
  14. Martibrosse

    Martibrosse New commenter

    hi, I am a student at year 13, I’m doing. Cold War and my topic for Paper 4 is the Europe of the Dictators, I really need an A for UCAS and for now, my grades are around C+ or B. my teacher thinks I have the knowledge but I need to improve my writing skills, apparently I do not explain enough my answers.

    Have you got examples for good answers?

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