Review of History Higher Level paper by Sean Delap, History teacher at The Institute of Education.
Although some sections may have had a little more choice than others, this was a fair paper which would have been welcomed by the majority of students. Overall, the history paper has settled down very well over the last number of years.
Document Study: (Compulsory) Students would have been very pleased to see the Secession of Katanga appear in this section. Most were hoping it would. The questions posed were accessible and straightforward. Unusually, there were two parts to the contextualisation question in this section. This could have worked to the student’s advantage, as it gave them more scope.
Section 2: Ireland (answer 2 out of 6 questions)
A very popular topic in this section is Topic 3- Pursuit of Sovereignty. Many students would have prepared for this and the questions posed were nice and accessible.
– A topical question on the Irish economy during the interwar years appeared in this topic. This was expected, as it has not come up in a few years.
– Other questions that appeared here included Anglo Irish relations under de Valera and the Impact of the Second World War on Ireland, North and South. Some students may have been expecting the Treaty to come up as a full question in this topic, but it didn’t. Students still had scope to discuss it however, as it could have been interwoven in to the question on the fortunes of the Sinn Fein movement.
Another popular topic is this section is Topic 5- Politics and Society in Northern Ireland.
– There was a testing and very specific question in this section, which required a good knowledge of a particular individual (Brain Faulkner).
– The impact of Republican and Loyalist terrorism on Northern Ireland also appeared.
Section 3: Europe and the Wider World– (answer 1 out of 5 questions)
The vast majority of students would have studied Topic 3- Dictatorship and Democracy.
The first two questions in this section were particularly nice:
– What were the characteristics of fascist regimes in Europe in the Interwar period? This gave students good scope.
– Second question- How did Stalin transform the soviet economy and/ or use show trials to consolidate his power. The use of ‘and/ or’ in this question was particularly generous and gave students scope in writing their answer.
Topic 6- The United States and the World was a little more difficult than dictatorship. The choice of questions was not as straight forward.
Topic 2- Nation states and international tensions. This was a very generous section and the questions asked were straightforward.