Bouquets, not brickbats

25th May 2007 at 01:00
From the rise of Bolshevism to analysis of the First World War, the Standard grade history paper won more bouquets than brickbats from Jim McGonigle, principal teacher of history at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh.

He singled out for praise the enquiry skills question in the Foundation paper - a "how useful" style of question - saying that it had been drafted in such a way that pupils would not be tempted to fall into the trap of simply repeating content. However, the decision to use the same source for questions 1b and c might have caused some confusion.

In the General paper, he was not happy with question 2b on the League of Nations, commenting that candidates who were also sitting Foundation would have struggled with its content.

Question 2b in the Credit paper, an eight-mark essay asking candidates to give an overview of the reasons Germany lost the First World War, covered an area which was not in the arrangements document, he said.

Question 3c, asking candidates to state what the Bolsheviks' aims were when they came to power in 1917, would have required lateral thinking in taking pupils' knowledge and turning it to fit a question coming from an unexpected angle. "But that's the difference between Credit and General,"

Mr McGonigle said.

In the Higher paper, he was pleased with all the questions. Candidates can often struggle with the language used in sources, or interpreting cartoons from another period, but he felt that this year they were all very accessible.

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