Your questions on the new Edexcel history qualification answered by Mark Battye Edexcel's History Subject Advisor
Help on the Making of Modern Russia
Q Can you comment on the following assignment titles we are considering for CW38:
1. To what extent was the First World War 1914-18 a key turning point in the development of modern Russia in the years 1856-1964?
2. To what extent was the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917 a key turning point in the development of modern Russia in the years 1856-1964?
With these assignments would there be an explicit need to compareevaluate these events in relation to other possible turning points e.g. 1905 or Lenin's death in 1924 or could candidates structure a response thematically, comparing for example the role of terrorideologypolitical organisation etc. pre and after the event Part B [One of the following]
1. How significant was the role of Sergei Witte in attempting to strengthen Tsarism? 2. How significant was the role played by Tsarina Alexandra in the fall of Tsarism? 3. How significant was Leon Trotsky in the consolidation of Bolshevik rule 1917-29? 4. How significant was Nikolai Bukharin in the development of the Soviet state 1917-38? 5. How significant was the role of Lavrenti Beria in the development of the Soviet state 1938-53?
Although we are reluctant to offersuggest it, would it be legitimate to assess individual Tsars [notably Alexander II], Lenin and Stalin or would this make the scope of the assignment simply too large?
A Your questions are fine. For the 100 year key turning point question students do need to compareevaluate events against other turning points. Candidates could also structure a response thematically as part of the process of coming to a judgement about a turning point.
Early Modern History Crown and Authority AS
Q Having prepared candidates for the first time for this new syllabus I was disappointed about the narrow range of questions set. I was very disappointed with the question bii. Specifically, I thought the question was almost synoptic in nature requiring as it did of broad knowledge of both political and religious themes in the 1530s. The board's guidance for this option states `questions will not be set that require detailed knowledge of theological debates' yet the first source presents students with an extract from the Act of Six Articles that needs detailed awareness of theology to understand the significance of communion in both kinds and the need for spoken confession. Furthermore, the second source concludes with the statement that the changes were `little short of a revolution in government' yet nowhere in the clarification of content notes is any reference made to the need to teach the significance of Cromwell's political reforms. A brief reference is made to the use made of parliament but this question goes far beyond that. In short I believe question bii required knowledge beyond that specified in the guidance and therefore students who chose this question were at a disadvantage to those who tackled the far more straight forward question.
A Thank you for your feedback on this question paper. I have made the senior examining team aware of your concerns. If you haven't already done so, please can you put your concerns in writing to the following address: Qualification Delivery and Award Manager for History, Edexcel, 190 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7BH
All such correspondence is considered by the senior examining team during the standardisation process and when awarding grade boundaries. If you write to the above address we will respond formally in writing.
Unit 4 Germany Reunited 100 Year Study
Q Was just wondering if there is any way that this course can be restructured to have a focus on domestic rather than foreign policy? This would make it easier in terms of the texts used.
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