Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New contribution to historiography argument

As the centenary of the outbreak of war in 1914 approaches, a lot is appearing in the media on many different aspects of the war and how it should be remembered or commemorated. In June, Max Hastings launched a 'controversial' attack on the government, criticising them of avoiding the true history of Germany's aggressive role in the outbreak of war. Now Sir Richard Evans has responded.

The link below will take you to a very interesting article about British nationalism. It is excellent for giving you another interpretation of the key controversy question - Was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in 1914? The whole article is worth a read but the relevant section is further on...


Friday, 14 June 2013

New - Follow us on Twitter!

As part of our continued drive to engage our students and also provide them with support outside of the classroom, we have joined Twitter! You can now follow us; @fcchistory
We aim to provide A Level students with links, news items, ideas and advice, principally targeting the Unit 2 'Experience of Warfare' course (see our Yr12 sister blog - fccexperienceofwarfare.blogspot.co.uk) and the Unit 3 'From Kaiser to Fuhrer' course. We also provide some ideas about leading academics who you can follow. The account also allows you to ask any questions which you might have!

Already we have tweeted about;

Max Hastings' 'controversial' comments regarding the Germany and Austria's role in the outbreak of war in 1914
The Rudolf Hess conspiracy
The Hitler kettle!
The England football team giving the Nazi salute in 1938

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Preparing for the exam

Every year my students ask me to try and predict what will come up in the exam. Every year I give them the same answer... "I don't have a crystal ball!" But what we do each year is take a look at what has come up in the past in order to help focus revision onto key topics. This table will show you what has been assessed in the past.

However, it is anybody's guess as to where the examiner will choose to go next. Therefore, it is very important in these final weeks that you identify your weaker areas and focus your revision around those. My students have RAG'ed their knowledge and are working hard to turn those ambers 'not so sure' areas into greens 'I am happy with that'. You even have enough time to get on top of those 'Reds' - 'I haven't got a clue'!

Also make sure that you know the nature and structure of the two questions. Use the links at the top of this page to find out more about the specific Assessment Criteria for each question.

Finally, remember that Work only comes after Success in the dictionary! Use these last few weeks to get yourself ready for the exam. Good luck!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

New page created - Practice essay questions for Part A.

Over the last few years I have worked on creating a bank of possible essay questions to allow my students to practise and prepare for Part A style questions. My students have been using these to aid their revision in the run up to the exam. For each question they review the knowledge needed to answer that question by producing a mind map using their notes and the textbook/blog. They then produce a detailed plan in direct response to the question. Some students will then go on to write out the full essay; others have used it to practise writing an effective paragraph or a conclusion. Whatever approach you decide to take it is important that you practise incorporating both the knowledge and specific essay skills required for Part A.

The essay questions cover all four exam topics.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Some highly recommended reading!

I have recently come across two books which I highly recommend! Both are easily available and would be very useful as you start to revise.

1. The Brief History of the Third Reich: The Rise and Fall of the Nazis

Written by Martyn Whittock, this book gives an excellent insight into many aspects of the period. All areas of the course are covered in an engaging and concise manner. Each section is clearly headlined, helping you get to the bits you need but as a 'proper' book it gives lots of interesting detail, not only about the broader context of events but also disucsses how this affected ordinary people. I highly recommend this to those who are keen to develop their subject knowledge in the run up to the exam.

2. My Revision Notes: Edexcel A2 History: From Kaiser to Fuhrer: Germany 1900-45

This book is the latest release in the 'My Revision Notes' series from Hodder. My students raved about these last year at AS and the publication of this title has been eagerly awaited. Now availble I have no doubt that this will prove very useful to those beginning their revision.

Now is a good time to be starting your revision. Go back over the elements of the course already studied and work out which bits you are less confident about. Start developing your knowledge on these areas now; don't leave it until the last minute!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 - a survivor's story

Sunday 27 January 2013 will mark this years Holocaust Memorial Day - the date when Auschwitz was liberated in 1945.

The BBC will be showing a programme entitled 'Prisoner Number A26188: Henia Bryer' on Sunday evening at 22:25 on BBC One.


The BBC News website is also running an article about Henia Bryer and her Holocaust survival story. The article can be read here:


Monday, 12 November 2012

The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler

Starting on BBC2 tonight (12 November 2012), the first of 3 episodes looking at the charisma and personality of Adolf Hitler. Written by Lawrence Rees', aclaimed for his previous series 'Nazis: A Warning from History' and 'Auschwitz: the Nazis and the 'Final Solution', this will be recommended viewing!

'Adolf Hitler seemed an unlikely leader - fuelled by anger, incapable of forming normal human relationships and unwilling to debate political issues. Such was the depth of his hatred that he would become a war criminal arguably without precedent in history. Yet this strange character was once loved by millions. How was this possible, and what role did Hitler's alleged 'charisma' play in his success?'


Read an introductory article here... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20237437

Friday, 9 November 2012

I was Hitler's neighbour...

A fascinating article about a young German Jewish boy, Edgar Feuchtwanger, who lived on the same street as Hitler in the 1930s. The article details what life was like for him and his family in the 1930s and mentions schooling, Kristaknacht, and it was like living in the same street as the Fuhrer.

Read the article here... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20210025

You can also listen to a podacst of the interview with Feuchtwanger here... http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/witness

There are also some other interesting podcasts here which may be of interest, such as the one on Lebensborn, the Nazi's secret plan to breed pure Ayran children.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Nazi Legacy: What's in a name?

The names of Himmler, Goering, Goeth and Hoess still have the power to evoke the horrors of Nazi Germany, but what is it like to live with the legacy of those surnames, and is it ever possible to move on from the terrible crimes committed by your ancestors?

Read the full article from the BBC here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18120890

Monday, 14 May 2012

ww2history.com now free to all!


This fantastic website, created and maintained by the acclaimed historian Laurence Rees, is now free to all, having previously been only available on subscription.

It is packed with a whole wealth of information which is helpful for the 'From Kaiser to Fuhrer' unit such as an interactive timeline, videos, interviews with leading historians and first hand testimonies.

I will also add some links to the quick link sections as I come across items which tie-in directly to the course, but well worth a look...


Monday, 27 February 2012

Auschwitz - Then and Now

BBC News article about the publication of a book by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland. The book shows photographs taken in the extermination camp alongside pictures of the same locations as they are today.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

New book - 'Eva Braun. Life with Hitler'

A new book on Eva Braun and her role within the inner circle of the Nazi Party.


It is receiving rave reviews in many circles and is said to challenege many of the myths surrounding the role of Eva Braun.


Monday, 6 June 2011

Preparing for the exam...

I have added some new pages which contain past exam question for each section of the exam. Simply click on the links at the top of this page to access the new pages.

In terms of what will come up... who knows... but what we do know is what will be in Section B!! 
Section B will contain one question on each of the controversies. There will be a question on, how responsble was Germany for WW1, and there will be a question on how popular was the Nazi regime.
As for Section A... Section A will have questions from 2 of the 4 topics from the specification. These topics are:
The Second Reich, c.1900-1919
The Weimar Republic, 1919-1929
The rise of the Nazis, from formation to 1934
Life in Nazi Germany, 1939-45

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

An excellent website on Nazi Germany

An excellent website on Nazi Germany.

Some really useful summaries of key information and of key individuals.


Advice for Section B - Source answers

My top 10 tips to help you with the Source question in section B...

1. Read and analyse the sources carefully, making brief notes by the side to save you time later on. Relate what you have read back to the question.

2. Plan your answers before you start writing.

3. The number of marks is proportional to the time you have (ish)

4. Use the sources as the basis of your answer. This will help keep you focussed. Remeber to give examples from the sources to support your argument.

5. Use contextual knowledge - on Section B questions more marks are awarded for your own knowledge! Use this information to put the sources into context.

6. Cross reference individual points, rather than the sources as a whole.

7. Develop inferences (what does the source suggest to you?) and support these with evidence.

8. Analyse the provenance (Nature, Origin, Purpose). Evaluate the significance of the source and its reliabilty, if appropriate.

9. Weight up the evidence, especially if is asks you for a judgement, eg How far...

10. Dont generalise the sources. Judge each source on its own merits, eg, not all private letters are reliable.