AQA offers one GCSE history specification where it previously offered two. Within this new specification the First World War features in Paper 1: Understanding the modern world in the option entitled Conflict and tension 1894-1918. This option is worth 25% of the total specification.
Through this option students are expected to study the causes of the First World War (from the evolution of opposing alliances to the outbreak of war in 1914), the war itself and why stalemate prevailed for so long on the Western Front (including the Schlieffen Plan, trench warfare, key battles such as the Somme and Passchendaele), and why the war ended (including the advancement of tactics, the campaigns of 1918, the contribution of the Allied military leadership to Germany’s defeat).
Many of the topics listed in this specification are covered in depth on our tours of the Western Front. What better way for teachers and students to get a real and lasting insight into the nature of trench warfare and how tactics evolved than by actually visiting the battlefields, walking through the trenches and seeing for themselves the enormous challenges faced by the Allied forces in trying to break through the German defences. Our enquiry based approach encourages students to think critically about some of the key questions covered in AQA specification. All our tours are supported by guides from the Guild of Battlefield Guides and led by UCL Institute of Education history experts who provide teachers and students with access to a level of expertise not readily available back in school.
For teachers, our website contains a wealth of classroom resources including 12 substantial history enquiries covering all aspects of the war from the outbreak to its longer term political, economic and social impact.
In addition, the post war settlement and the ensuing consequences are featured in AQA’s option entitled Conflict and tension 1918-1939.
Links to other useful First World War resources available for teachers on this website:
Extend your subject knowledge about the First World War by accessing our range of podcasts recorded exclusively by historians from our academic advisory group.
Access our guide to the latest scholarship on the First World War from BBC online: Myths, misrepresentations, and conflicting views of the First World War
Find out more about how to access the Imperial War Museum’s new classroom resources for the First World War using items from their extensive collections: Learning resources from the Imperial War Museums