The skills developed in studying Higher History build on those involved at Standard Grade and/or Intermediate 2: research and note-taking, source evaluation, critical thinking, debate and communication, empathy and imagination, structured and extended writing, and the use of information technology – which are extremely useful across a wide variety of applications and careers.
History at Higher level makes a vital contribution to any well-balanced course choice whether based on arts, humanities or science, by encouraging the application and further development of transferable skills.
The Scottish History unit focuses on historical understanding and analysis through the interpretation, evaluation and comparison of sources of historical evidence, and provides a crucial understanding of Scottish heritage.
A study of religious and political change in 16th century Scotland, illustrating the themes of authority, conflict and identity.
To achieve the course award you must pass the units as well as the course assessment. Your grade is based on the course assessment, in other words the final exam.
You will be required to demonstrate the ability to integrate the skills of knowledge and understanding, and analysis and communicate these effectively. Arguments will be supported by relevant and accurate evidence, both presented and recalled. Analysis will be balanced and informed.
At least two sources will be primary and at least two sources will be secondary.
The learning experience gained by you should reflect the aims and rationale of the subject and should build on the good practices developed previously. The learning experience should include a variety of approaches to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, centre around progression and encourage and support independent learning.
The following learning experiences are essential to the course. You should:
take part in formal and informal discussion and debate based on and informed by historical evidence and knowledge in order to develop the ability to think independently and make informed judgements
It is recommended that at this level you should be encouraged, within a clear framework of tasks, to take increasing responsibility for your own learning.
It is important that you should develop an understanding of the historical themes that run through the chosen context, rather than simply learn about a series of discrete historical issues.
The methodology used by teachers/lecturers will build on existing good practice: teacher/lecturer exposition and note-taking from textbooks, information sheets and a wide variety of other secondary sources are likely to form the basis of class work in units. Class and group discussion will reinforce this approach. Extension work, access to primary sources, independent reading and resource-based learning will be made available to individuals and groups as appropriate.
This Scottish unit offers rich possibilities in terms of the resources available. As well as media such as books, resource packs and electronic/online materials, there is a variety of sources available locally and in national collections. Documents, visuals, artefacts and paintings held in national collections, as well as sites and buildings, offer a wide variety of learning experiences, both individual and collective. In addition, there are large amounts of archive materials online.
When using national collections, the most beneficial route for teachers/lecturers, groups and individuals is through mediated access via the education services of these bodies, who can advise on the contents of collections, sites suitable for visits and online resources.
Evaluate sources with reference to their provenance and content.
Evaluate sources with reference to their wider historical context.
The content for this unit is specified in the appendix to this unit. Candidates will be required to study one of the specified contexts.
To demonstrate satisfactory attainment in these outcomes you must answer four questions based on five sources, assessing the skills of evaluation, during or near the end of the unit.
Sources will be drawn from the content of the unit; aspects designated as ‘background’ or ‘perspective’ will not be examined specifically.
This will include written or equivalent evidence that satisfies both outcomes.
The evidence can be gathered during or near the end of the unit and must be completed under controlled conditions, ie without collaboration, the assistance of notes, or teacher/lecturer advice. Supervision may be carried out by a teacher/lecturer, invigilator or other responsible person. A maximum time of 1 hour 25 minutes is allowed for assessment of an item covering both outcomes.
If reassessment is required, it should consist of a fresh assessment instrument.
The assessment of the outcomes should be based on a holistic approach. Achievement can be determined by a cut-off score. The standard to be applied and the breadth of coverage are illustrated in the National Assessment Bank items available for this unit.
While the exact time allocated to this unit is at the discretion of the centre, the notional design length is 40 hours.
In this unit, you will develop skills that are valuable in personal development, for future learning and in terms of employability. In particular, you will learn how to evaluate historical evidence in terms of context, provenance and its wider historical context. There are good opportunities for developing aspects of the core skills covering:
The additional support needs of individual candidates should be taken into account when planning learning experiences, selecting assessment instruments or considering alternative outcomes for units.
Further advice can be found in the SQA document Guidance on Assessment Arrangements for Candidates with Disabilities and/or Additional Support Needs (www.sqa.org.uk).
The examinable content is in the numbered sections.
Background - Scotland’s political and social structure at the death of James V; the European Reformation.
The examinable content is in the numbered sections.
Perspective - The significance of the Reformation in the development of Scottish identity.