International GCSE History - Diversity, rights and equality in Britain, 1914-2010

23 June 2021

There has been a lively discussion in the UK about the teaching of history, particularly the absence of black history in school curricula, following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. Historians, teachers and students have called for change, and we have been listening to feedback and working with stakeholders to respond to this need.

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We recently added a new thematic study on Migrants in Britain to our UK GCSE History qualification and the response to this has been fantastic. Whilst developing this topic for the UK market it became clear that there was also a need from international schools and UK Independent schools to modify their curricula and we received calls for a similar topic to be added to the International GCSE History specification.

Broadening the scope of the specification

The International GCSE History topic choices are already diverse and international, covering a broad geographical spread, however we felt that a modern British topic could offer something different and help broaden scope of the specification. Whilst a focus on migration fitted in well to the UK qualification’s approach to thematic studies, we felt that our International GCSE qualification could offer an exciting opportunity to explore diversity in a broader sense through themes such as race, gender, disability and class.

Diversity, rights and equality

We are delighted to announce the addition of a brand-new topic, Diversity, rights and equality in Britain, 1914-2010, to the Edexcel International GCSE History (9-1) specification, as part of our commitment to building a more inclusive and diverse History curriculum.

This new topic has a focus on diversity, rights and equality in British society, examining modern day issues such as the influences of immigration and diversity on society and the role of protest and pressure groups in bringing about change. The topic covers a wide range of experiences and allows students to study fascinating events such as the Bristol Bus Boycott, which drew national attention to racial discrimination in Britain, as well as interesting personal stories such as Claudia Jones, a migrant from Trinidad and Tobago who launched a newspaper called the West Indian Gazette and was instrumental in setting up and running the first Caribbean carnival in 1959, which was a forerunner to the Notting Hill carnival.

For first teaching in September 2021

This new topic will be available for first teaching from September 2021 and first assessment in June 2023. It will be available as a Paper 2 breadth study, sitting alongside topics such as changes in Medicine c1848-c1948 and China 1900-89. There are some great links to existing topics such as US Civil Rights which should help teachers create worthwhile and engaging courses addressing issues that students will find fascinating and rewarding to study. The final content is now available to view below and will be shortly added to the specification.

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We’re really excited by how the topic has progressed and we believe that universal issues such as inclusion and equality will appeal to our learners globally. The feedback we’ve received from teachers so far has been very positive and we hope it will be a valuable addition to our specification and an important step in our plans to make our History qualifications more diverse and inclusive.

We hope you found this update useful and please keep an eye on our website for the updated specification and support for teachers.

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