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Departmental Aims

  • To develop in pupils an appreciation of the crucial importance of the study of the past.

  • To ensure that pupils have the opportunity to study historical events within local, regional, national and international contexts.

  • To enable pupils to see that the study of History involves the acquisition and constant refinement of a variety of skills centred around the critical examination of evidence.

  • To instil in pupils an appreciation of History as a subject that is relevant and significant both inside and outside the classroom.


Mr G Mason (HoD)

Dr R Butler

Mrs A Simpson

Miss J Webb

"The task of the historian is to understand the peoples of the past better than they understand themselves."

— Herbert Butterfield

Key Stage 3

  • In Year 8, pupils begin their studies with a look at ‘What is History?’ as well as key skills associated with the subject such as chronology and the critical use of evidence in History.  They then undertake a detailed examination of the Normans and the medieval world focusing on events such as the Battle of Hastings and the arrival of the Normans in Ireland.

  • In Year 9, pupils focus on Early Modern History and the initial focus is on the Reformation and the reign of Henry VIII.  They then begin a detailed look at Ireland in the 1600s by examining the Ulster Plantation, the turbulent events in Ireland in the 1640s and the War of the Three Kings in the 1688-1691 period.

  • In Year 10, pupils commence the academic year with a detailed examination of the First World War which involves issues such as the causes of the war, trench warfare, the role of women in the war and the significance of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.  They then embark on a detailed study of the causes and consequences of the partition of Ireland with particular focus on the key events in Irish history between 1912 and 1923.

Key Stage 4 (Pupils study CCEA GCSE History)

  • In Year 11, pupils study Unit 1 of the CCEA GCSE History course.  This involves a detailed study of life in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 which is then followed by an examination of major developments in Northern Ireland between 1965 and 1998.

  • In Year 12, pupils study Unit 2 of the CCEA GCSE History course.  This unit is focused on a study of international relations between 1945 and 2003 which obviously helps to give pupils a real and holistic appreciation of the major developments which have shaped our world today.

Key Stage 5 (Pupils study CCEA AS and A2 History)

  • In Year 13, pupils study two units in AS History.  The first unit is an exploration of German history between 1919 and 1945 which involves examining the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1933 and Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. The second unit is a study of Italian history between 1871 and 1943. Liberal Italy and Fascist Italy are both covered in this unit which has a strong emphasis on Italian foreign policy.

  • In Year 14, pupils study two units in A2 History.  The first unit is an examination of the American presidency from 1901 to 2000 with the focus on the key issues, personalities and developments associated with the presidency throughout this century.  The second unit is an exploration of Irish history between 1900 and 1925 and it covers all the key developments of this momentous period which witnesses Ireland being partitioned.


Possible careers include teaching, journalism, law, library and museum work as well as management and administration.  Many politicians are former History students. Overall, the study of History helps to provide pupils with a critical and investigative mind-set which is crucially important in the entire field of employment.  The historian also possesses a range of skills which would be invaluable in the workplace such as sifting through evidence in a critical manner, appreciating the importance of argument and counterargument as well as the ability to communicate ideas with clarity and insight.


  • The Junior History Club provides an invaluable opportunity for pupils to explore various themes or issues which are not covered in the formal History curriculum.

  • Year 11 pupils visit Derry to enrich their knowledge and understanding of the Northern Ireland 1965-1998 course.  Pupils walk the Peace Bridge and the walls of Derry as well as visiting the Tower Museum and Saint Columb’s Cathedral.

  • Year 14 pupils visit Dublin to deepen their understanding of the course dealing with the partition of Ireland.  Pupils have a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol before they visit Croke Park and Glasnevin Cemetery.


  • The pupil with the best academic performance in the A-Level History public examinations is acknowledged at the school’s annual prize-giving ceremony, as is the pupil with the best performance in GCSE History. The Sister Isidore Cup is presented to the pupil with the best performance in the AS History examinations.

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