History

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana)

The History Department is a well established department with a long standing tradition of excellent results. We aim to encourage students to develop skills and attitudes that will prepare them for life after school and to instil a strong sense of identity and respect of the cultural identities of others.

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The History Department aims to:

  • ensure pupils are given a sound sense of the past through the study of local and global history;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to explore historical frameworks using contemporary and secondary evidence;
  • produce strong academic results at both Advanced and GCSE Level, ensuring every pupil succeeds; and
  • ensure pupils will appreciate the diversity of opinions, beliefs, attitudes and cultures that exist in nations today and how they shape individuals.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, History is delivered over three lessons per fortnight.

Pupils complete five Continuous Monitoring assessments throughout the year alongside an End of Year Test in June. The use of different types of assessment ensures that pupils have the opportunities to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have acquired throughout the year.

YEAR 8 CURRICULUM

In Year 8, pupils study the following topics:

  • What is History?
  • The Normans
  • The Lifestyles of the Native North Americans

YEAR 9 CURRICULUM

In Year 9, pupils study the following topics:

  • Rivalry and Conflict
  • Pirates
  • The Reformation
  • Spanish Armada
  • Williamite Wars
  • The Great Famine

YEAR 10 CURRICULUM

In Year 10, pupils study the following topics:

  • The Twentieth Century World
  • World War One
  • The Rise of Hitler
  • The Causes and Consequences of Partition

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the History Department offers History at GCSE Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. History is delivered over five lessons per fortnight.

Unit 1: Study in Depth (50%)

In this unit, pupils study either USA1918-1941 or Germany 1918-41 and Changing Relationships: Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland 1965-1985.

This unit requires students to recall, select, organise and communicate knowledge and understanding of history and to demonstrate their understanding of the past through explanation and analysis of key concepts such as causation, consequence, continuity, change and significance within an historical context.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 11. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Outline Study: The Cold War (25%)

This unit aims to encourage pupils to acquire outline knowledge of the key personalities and events in the Cold War. Pupils break away from a chronological study of History to a thematic study seeking to expose trends, turning points, causes and effects.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: Investigative Study – Controlled Assessment (25%)

This unit aims to allow pupils the opportunity to investigate an element of History and to interact with and evaluate source material as part of a historical enquiry.

In this unit, pupils are required to adopt an investigative approach to the completion of two questions on topics selected by CCEA that can range from a comparison of Northern Ireland and American Civil Rights movements to the role of the media in the Vietnam War.

This unit is assessed in the form of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have 3 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place in Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the History Department offers History at AS and A2 Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. At AS and A2 Level, History is delivered over eleven lessons per fortnight.

At AS Level, pupils must successfully complete two modules. A further two modules must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS HISTORY

Unit 1: Option 5: Germany 1918-1945 (50% of AS, 25% of A Level)

This unit requires students to engage in historical enquiry by investigating specific historical questions, problems or issues and use historical sources critically and in context to reach sustained conclusions.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

2: Option 5: Russia 1903- 1941 (50% of AS, 25% of A Level)

This unit requires students to study the significance of individuals, society and events in a broad context and show an understanding of how these elements impact on society and not necessarily with the predicted or desired result. Students should develop the ability to frame and ask pertinent questions about the past and research and develop their own answers.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 HISTORY

Unit 3: Option 4: Unionism and Nationalism in Ireland (20% of A Level)

In this unit, students are required to study change and development over a substantial period of time i.e. 100 years. They identify short term and long term changes, making links and drawing comparisons between different aspects of the period, society and themes studied. They approach this topic as an historical enquiry ensuring they are fully conversant with events, personalities and modern/contemporary interpretations.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: Option 4: Partition of Ireland 1900-1925 (30% of A Level)

In this unit, students are required to engage in historical enquiry by investigating the specific problems associated with the Partition of Ireland. They must make critical use of sources in their historical context. They should interrogate sources and ask relevant questions based around their providence, motivation, reliability and utility.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours to complete the assessment for this unit.

Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

EXTRA- CURRICULAR PROVISION

The History Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities include:

  • History at the Movies Club
  • Horrible Histories Club
  • Field trips to Carrickfergus Castle, Walls of Derry, Somme Heritage Centre, Stormont, Crumlin Road Gaol
  • Conferences at University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Somme Heritage Centre and Queen’s University, Belfast
  • Competitions e.g. BBC Schools Question Time, Irish News – Titanic, Step in Time – Carrickfergus competition.

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

There are three dedicated History classrooms in St. Mary’s. Each classroom is equipped with internet access and interactive whiteboards. Each member of staff has an iPad to support learning and teaching. The teaching of History is fully supported with resource banks in both digital and hard copy formats. The History Department is committed to developing the dedicated History area on the school’s VLE.

CAREERS INFORMATION

The study of History is useful for students who are interested in pursuing careers such as:

  • Archivist
  • Curator
  • Journalist
  • Museum/Education Officer
  • Barrister
  • Legal Executive
  • TV/Film/ Theatre Director
  • Actor
  • Set Design
  • History Teacher
  • Professional Historian
  • University Lecturer
  • Tour Guide
  • Diplomatic Service
  • Tourism Officer
  • Games Creator
  • TV Series Consultant
  • Antiques Dealer
  • Costume Design
  • Solicitor
  • Politician
  • Advocate

USEFUL WEBSITES