Ms C. O’Neill (Head of Department)

Ms A. McAreavey

Mr. J. Lennon

Overview of the Department

The History department is a vibrant part of the life of St Malachy’s, and plays a vital role in offering the Social Sciences provision of education for our pupils.There are three dedicated History classrooms, which are equipped with Promethean whiteboard technology and there is also a provision of twelve computers to support the study of History through ICT.

St Malachy’s is an all ability school, and the History Department works to meet the need of all our pupils, to ensure they reach their full potential in the study of History. The department works to develop pupil skills in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. The schemes of work have been developed to embrace the three main ways in which our pupils learn – kinaesthetic, audio and visual.

The schemes also make provision to support pupils who have specific learning needs, and take into account the Individual Learning Plans of pupils, where appropriate. The schemes are monitored, evaluated and reviewed regularly to ensure they are updated and appropriate in meeting the needs of all our pupils.

The department enjoys a very positive profile in the school and works with the other departments to ensure the delivery of education in line with the stipulations of the Revised Curriculum. There are specific links developing with the English, Religious and Geography Departments as well as links with Government and Politics at Post 16 Level.

 The study of History in St Malachy’s

The study of History is available to all students in their first three years of education. Should they so wish, students may then choose to study the subject at GCSE and at Post-16 level. History is the study of the past, focusing on the motivations, actions and decisions taken by people and the consequences they faced as a result of the events that took place.

The subject seeks to develop the pupils’ skills of investigation and analysis. It offers pupils a chance to explore the past and to learn from it, and teaches them to reflect on the positives that took place, and to value the good things that happened. It also encourages them to avoid repeating the mistakes that occurred! It also develops skills such as abstraction of information from various types of sources, the ability to synthesize information and to interpret events. These skills are not only vital for the study of this subject, but are very important life skills that will benefit pupils beyond school, and which will aid them in meeting the challenges they will face throughout their lives.

Although a mainly Literacy based subject, the subject offers opportunity for pupils to develop other skills such as Numeracy, and ICT, all of which play an important role in the education pupils and which are embedded in the departmental schemes of work.

Year 8

The introductory course for students presents them with an array of new skills that they will use to study History, such as chronology, using sources and historical investigation. It also encourages them to see themselves in the context of history, involving a project entitled, “Me Fein” (“Myself”).   The course also encourages pupils to research current events to help them understand how these events will become part of history. These topics encourage the pupils to make full use of the departments’ ICT provision.

The main focus of study is the social and political impact of the coming of the Normans to England and Ireland.

Year 9

 The skills introduced in Year 8 are more fully developed, with specific reference to analysis and utilisation of Primary and Secondary sources in historical investigation. There is a wider dimension of study, looking at the early modern era of History.

The study has a focus on events in Europe as well as Anglo-Irish relations. Students learn about the impact of the European and English Reformations, the importance of the main events in the Age of Discovery in Science and Geography, as well as the Anglo-Spanish rivalry.

Year 10

 In Year 10, the students continue to develop and use the historical skills that have been acquired throughout their KS3 studies. The area of study in Year 10 was widened in 2011/12. This was in response to a work scheme review by teachers (which included feedback from the pupils) to include a study of WWI. This study examines the reasons for war, the experience of soldiers and the social impact on the people of Britain & Ireland, with a specific examination on how the war impacted on the role of women in society. Anglo-Irish relations & events from 1800-1900, from the Act of Union to the Partition of Ireland continue to form an important aspect of the Year 10 work scheme. There is also a special study of the events and impact of the Holocaust.

GCSE & Post 16 Courses.

The study of History is optional after Year 10. Students who opt for History follow the CCEA course of study which is a two year course, beginning with a study of European events, 1918-1945. The course focuses on the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis in Germany. There is also a study of events in Irish History from 1965-85 as well as a study of the events of the Cold War. The course also involves a Coursework component which is drawn up in line with directives given by CCEA.

Post-16 courses

History is also offered as a subject option for students at Post 16 level. The study of History at GCSE is not mandatory for selecting this option at AS/A2. The complete A Level course has four modules of study, three of which have a focus on Anglo-Irish relations, 1800-1900 and a module focusing on Nazi Germany, 1918-1945.