Our curriculum is designed to make sure that students have the opportunities that they need to be successful. Our aim is that young people will achieve their potential to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives.

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History is a very exciting subject that is about people, events and nations in times past. It involves looking at why wars begin and end, the actions of individuals and groups in certain circumstances and what brings people into conflict with one another. We focus on how History has shaped our present and led us to where we are today as a society. History is a very popular subject throughout the College. It is compulsory at KS3 and many students choose it at KS4 and KS5 where it is optional.



Levels Taught:

Post 16


Mr C McLaren – (HoD)
Mr C McLaughlin
Mrs A Alexander – (Career break)
Mrs S Woods-McAdam
Mr A Magee

(Subject/Topic Content)

At Key Stage 3 we follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

Year 8
History in Year 8 equips students with the key skills and an understanding of the key concepts to be a successful historian.

In year 8 we study:

  • What is History?
  • Why was 1066 such an important year in History?
  • What was the significance of the Norman Conquest?
  • What was it like to live in medieval society?
  • How did castles develop over time?
  • What impact did the Normans have on Ireland?
  • How did medicine develop through time?

Year 8 pupils will have the opportunity to visit Carrickfergus Castle as part of their studies.

Year 9
In Year 9 History we further develop the skills of year 8 and we focus on religious conflict, identity and culture. We look at how we find ourselves in the situation we do in Northern Ireland today.

In Year 9 we study:

  • What was the Reformation? Why was it so significant?
  • Was Henry VIII a saint or a sinner?
  • What caused the Plantation of Ulster and what were the main consequences?
  • What was the Battle of the Boyne and what was its significance?
  • How does the Battle of the Boyne still hold relevance today?
  • Who were the leading figures in nineteenth century Irish nationalism?
  • What impact did the Famine have on society in Ireland?
  • Who were the Native American Indians and how did they live?

Year 9 pupils will have the opportunity to visit the historic Londonderry Walls, the Tower Museum and complete a case study of the Siege of Londonderry.

Year 10
In Year 10 History we examine modern 20th century events. We focus on the key events and individuals that have shaped the society that we live in today.

In Year 10 we study:

  • Why was the twentieth century so significant?
  • What was World War One and what impact did it have on world affairs?
  • How and why did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rise to power?
  • Why is it so important to study and remember the Holocaust?
  • What impact did the Black Civil Rights Movement have in the USA?
  • What were the causes and consequences of the partition of Ireland?
  • How was Northern Ireland affected by ‘The Troubles’?
  • What was it like to be a young person during ‘The Troubles’?
  • How have the media portrayed the Northern Ireland conflict?

Year 10 pupils will have the opportunity to visit Belfast and complete a teacher led mural and historical tour of Belfast.

(Subject/Topic Content)

At Key Stage 4 the Department follows the CCEA specification.

Year 11
Year 11 modules are worth 60% of the overall GCSE. History at GCSE Level is 100% examination based.

Modern World Studies in Depth:
Life in Nazi Germany: 1933 – 1945

  • Hitler takes political control, 1933 – 1934
  • Control and opposition in Nazi Germany
  • Life for workers in Nazi Germany
  • Life for women and the family in Nazi Germany
  • Life for young people in Nazi Germany
  • Life for the Jewish community and minorities in Nazi Germany
  • Germany at War, 1939 – 1945

Local Study:
Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965 – 1998

  • The O’Neill years
  • The campaign for Civil Rights
  • A deteriorating situation, 1969 – 1972
  • The search for a political solutions – attempt at power sharing, 1973 – 1974
  • Changing Republican strategy
  • Changing relations, towards closer co-operation
  • The Down Street Declaration, 1993
  • The Good Friday Agreement, 1998

GCSE Year 11 Students will visit Belfast and Londonderry as part of their studies. There will also be the opportunity to meet representatives from a variety of the Northern Ireland political parties.

Year 12
The Year 12 module is worth 40% of the overall GCSE.

Outline Study:
International Relations, 1945 – 2003
Co-operation ends and the Cold War begins

  • Emerging Superpower rivalry and its consequences, 1945 1949
  • Flashpoints in Europe and the impact on international relations
  • Flashpoints outside Europe and the impact on international relations
  • The end of the Cold War, 1985 – 1991
  • New tensions emerge, 1991 – 2003

Post 16:
(Subject/Topic Content)

Students will study two modules in Year 13 and two further modules in Year 14. A-Level History is 100% examination based.

At Key Stage 5 the Department follows the CCEA specification.

Year 13
AS 1 & 2 are worth 100% of the AS qualification and 40% of the overall A-Level qualification.

Historical Investigations & Interpretations:
Germany: 1919 – 1945

  • The Weimar Republic, 1919 – 1929
  • The decline of the Weimar Republic, 1929 – 1933 and the rise of the Nazis
  • Developments in Nazi Germany, 1933 – 1939
  • The impact of the War on Nazi Germany, 1939 – 1945
  • The impact of the War on occupied territories in Eastern Europe, 1939 – 1945

Historical Conflict & Change:
Ireland: 1823 – 1867

  • Daniel O’Connell and Catholic Emancipation, 1823 – 1834
  • The Lichfield House Compact and reform for Ireland, 1835 – 1840
  • The Repeal campaign and its failure, 1840 – 1847
  • The causes, course and impact of the Irish Famine, 1824 – 1867
  • The Fenian Rising of 1867


Year 14
A2 1 & 2 are worth 60% of the overall A-Level qualification

Change Over time:
Clash of Ideologies: 1900 – 2000

  • Russia and Europe, 1900 – 1917
  • Revolutionary Russia and opposition from Western governments, 1917 – 1933
  • The struggle for survival, 1933 – 1945
  • Co-operation and co-existence, 1956 – 1979
  • Soviet aggression, decline and collapse, 1979 – 1991

Historical Investigations & Interpretations:
Partition of Ireland: 1900 – 1925

  • The crisis over the 3rd Home Rule Bill up until September 1914
  • The impact of WW1 on Ireland, 1914 – 1918
  • The Easter Rising and the changing political climate, 1916 – 1918
  • Political developments, 1919 – 1923
  • Northern Ireland, 1921 – 1925

Both As and A2 Students will visit Dublin as part of their studies.

Many of our students have gone on to study History at undergraduate and post-graduate level. We are very proud of their achievements.

Extra Curricular:

  • At A-Level we attend a variety of History Conferences.
  • We run History Revision Clinics in the run up to GCSE and A Level examinations to focus on examination technique and past paper practice.
  • As well as support within school, we also offer online support through our Twitter profile, aimed at GCSE and A Level students.
  • We participate in whole school College events and lead the Remembrance Service each November.
  • To enhance the enjoyment and interest in History outside of the classroom we run an annual European visit. In the past we have visited the Battlefields of the Somme in France, the WW1 Battlefields of Belgium, Berlin, Anne Frank’s Amsterdam, Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland.