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Why Does History Matter?

History teaches us not to simply accept events but to question them. Through studying history pupils will develop a greater understanding of both the good and the bad that humanity is capable of and an understanding of the world in which we live in. At both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 pupils will be encouraged to consider their citizenship: 

  • Through looking at past events and interpretations of them, students are encouraged to think independently, critically and objectively about the world around them.

  • By engaging with a wide range of historical narratives, students are encouraged to appreciate their place in the world; recognising a common experience. History broadens horizons and promotes cohesion.

  • By engaging with complex and emotive issues in the past, students are led to draw relevant and contemporary parallels which challenge them to maintain open minds and confront prejudice.

History develops the ability for students to think freely. They can test hypotheses, develop opinions, and be challenged on a wide range of topics.

  • History provides a wide skill set. Students are equipped with a skill set which ranges from the art of writing to the science of source analysis. These are highly valuable skills which do not become out-dated. They help students to show that they are well-rounded and employable people.

  • Students should be exposed to a range of cultures and experiences beyond their own lives – this helps to promote understanding and tolerance.


Mrs K English (Head of Department) 

Ms H Hewitt 



  • Students should be enabled to see the present in the context of the past. They should be encouraged to develop a respect for the people in the past and begin to understand them on their own terms.

  • Students should be engaged and find enjoyment in the study of History. Students should be inspired to continue their interest in history.

  • Students should have the ability to use information critically no matter the source. This is vital when interpreting the news media, reading books or even in conversation.

  • Students should be able to see both sides of a given situation and construct effective arguments for either side.

  • Students should be able to communicate effectively in a wide range of forms and situations. They should be able to present information, analyses and interpretations in a well informed and balanced manner.

  • Students should be able to independently and effectively pursue areas of History which interest them.

  • Students should develop an appreciation of historical empathy and understand their own place within a larger human story which goes beyond the British Isles.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 level pupils follow the CCEA NI Revised Curriculum

  • What is History?

  • The Normans

  • Castles and Medieval Life

  • The Reformation

  • The Tudors and the Spanish Armada

  • The Plantation of Ireland

  • Native Americans

The Twentieth Century Depth Study:

  • The First World War

  • Causes and Consequences of Partition in Ireland

  • The Holocaust

  • The Campaign for Civil Rights in the USA and Northern Ireland

  • There are numerous opportunities for field trips to local areas of historical interest.

Key Stage 4


Pupils follow the CCEA GCSE History Specification. This GCSE History course is both interesting and rewarding. It builds on the approach already used in Key Stage 3 so that pupils should not experience too much difficulty coming to terms with the demands of the course.


Unit 1: Study in Depth

(60% of total mark)

  • Life in Nazi Germany 1933-45

  • Northern Ireland and its Neighbours 1920-49

This unit will be examined at the end of Year 11 with a 1 hour 45 minute exam.


Unit 2: Outline Study

(40% of total mark)

  • International Relations 1945-2003

This will be examined at the end of year 12 with a 1 hour 15 minute exam.


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