In line with whole school policy, the History Department aims to enable all pupils to achieve their full potential as individuals and as members of society. A broad, balanced and relevant curriculum is delivered in a caring and Christian environment with the active involvement of parents. Our Objectives:
  • To stimulate interest, curiosity and initiative and to promote an enjoyment of History.
  • To encourage pupils to question, to challenge and to think for themselves. To strive towards the goal of  “Pupils as independent learners”.
  • To provide students with opportunities, through the revised curriculum, to develop a multi-skilled approach to learning so that they can make a valuable contribution to the world of work
  • To develop skills in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT
  • To develop pupil’s knowledge of the impact of the European dimension on their lives
  • To give pupils an understanding of the contemporary world by putting it in historical context
  • To help pupils to understand that the present has been shaped by the past and may affect the future.
  • To develop within pupils an understanding of the complicated relationship between political, social, economic and cultural aspects of many societies.
Methodologies: Pupils studying History at Saint Mary’s are taught using a variety of teaching strategies. Pupils find that these strategies enhance their understanding, stimulate curiosity, make learning exciting and fun. Our methods include the use of cooperative learning strategies, which we have found enhance pupil involvement, enjoyment and understanding. The study of sources and the use historical artifacts and living history characters is a vital aspect of history which stimulates discussion and brings history alive in the classroom. ICT and multimedia technologies are used extensively in the department. Students are encouraged to develop creativity in their use of ICT to enhance learning.  We make use of mind-mapping software such as “Open Mind”, Audacity to record interviews and create Podcasts,  MovieMaker to create documentaries on historical topics such as Ann Frank and movies to summarise and share revision notes.  Students use a variety of office packages and other software such as Comic Life  We aim to enhance the use of OneNote within the department.  Students use the online learning environment, Fronter, to access learning material, submit work and take part in discussions. Pupils can avail on e-learning revision courses at GCSE with 24 hour access to homework and revision material. Other teaching methods include:
  • Whole class teaching
  • Enquiry learning
  • Educational visits
  • Individual work
  • Modeling work
  • Problem solving


  • Miss N. Doherty (Head of History)
  • Mrs K. Kealey ( Senior Teacher)
  • Mrs C. Devlin ( Head of year 11)
  • Miss E.J. Kelly (Primary/Secondary Links Co-ordinator)


Year 8
Unit 1 Myself - Personal History
Unit 2 The Norman Conquest
Unit 3 Norman Ireland
Unit 4 Native Americans
Year 9
Unit 5 The Story of  Ireland
Unit 6 Renaissance and Reformation
Unit 7: Plantations – Ireland
Unit 8 : World War One
Year 10
Unit 9: The Rise of Hitler
Unit 10: The Holocaust
Unit 11: Union to Partition
Unit 12: History of Women in the 20th Century
Unit 13: The Media and History


History is a very popular choice at Saint Mary's and students have achieved great success and enjoy the courses studied. GCSE History students at Saint Mary's study the CCEA History specification studying a wide range of diverse topics.
Unit 1: Studies in Depth Unit 2: Unit3: Investigative Study – Controlled Assessment
Option 1:Germany1918-1941 Option 5:Changing Relationships:Britain,Northern IrelandandIreland1965-1985 Nazi Treatment of the Jewish Community
50% of final result 25% of final result 25 % of final result
Assessed in Year 11 Assessed in Year 12 Assessed in Year 12

Post 16

Unit Option  Length of exam Exam weighting Date of Exam
AS 1: Historical Investigations and Historical Interpretations Option 5: Germany1919-1945 1 hour 30 minutes 20%
AS 2: Conflict and Change inEurope Option 6: Italy's quest for Great Power Status 1871-1943 1 hour 30minutes 20%
A2 1: Change Over Time Option 2 : Ireland under the Union 1800-1900 1 hour 15 minutes 20%
A2 2:Historical Investigations and Interpretations Option  4:Partition of Ireland 1900-1925 2 hours 40%

Examination Performance

We are pleased with the success of our students at both GCSE and A’ level History and congratulate our students on their hard work and endeavour.
Percentage of students obtaining each grade:
LEVEL Number of Students % A*-C % A* -E
A2  12 92% 100
A’S   16  67% 100
GCSE  28  73% 100

Extra Curricular

The History Department believes that providing students with the opportunities to study and engage with history outside of the classroom are essential.  Students are given the opportunity to participate in historical trips and visits.  Our year 10 students took part in a wonderful trip to Dublin.   They enjoyed a walking tour of Dublin, an excellent and informative visit to the new interactive exhibition on the 1916 Rising at the  GPO Witness Centre.  Students loved the wonderful tour of Glasnevin cemetery and the National Museum at Collin's Barracks.     Our students have also visited the Somme Centre, the  Tower Museum,  the Bloody Sunday Museum, the Famine Village, Ulster American Folk Park, Carrickfergus castle  and the IOSAS centre.   The History and geography department will  embark on our third annual trip to Italy when we fly out in October 2016.    This has been an exceptional trip and has been very enjoyable and informative for students.    Our students took in the historic sites of  Rome, visiting the Vactican and Colosseum as well as much more, we moved on to our base in Sorrento where we visited Pompeii and climbed Vesuvius and enjoyed a great boat trip to Capri.  In recent years the History department has also organised  visits to the war graves of Northern France and Belgium as well as a trip to Paris with the Languages Department. The History department is delighted with the global links we have established with schools in bothPalestineand theUSA, sharing cultural and historical information using videoconferencing technologies. If any students have further ideas for developing extra curricular activities please share these with your history teacher.