The history department aims to help students develop a love of history so that they can enjoy their learning and have a meaningful understanding of their history.   We aim to actively engage students in their study of history and to help all student's reach their full potential as active members of society who have a broad understanding of how the past has shaped our world. We hope that studying and fully engaging with the past will brighten the futures of our students. In history class students will develop a wide range of valuable skills. Our objectives are:
  • To promote an interest in and 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 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 and global dimension on their lives
  • To give pupils an understanding of the contemporary world by putting it in historical context
  • To develop an understanding of the complicated relationship between political, social, economic and cultural aspects of society.
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.


  • Miss N. Doherty (Head of History)
  • Mrs K. Kealey ( Senior Teacher)
  • Mrs C. Devlin ( Head of year)
  • Miss M. Curran
  • Miss R. Orr


Year 8
Unit 1 Myself - Personal History
Unit 2 The Norman Conquest
Unit 3 Norman Ireland
Unit 4 Native Americans
Year 9
Unit 5 Renaissance and Reformation
Unit 6 Rivalry and Conflict
Unit 7: The Plantation of Ulster
Unit 8 : World War One
Year 10
Unit 9: Weimar Germany
Unit 10: Nazi Control and 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.  2020's A' Level  class achieved 100% grades A*-C.   GCSE History students at Saint Mary's study the CCEA History specification:
    In unit 1 students study Germany 1933-1945. This involves the study of the growth of the Nazi state, the Holocaust and impact of World War Two. As well as this students will study Northern Ireland, 1965-1998. This unit covers significant events such as the civil rights movement, Bloody Sunday and the Good Friday Agreement. These topics are tested in a 2 hour exam which is worth 60% of the overall GCSE result.
      • In unit 2 students will study International Relations from 1945 until 2003. This is a very significant period of modern history. Students will cover events in the Cold War including the Berlin Wall, Korean and Vietnam Wars as well as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Students will also study the growth of terrorism; covering the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers as well as the Iraq war.

Post 16

Unit Option  Length of exam Exam weighting
AS 1: Historical Investigations and Historical Interpretations Option 5: Germany 1919-1945 1 hour 30 minutes 20%
AS 2: Conflict and Change inEurope Option 3: Challenge and Conflict in Ireland, 1823-1867 1 hour 30minutes 20%
A2 1: Change Over Time Option 3: International Relations 1848- 1945 1 hour 20%
A2 2:Historical Investigations and Interpretations Option  4: Partition of Ireland 1900-1925 2 hours and 30 minutes 40%

Examination Performance

We are very  pleased with the success of our students at both GCSE and A’ level History and congratulate our students on their hard work and endeavour.
Summary of results for the 2019 exam series
A' level 100%
GCSE 84 %

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 a trip to Krakow in September 2018 where we will visit Auschwitz Concentration camp and the Salt Mines. In October 2019 we enjoyed our third trip to Italy.   This was an exceptional trip and has been very enjoyable and informative for students.    Our students took in the historic sites of  Rome, visiting the Vatican 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. We then travelled to the wonderful city of Rome and visited the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and much more. If any students have further ideas for developing extra curricular activities please share these with your history teacher.