Senior History students in Belgium at the site of the Battle of Hill 60, November 2014


Mr P Irwin (Subject Co-ordinator)
Mr S Deane
Ms G Fitzgerald
Ms S Hutchinson Edgar
Mr D Miller

Subject Overview

The High School History Department aims to provide an environment where historical concepts are applied in a way that makes them meaningful to pupils. Our subject has a broad cross-curriculum aspect as we explore the political, social, cultural, economic and technological aspects of life in the past and relate this to the world we live in today. Emphasis is placed on enquiry based learning, examination of both primary and secondary source materials, and active teaching methodologies.

Junior Cycle

History is a core subject for the Junior Cycle. Pupils in Forms 1, 2, and 3 attend three classes per week. The three main sections studied at Junior Certificate level are:

1. How we find out about the past

2. Studies of Change

3. Understanding the Modern World

The text book that we currently use at Junior Cycle is Kevin McCarthy, Footsteps in Time, Vols. 1 & 2, C J Fallon.

Please click here for the syllabus. 

Form 4 - Transition Year programme

History is also studied as a core subject in Transition Year. Students study five key areas of interest in six module blocks. These modules are: 

1. The Holocaust: Auschwitz - a case study

2. Victorian Dublin

3. Conflict Studies: Aboriginal Australia

 4. Evaluating the 1798 Rebellion

5. Classical History: Spartan case study

Information and reading materials are provided by the various teachers.

Senior Cycle

At Senior Cycle, history is offered as a choice. Following reform of the curriculum in 2006 student’s skills of enquiry and research are further developed as, in addition to a written examination, they also undertake a research project. This research project is submitted prior to the Leaving Certificate and accounts for 20% of the examination total. There are four text books used at Leaving Certificate area; this changes in accordance with the prescribed documents case study in any given year. The books in use for the Leaving Certificate examination are:

  • Vincent Foley, The Pursuit of Sovereignty and the Impact of Partition 1912-1945, Folens.
  • Sean Delap, Dictatorship and Democracy 1920-1945, Folens.
  • Francis T. Holohan, The United States and the World, 1945-1989, Folens.
  • Francis T. Holohan, Politics and Society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993, Folens.

Please click here for the online curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Community Work
Human Resources

Additional information

In recognition of the importance of 2014 as the anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, the History Department sought to encourage pupils to research their own family involvement in the Great War. To further this a group of senior pupils travelled to Ypres, Belgium the weekend prior to Armistice Day. Pupils had the opportunity to see at first hand the terrain that faced soldiers and to gain a further understanding of the challenges and bravery of all those involved. During this time they visited the graves of two former High School pupils namely, Captain George Francis Lambert Porter and Corporal William James Francis.

More information can be found about these past pupils by clicking here.