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Department Staff

Mr R Forrest

Mrs E Salisbury

Ms Annie Havern

Mrs Joanne Quinn

Subject Information

History is a chronicle of human behaviour. It examines the circumstances that moved its players to transform people and places, and it holds the answers to how and why our lives are fashioned the way they are today – from our language, fashion and technology to our sports, political systems and religious practices. History is an exciting subject that develops critical thinking and reasoning skills. We investigate how events and individuals in the past have shaped the modern world in which we live today. History helps to develop literacy and cognitive skills. In the History we study many interesting and controversial events from the past and this subject will encourage you to challenge ideas and interpretations. Pupils develop the ability to interrogate and analyse historical sources and are encouraged to become independent learners. History helps students to develop the communication skills that are prized and required in the world of work.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

All students in Key Stage 3 study History in two discrete 50 minute periods.


In Year 8 students are introduced to the skills of History and are given opportunities to apply these skills to the core content of KS3. Following an introduction, Year 8 students then carry out an investigation into the death of the Tollund Man, the Norman conquest of England and later, the Normans in Ireland. In Year 9 students explore the religious changes introduced in England throughout the Tudor period during the Reformation, the problems faced by Elizabeth I, the Voyages of Discovery and finally, the Plantation of Ulster. Students in Year 10 carry out an in-depth study into the causes of World War One, the nature of trench warfare and the use of propaganda to recruit soldiers. At the end of the school year, Year 10 students then learn about the Great Famine.


Throughout KS3, pupils are encouraged to develop their critical thinking skills and communication skills which are at the core of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.  Students explore a variety and range of topics in Key Stage 3 that chronicle human behaviour in previous centuries. We examine the key circumstances that have shaped the past and transformed society helping students to understand the present through the prism of the past. The Key Stage 3 schemes of work are reviewed on a yearly basis and revised in line with advancements within the Northern Ireland Curriculum.


Literacy is at the core of the Key Stage 3 curriculum in History.

Pupils also get to explore careers linked to History in preparation for GCSE subject selection in Year 10.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

All students in Key Stage 4 study History in three 50 minute periods.


All classes study the CCEA History GCSE course, which is studied over a two-year academic cycle.

The main requirement for GCSE History is a proven track record and interest in Key Stage 3 as well as the ability to communicate effectively in written form. The ability to use and interrogate historical sources is key. GCSE History looks at some of the most interesting and controversial events in the twentieth century and this subject will encourage you to develop key transferable skills that will be useful during further study and in the work place such as –

  • how to construct an argument 

  • research and problem solving skills

  • researching and organising information

  • analytical and interpretation skills and writing a coherent argument.


Teaching staff are committed to delivering engaging and challenging lessons to the students in a relaxed learning environment where each pupil is given individual support and encouraged to fulfil their potential in History. After school revision classes are held in the lead up to external exams.

Students will study 3 units in total across 2 years including:


Unit 1: (studied in Year 11)

Section A: Modern World Studies in Depth

Option 1: Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

Section B: Local Study

Option 2: Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965-1998


Unit 2: (studied in Year 12).

Outline Study

International Relations, 1945-2003

Qualification Route CCEA GCSE

Paper One


Section A

Study in Depth

Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945



Section B

Local Study

N.Ireland and its

neighbours 1965-1998

External Exam

(1 hour 45mins)


Five questions

  • Short response questions

  • Structured questions

  • An essay question


Six questions

  • Source based questions

  • Short response question

  • An essay question

Worth 60%


Terminal Assessment

Paper Two

Outline Study

International Relations 1945-2003

External Exam

(1 hour 15mins)


Six questions

  • Source based questions

  • A structured question

  • An essay question

Worth 40%


Terminal Assessment

Key Stage 5 (GCE/A-Level)

All students in Key Stage 5 study History in five 50 minute periods.


All students study CCEA GCE A-Level History over a two-year period.


The study of CCEA’s GCE/A-Level History requires higher order thinking skills and gives students the opportunity to: study a range of historical subjects that challenge interpretations of the past; develop as critical thinkers capable of independent personal research. History at A-Level will equip learners with strong analytical and written skills. Students are required to develop high level communications skills and be able to construct a coherent argument in written and verbal forms.


Students in Years 13 and 14 are encouraged to: engage critically with a variety and range of source material. Develop and apply effectively their knowledge of source analysis and evaluation; understand the context of historical evidence and others’ interpretations of the material. Students will deepen their understanding of the past through interrogation of source material and development of personal knowledge and understanding. Students are required to carry out independent research and present or communicate their work orally or in written form. History allows students to develop advanced study skills that help them prepare for third level education; demonstrate, through challenging internal and external assessments, that they understand and can apply key concepts and skills to 


The GCE/A-Level History course is accomplished over two years; Units AS 1 and AS 2 are sat in the Summer Series in Year 13; while, Units A2 1, A2 s are completed in the Summer Series in Year 14.


Qualification Route CCE History A-Level

AS 1:

Historical Investigations and Interpretations

(Option 5: Germany 1919-1945)

External written examination 1 hour 30 mins Students answer a short response question and a two-part source question

50% of AS

20% of A-Level


AS 2:

Historical Conflict and Change

(Option 5: Russia 1914-1941)

External written examination 1 hour 30 mins Students answer two questions from a choice of three. Each question has two parts, a short response and an extended essay.

50% of AS

20% of A-Level


A2 1:

Change Over Time

(Option 5: Clash of Ideologies)

External written examination 1 hour 15 minutes Students answer a synoptic essay question.

20% of A-Level


(terminal assessment)


Historical Investigations and Interpretations

(Option 4: Partition of Ireland 1900-1925)

External written examination 2 hours 30 mins Students answer three questions; two are source based and one is an extended essay.

40% of A-Level


(terminal assessment)


The History department endeavours to enrich the curriculum offered in Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 throughout the year with various guest speakers, workshops and projects. Site visits and trips are ordinarily a part of the academic year for our historians but at present these are on hold.

KS4/5 pupils are encouraged to attend afterschool revision sessions for each course when they are offered within the department.


History is an exciting subject that will provide you with self-confidence in your opinions, a critical mind and an understanding of past events and individuals. GCSE History is useful for students studying a number of A-Level subjects; History, Politics, English to name but a few. Both GCSE and A-Level leads to many useful courses at university. History graduates are to be found in careers ranging from law, the media, computers, accountancy and journalism. Many of the top individuals involved in media and major businesses today come from a History background.

Useful Links

CCEA GCSE History Microsite

CCEA GCE A-Level History Microsite

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