Meet the History Department
At KS3 our aim is to offer students a fun and varied experience with a wide range of active and academic opportunities. Students will explore a range of essential life skills from problem solving, communication and evaluation skills to making informed decisions and debates. It is our intention that the experience of each year will build on the last, equipping students with the expertise and confidence to pursue this valuable subject at GCSE.
At GCSE students complete 3 units. In unit 1, a modern world study in depth - students investigate life in Nazi Germany, starting with how Hitler secured control over Germany and the impact he had on workers lives, women, youth groups, Churches, minorities such a Jews and ends with understanding the impact of World War II on ordinary Germans, up until 1945. Unit 2, a local study – students explore the Changing Relations between Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965-98 reviewing the impact of Terence O’Neill’s economic and political reforms on Northern Ireland, the build-up to the Troubles and the aftermath and what solutions were attempted to solve the violence and political turmoil in Northern Ireland. Both units 1 and 2 are worth 30%. The final section 3, an Outline Study of International Relations, 1945-2003 – students study the development and friction between Superpowers USA and USSR and how their actions led to conflict, tensions and eventually a ‘war on terror’ following September 11 and including the Iraq war. This 3rd unit is worth 40%. All units are formally assessed by external exams.
At AS students complete 2 units. AS unit 1: Historical Investigations and Interpretations – Germany 1919-45. This expands and develops the students’ knowledge from GCSE and focuses on the skills of historical interpretation and evaluation. AS 2 Historical Conflicts and Change – Russia 1914-41. Students will investigate the reasons for the Russian Revolution, Lenin’s role and impact in Russia and then how Stalin won the power struggle to replace Lenin and the economic impact Stalin had on Russia. Both units are worth 20% of the whole A’ level grade and will be assessed at the end of year 13 in formal external exams.
At A2 students complete 2 units. A2 unit 1 Change Over Time – The American Presidency 1901-2000. Students investigate the changing nature of the American Presidency during the 20th Century. They cover the role of the presidents involved in key domestic events such as the Great Depression and the Watergate scandal and world events such as the World Wars, the Cold War and the Vietnamese war. Each president is evaluated to cover the extent of their influence and impact. Unit A2 1 is worth 20% of the A’ level. A2 unit 2 Historical Investigations and Interpretations – England 1558-1603. This final option covers the reign of Elizabeth I from her accession in 1558 to her death in 1603. Students will investigate the political, (both domestic and foreign policy) religious, economic and social developments in England over Elizabeth’s 45 year reign. Students will analyse the relationships Elizabeth had with Parliament, the Privy Council, her ministers, her nobility, her subjects and other foreign nations. Unit A2 2 is worth 40% of the A’ level.
From February onwards we offer weekly, after school support classes for GCSE and A Level students. We also offer students the opportunity to participate in our Local History competition to encourage people to take part in their own research in local historical events, places, buildings and people. We also offer trips to Stormont and Berlin for our GCSE students and offer a biennial trip to Washington for A level students.