What do all of the following people have in common?

Politicians Gordon Brown and Michael Portillo, BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen, Head of MI6 John Scarlett, comedians Al Murray and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), TV presenter Jonathan Ross, the vice-chancellor of Oxford University, millionaire businessman Gerald Corbett and Five Live’s Alan Green?

They all studied History at University.



  • Mr. Gallagher
  • Miss E Neill
  • Mrs Dresen Martin


Teaching Time:

Key Stage 3

3 periods a week


4/5 periods a week


8/9 periods a week

In the History Department students learn about times very different to our own and the lives of influential and famous people. History develops many useful skills; students learn to investigate, to research and to analyse. They also develop their writing and communication skills. History students enter a wide variety of careers: some work in education, law and journalism and many history graduates now work in finance, government and business.



Year 8 students will experience a taste of Norman life in Armagh City Council. Year 10 students will visit the Somme Centre to see what life was like during WW1. They will also experience a Troubles tour in Belfast, to improve their understanding of Irish History.


Useful History websites







Key Stage 3


Year 8

Students study the medieval world with a focus on the Normans and their impact on life in Ireland. Students study topics ranging from the Battle of Hastings to life in Ireland during the Normans castle.



The Normans

1. What is history.

The aim of this unit is to ensure that pupils understand what history is about and the jobs/skills associated with it. They research their own life and events that have happened in their lifetime. Pupils also consider the different types of historical evidence that can be used to investigate the past.

2. How the Normans got involved in England

The focus of this unit is the origins of the Normans and the Battle of Hastings. Pupils consider the validity of the claimants to the throne of England in 1065 and examine the events of 1066 with particular emphasis on the Battle of Hastings.

3. Norman Control

Pupils research and evaluate the methods the Normans used to keep control of England, with a focus on castles.

4. The Normans in Ireland

The focus of this unit is the Normans coming to Ireland. Pupils also consider the Norman legacy.

Homework tasks include long answer questions, source questions and project work. There are key assessments on the main topics an end of term exams(assessment 2 and 4) which assesses long term progress.


Year 9

Students study a wide variety of topics such as the Reformation, Exploration, Irish History.

Britain and Ireland 1400-1700s

1. What was important in the period 1500-1700?

This unit focuses on teaching the historical term significance and why some events in the past are considered more significant than others.

2. The Reformation

This unit aims that pupils understand the main causes and consequences of the Reformation and how Europe became divided along religious lines.

3. Elizabeth’s problems.

The focus for this unit is the effect religious conflict had on the reign of Elizabeth. The pupils will investigate the rivalry between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots and subsequently Phillip II. It will culminate in studying the Spanish Armada.

4. The Plantation and Religious Conflict in Ireland in the mid C17th

This unit examines the reasons for the Ulster Plantation and the effects of it including life today in Northern Ireland. Pupils will also investigate how history has been used to present stereotypical images in Northern Ireland.

5. Political and Religious Conflict- “King Billy” and its impact today.

In this unit pupils will examine the legacy of the Williamite wars on Northern Ireland.

Homework tasks include long answer questions, source questions and project work. There are key assessments on the main topics an end of term exams (assessment 2 and 4) which assesses long term progress.


Year 10

Students study 20th Century Ireland and World War One.


20th Century including post partition Ireland

1. The 20th century

This is a large topic. The unit starts with an overview of the 20th century and then focuses on the following areas:

- World War One 
- The Jazz Age 
- The Depression 
- Life in Nazi Germany 
- The Holocaust 
- The Atomic bomb 
- Role of women in the 1950s 
- Cold War 
- Vietnam War 
- Martin Luther King 
- How did the Cold War end? 
- What is the New Terrorism?

2. Why was Ireland partitioned?

This unit will give pupils the opportunity to investigate the long and short term causes of the partition of Ireland and be able to identify key turning points.

3. A century of what?

This unit will focus on pupils reflecting on what they have learnt about the 20th century and consider progression and regression. They will classify developments into social, political and cultural.

Homework tasks include long answer questions, source questions and project work. There are key assessments on the main topics an end of term exams(assessment 2 and 4) which assesses long term progress.




At G.C.S.E. level our students study the Modern World, dealing with such major topics as Northern Ireland and the ‘Troubles’, Hitler and the Nazis, the contest between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. in Europe and Vietnam. These are subjects which continue to have great effects on the lives we live today.

Our programmes of study are designed to be interesting and relevant and appropriate for developing skills which people use throughout their lives in many different ways.

Exam information:

  • Paper 1: Short answers and questions which require extended writing. (2 hours, weighting: 50%)
  • Paper 2: One question which requires extended writing. One question which requires the use of source material.(1 hour 15 minutes, weighting:30%)
  • Internally assessed component (coursework)

One assignment based on a topic related to but not included within the specification content, internally assessed and externally moderated. (Word limit: Maximum of 2000 words, weighting: 20%)


Subject content:

Paper 1 (Study in depth)

  • Germany, c. 1918-c. 1941
  • Changing Relationships: Britain, N. Ireland and
  • Ireland, c. 1965-1985

Paper 2 (Outline study) The Cold War, c. 1945-1991

Examination Board: CCEA


   Section A  Section B
 Unit 1  Germany 1918 - 1941

 Changing Relationships:

 Britain, NI & Ireland 1965 - 1985

 Unit 2  The Cold War 1945 - 1991
 Unit 3
 This will focus on an issue not covered by the external
assessment papers and one that is an extension of the
specification content. We investigate the Presidency and
assassination of J.F. Kennedy.


Congratulations to our Year 12 pupils who attained outstanding results in August 2015, outperforming the Northern Ireland Grammar School average at every grade! 
100% gained an A to C and 76% gained A*-B.

Changing Relationships:

Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland 1965–1985

The focus of this study is on the changing relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the 1960s, the political and civil unrest in Northern Ireland between 1969–1972 and the search for a political solution up to 1985.

 Content Focus  Elaboration

O'Neill's Actions and Policies

 The Civil Rights Movement


 Violence in 1969: Causes, Events and Responses

 The Emergence of Paramilitary Organisations


  •  O'Neill's policies and actions to improve the economy: successes and failures.
  •  O'Neill's relations with the Republic of Ireland: his efforts to improve community relations in Northern Ireland, and the response of Unionists and Nationalists.
  •  The emergence of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, including its influences, demands, and the attitudes of Unionists and Nationalists towards it.
  •  Early civil rights marches, including government and police responses, O'Neill's five point reforms, and the attitudes of Unionists and Nationalists.
  •  The People's Democracy: reasons, actions and impact.
  •  O'Neill's resignation.
  •  The breakdown of law and order, summer 1969.
  •  Intervention of the British government: political and military response.
  •  The re-emergence of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the split in the IRA and the objectives of the newly formed Provisional IRA.
  •  The re-emergence of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and its objectives; the setting up of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and its objectives.
  •  Reasons for and effects of internment, escalation of violence, civil rights protests against internment, Bloody Sunday and the response of Unionists and Nationalists.


 Content Focus  Elaboration

 Direct Rule, 1972

 Power-Sharing, 1973-1974

 Hunger Strikes 1980-1981

 Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1985

 The suspension of Stormont, increased paramilitary violence, Bloody Friday and the
response of Unionists and Nationalists.
 Reasons for introducing power-sharing, the setting up of the power-sharing assembly
and Executive, Unionist opposition and the significance of the Ulster Workers' Council
Strike, reasons for and impact of the failure of power sharing.
 The Hunger Strikes 1980-1981: the reasons for the Hunger Strikes, the rise of Sinn
Fein, the impact on the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP), the reaction of the
British Government, Unionists and Nationalists.
 The Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985: the reasons for the agreement, its terms, the
reactions among Unionists and Nationalists and the effect on their relationships



A Level


At A Level there are four units of study.

 Unit 1  Nazi Germany and Hitler 
 Unit 2   Russia 1905 - 1941 
 Unit 3 A21   Nationalism in Ireland 1800 - 1900 
 Unit 4 A22   Ireland 1900 - 1925 


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AS 1: Germany 1918 - 1945

• 1 hour 30 minute examination partly assessed using sources 50% of AS/25% of A Level

AS 2: Russia 1903 - 1941

• 1 hour 30 minute examination 50% of AS/25% of A Level

A2 History Specification - Examining Board CCEA

There are two A2 History modules:

A2 1: The Clash of Ideologies - 1900 - 2000

• 1 hour 15 minute examination - 20% of A Level

A2 2: The Partition of Ireland 1900 - 1925

• 2 hour examination(This module will be partly assessed using sources) - 30% of A Level

Examination results at A Level are excellent, with many students achieving the top grades. Students go on to study a wide variety of subjects at university.

Congratulations to our Year 14 pupils who attained outstanding results in August 2015, 76% gained 80% gained A*-B.


CCEA AS History

We follow the CCEA specification which consists of two externally assessed written examinations.

The structure of the AS course is summarised in the table below:

 Unit  Assessment  Weighting
 AS 1 - Nazi Germany

 Written Paper:

Thursday, 10th June 2016 (90 mins)

 50% of AS
 AS 2 - Revolutionary Russia

 Written Paper:

Monday, 13th June 2016 (90 mins)

 50% of AS


The table below shows the outline of the AS History course as it will be delivered in St Patrick's:

 Term 1
  • Germany after WW1
  • Political and Economic problems facing Germany 1919-1923
  • The Streseman era
  • The rise of the Nazi party
  • How Hitler gained power
  • Hitler’s consolidation of power
  • Nazi propaganda
  • Life in Nazi Germany for young people,wonen, minorities,workers
  • The Nazi economy
  • Life in Germany during the war
 Term 2
  • Russian society
  • The 1905 revolution and the role of the Tsar
  • Russia 1906-1914
  • The downfall of the Tsar
  • Russia and WW1
  • The two Russian revolutions
  • Lenin in power
  • Stalin’s rise to power
  • Life in Russia during Stalin’s reign


The learning objectives for each topic can be found in the CCEA Specification -




Students will be provided with the CCEA AS History textbook and supplementary materials are available in the History class to accommodate independent learning and assist with assessment of learning. Students can also find a wide range of relevant materials on the internet.

CCEA provide the following resources to support this specification and study of AS, A2 and GCSE.

  • specimen papers and mark schemes;
  • Schemes of work.

Past papers and mark schemes;

  • Chief Examiner’s reports;
  • Principal Moderator’s reports;
  • controlled assessment tasks.


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