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History & Politics

Departmental Aims

'Study the past if you would define the future.' — Confucius


The History curriculum at Sullivan Upper is designed to ensure students acquire a knowledge of Irish, British, European, and world events across the modern era.  Through a skills-based and enquiry led learning environment, students explore these events and come to understand how they are inter-connected and shape our world today.  By studying these issues pupils develop an ability to respectfully debate differing points of view and use evidence to support judgements and challenge stereotypes.


History and Politics also provides opportunities for our students to acquire and develop skills and qualities which will equip them far beyond their time at Sullivan.  These include the ability to work both inter and intra-dependently, communicate effectively both orally and written, and to think critically to problem solve.


As a department, we have four key aims:


  1. The development of intellectual skills

  2. The development of historical concepts

  3. The development of social skills

  4. The development of attitudes



History is taught as a compulsory subject to all in Year 8-10.  It is offered as both a GCSE and A Level. 


Key Stage 3

Students begin in Year 8 by exploring key historical concepts such as chronology, sources, cause, and consequence.  We use these to shape our studies on the Norman Conquest, Medieval Life, and Civil Rights in America.


In Year 9, students turn their attention to Europe, exploring World War One, The Suffragette movement, and Rivalry and Conflict in the Early Modern Era.


In Year 10, key skills are consolidated through studies on America in the early 20th Century, The Holocaust, and The Causes and Consequences of Partition.


Key Stage 4

At GCSE, students will follow the CCEA specification.


Paper One – worth 60%

  • Section A – Life in Nazi Germany 1933-1945

  • Section B – Changing Relationships: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours 1963-1998


Paper Two – worth 40%

  • International Relations 1945-2003


Further information on these can be found on the CCEA website:


Key Stage 5


At AS and A2, students follow the CCEA specification.


  • AS 1 - worth 50% of AS, 20% of A-Level Germany 1919-45

  • AS 2 – worth 50% of AS, 20% of A-Level Russia 1914-41

  • A2 1 – worth 20% of A-Level Clash of Ideologies in Europe 1900-2000

  • A2 2 – worth 40% of A-Level Partition of Ireland 1900-25


Further information on these can be found on the CCEA website:


Government and Politics is also offered at AS and A2 Level, again following the CCEA specification.


  • AS 1 - worth 40% of AS, 16% of A-Level    The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland

  • AS 2 – worth 60% of AS, 24% of A-Level    The British Political Process

  • A2 1 – worth 35% of A-Level    Comparative Study of the Government and Politics of the United States of America and the United Kingdom

  • A2 2 – worth 25% of A-Level    Political Power


Further information on these can be found on the CCEA website:


Outside the classroom

Students participate in a range of trips to sites of historical interest, both at home and abroad.  There are also opportunities to attend lectures and conferences in both the historical and political fields.  Students are fortunate to hear from guest speakers in school, thanks to the thriving History Club and Politics Society.



Students who study History at Sullivan go on to a range of fields of study and employment, including the arts and humanities, law, engineering, the medical professions, diplomatic services, and finance.


Miss R L Murray (Head of Department)
Mr A Cave (T)
Mrs C A Henry 
Mrs J McVeigh (Maternity)
Ms A C Morgan

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