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History, Economics & Politics

Departmental Aims

History is taught as a compulsory subject to years 8 to 10. In years 11 and 12 pupils must choose History, Geography or Home Economics.

Contribution to Overall School Aims
History courses are designed to ensure that pupils acquire a knowledge of Irish, British and World events, and the ways in which they have, in the past, inter-acted. In particular, pupils are presented with information which introduces them to such issues as the origins of the current troubles in Northern Ireland and the emergence of the balance of power in world politics today. By studying such controversial issues pupils develop an ability to question stereotypes, to appreciate that more than one answer to a historical problem is possible, and a tolerance of other people’s points-of-view.

In addition to providing pupils with information, the subject provides opportunities for pupils to acquire and develop a wide range of intellectual skills. These include the handling of a diverse range of source material, the ability to make informed judgements and how to communicate these orally and on paper. These skills equip pupils for the world of work because they are of value in themselves, are appropriate to a wide range of occupations and enable pupils to be open, and capable of, change.

The Contribution of History to the Curriculum
The Department hopes that after studying History for three, five or seven years, each pupils will have benefited to some extent from each of the following general aims. The Department believes that these various skills and attitudes help to prepare young people for the world they live in and for the world of work. History does this by ensuring that pupils will be able to make informed judgements and to produce evidence to support those judgements.

All of this is reflected in the choice of syllabus content since topics have been chosen because of their intrinsic interest, their suitability for developing course objectives and their appropriateness to understanding the world today. Particular emphasis is given to Irish history and Anglo-Irish relations since c1600, but this is set in the context of British and European developments. 

The general aims are: 

1. The Development of Intellectual skills:

  • comprehension – of the content of the syllabus;

  • translation – converting information from one medium to another;

  • interpretation – of the content of books, documents, stimulus material;

  • application – of the techniques of the historian to various problems;

  • analysis – of a problem by breaking it up into its constituent parts;

  • synthesis – using the skills above to produce a summary of a problem;

  • evaluation – making and communicating judgements.

 

2. The Development of Historical Concepts:

  • a sense of chronology and time;

  • an appreciation of change and continuity, and a recognition that change and progress are not necessarily the same;

  • an understanding of cause and that events usually have a multiplicity of causes;

  • an awareness of the nature of evidence: its variety and diversity; its incompleteness; the need to interpret it;

  • an ability to distinguish between historical facts and the interpretation of those facts;

  • an awareness that historical explanation is provisional, debatable and sometimes controversial;

  • an ability to pose historical questions;

  • historical empathy: the ability to enter into a past experience while at the same time remaining outside it in order to exercise judgement.

 

3. The Development of Social Skills:

  • to encourage co-operative behaviour through group work in projects;

  • to encourage respect for artefacts and evidence by visits to museums (where these can be arranged) and historic sites;

  • to develop pupils’ powers of communication and expression, their imagination, aesthetic awareness and powers of observation;

  • to develop an awareness of the contribution of Information Technology to History.

 

4. The Development of Attitudes

  • to give pupils some understanding of the society in which they live;

  • to develop a respect and tolerance for opposing views;

  • to develop a continuing interest in History as a leisure time pursuit.

Staff

Mr D Armstrong (Head of Department)
Mrs C A Henry 
Mr D T Matthews (Part-Time)
Mrs J McVeigh
Miss A C Morgan