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Why Study History?

In History, pupils have opportunities to explore a variety of historical eras and topics and develop Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities. This encourages pupils to recognise the forces and factors that have shaped our world today.

Pupils study a broad and balanced range of historical periods from Irish, British, European and global contexts, giving them a richer understanding of their own identity, culture and society.

Pupils will be encouraged to engage with History in an active, critical way. This helps them to assess evidence, evaluate conflicting accounts and understand the causes and consequences of change. These skills equip pupils with the capabilities to be active and engaged members of our society.

Head of Department

Mrs G Mallon

Key Stage 3

Year 8


Topics in Year 8 include:

  • What is History?

  • Who do you think you are?

  • Who were the Normans and what have they left us?

  • The Black Death


Year 9


Topics in Year 9 include:

  • Henry Viii: Famous, Infamous or Significant?

  • Elizabeth I

  • The Spanish Armada

  • Plantation of Ulster

  • Irish Famine

Year 10


Topics in Year 10 include:

  • World War I

  • The Holocaust

  • Causes and consequences of the Troubles


Key Stage 3 Extra Curricular Activities/Trips/Industry links

  • Stormont

  • Somme Museum Newtownards

  • Peace Wall Tour Belfast

  • Bagenal’s Castle

Key Stage 4

Why Study the Subject?


The CCEA GCSE History specification provides opportunities to study Hitler’s dictatorship, the Cold War, Northern Ireland’s civil unrest, and the USA’s response to 9/11.

Studying History helps students to develop skills that are useful in the workplace and for future study. These include researching and organising information, analysing and evaluating evidence, and reaching a conclusion they can substantiate. They also learn to think critically and ask questions, identify patterns and trends, and formulate and write a coherent argument. These important skills also help students in other subjects. They discuss their ideas with others, work on group tasks, present their ideas and work independently, developing life skills required in the workplace.

Assessment structure


This specification is unitized, so pupils take part of the assessment at the end of the first year of study.

Unit 1  60%

Unit 2  40%

Year 11


Topics include

Unit 1: 

  • Section A: Modern World Studies in Depth (Germany)

  • Section B: Changing relations: Northern Ireland and its neighbours

Year 12


Topics include

Unit 2: 

  • Outline Study International Relations, 1945–2003

Employability/job opportunities/further study

There are many career opportunities for students who study history.

  • Archaeologist

  • Criminologist

  • Paralegal

  • Archivist

  • Librarian

  • Lecturer

  • Film Production assistant

  • Researcher


Hundreds more!!!!


St Mary's High School, Newry

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