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Curriculum 1.JPG

Head of Department:
Mr B. Murphy

Teaching Staff:
Mr E. Harkin
Mr S.L. McGoldrick
Mrs I. Cunning


The National Curriculum for history states that:

‘A high-quality history education will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain's past and that of the wider world.... teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgement.....'

The aims of studying History at Loreto include:

  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world; the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies.

  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.

  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history; between cultural, economic, military, political, religious and social history; and between short-term and long-term timescales.


The History department currently has four teachers: B. Murphy (Head of Department), S.L. McGoldrick, E. Harkin and I Cunning. We have three designated classrooms, and the department is well-resourced with a History Library, audio-visual equipment and modern, well-written textbooks. All classrooms are equipped with large touch screen Activ Panels.  It is the intention of the department that a wide variety of teaching techniques should be used to allow all our pupils to develop their own individual potential.

Educational Visits

Whenever possible the department offers a number of trips during the year. Visits outside school are considered very important. The Year 8s visit Carrickfergus Castle at the end of their first year. Our Year 9 students visit Derry City to see the Walls and Tower Museum. GCSE students are given the opportunity to go on a trip to Berlin. The trip is undertaken as part of their course, focusing on the Cold War in Berlin and Hitler’s Germany. Such trips are useful in establishing an interest in the subject and encouraging our students to work independently, and this will stand them in good stead when it comes to A Level.  Plans are underway to organise a Year 14 trip to Dublin as part of their study of Ireland 1900-25.

History Whiteboard Pupil.JPG
History Class 1.JPG

Key Stage 3

When our year 8 students join us in September they will spend four weeks studying the importance of history. This will be followed by work on the Normans. Year 9 students will examine Change and Conflict between 1400 and 1700. In year 10 the students study Nationalism and Unionism in Ireland 1800-1921 as well as looking at the causes, key events and consequences of World War Two.

Key Stage 4

Paper I Study in Depth - This paper is worth 60%

Section A Germany c1918-c1941: the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazi state
Section B Changing Relationships: Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland c1965-c1985

Paper II Outline Study - This paper is worth 40%

The Cold War c1945-c2003
Includes development of the ‘Iron Curtain’, Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Warsaw Pact, Hungarian Uprising, Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, Czechoslovakian Uprising, Détente, Afghanistan, break-up of the USSR and the War on Terror.

Skills developed in this subject

Investigative - identifying bias and deficiency in evidence
Research - independent research using different sources
Logical - thinking making informed judgements
Analysis - identifying nature and complexities of problems
Report writing - presenting clear arguments (written and oral)


History provides you with skills which can be applied in a whole range of careers. It will not narrow your career options at this stage, but rather keep them as broad as possible. Careers where history graduates are sought after include law, insurance, accountancy, banking, civil service, journalism, broadcasting and management. At university, courses where history is very useful include: all art and humanities subjects, law and politics.

Key Stage 5 AS & A2

There is no coursework in AS or A2 history

AS Course

Module 1 - Nazis and Germany 1919-1945
Module 2 - Revolutionary Change in Russia 1917-1941


• Paper 1 includes the use of sources and is worth 50% of AS and 20% of A2 Level
• Paper 2 contains short essay type questions worth 50% of AS and 20% of A2 Level

A2 Course

Module 3 - US Presidents 1900-2000
Module 4 - Ireland 1900-1925


• Paper 1 contains synoptic essay type questions worth 20% of A Level
• Paper 2 contains source questions and essay type questions worth 40% of A2 Level

Skills developed in this subject

All key skills.
Use of evidence, logical thinking.
Ability to write concise relevant reports supported by evidence.
Study and research skills.


History provides you with skills which can be applied in a whole range of university courses. Courses where history is a useful subject include law, politics, management and arts/humanities courses in general.


Academic Award for KS3 History 2023: Hannah Scott

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