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Dr K McCormick (Head of Department)
Ms Emma McGlone
Ms Briege Moley
Ms Sinead McGirr

Mr Stephen Kelly

The study and teaching of History has radically changed in the last decade. The History Department has embraced the challenge of these changes and combines a thorough approach to academic work with a friendly, relaxed and fun atmosphere.


The History Curriculum reflects the aims and objectives of the College to promote mutual understanding, awareness, sensitivity and respect for all. It also reflects the aims of the revised curriculum to span local, national, European and global contexts and to develop students as individuals and as contributors to Society, the Economy and the Environment.


Key Stage 3

Throughout the KS3 course students are encouraged to express themselves both orally and in the written form. Students learn to become like ‘History detectives’, sifting through evidence and clues to fully understand the past. They use a wide range of sources to help them step back in time and understand how people lived in the past. Students are encouraged to ask questions and identify sources for investigation. They collect and record information and present it in a range of forms. Great emphasis is placed on the development of thinking skills and personal capabilities and all teachers use a range of learning and teaching strategies to promote life long learning. Lessons are enhanced by use of DVDs, internet resources and Power Point presentations.


The History curriculum is delivered in three periods per week. In Year 8 the students explore Historical Skills and then Kings and Queens and their impact on Ireland. In Year 9, they start by investigating World War I. Year 10 study Civil Rights in the US and then progress on to NI in the 1960s beginning with the burgeoning Civil Rights campaign with NICRA.


The History Department promotes active learning, participation and cross curricular skills such as communication, literacy, using mathematics and ICT. All year groups are given the opportunity to experience ‘living history,’ through workshops, trips and conferences.


Opportunity for trips


Throughout Key Stage 3 we aim to offer various day trips and in Key Stage 4 and 5 we organise trips to places such as Washington and Berlin.


Key Stage 4

GCSE is delivered in five periods per week. Teachers follow the CCEA Examination board.



Unit 1             Life in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945

                       Changing Relations: Northern Ireland and its Neighbours, 1965–1998


Unit 2           International Relations 1945-2003


Post 16

A Level is delivered in nine periods per week. All teachers subscribe to the CCEA examination board.



Unit 1                        Britain in the Age of Reform 1830–1880

Unit 2                        Ireland 1823–1867



Unit 1                         The American Presidency1901-2000

Unit 2                         Partition of Ireland 1900-25


Year 13 and 14 pupils attend annual A Level Conferences for up to date information on their modules of study. We also have developed close links with QUB through the Researchers in Residence Scheme. This scheme enables our students to develop historical skills by working throughout the year with PhD students.




We also have a History Society which meet weekly after school in 3Hi4. Students are encouraged to present on favourite topics, and we are currently arranging trips including one to a local archaeological dig. The Society aims to develop literacy and critical thinking via our curiosity of the past.


In the past, we have completed numerous projects including a Time Capsule which is buried in the Courtyard. We sourced, located and ordered the lead box, choose the inscription and contents and attended the burial of it.  This year we are aiming to produce a ‘History Wall’ for Open Day. We would like to collect photographs of past pupils in their school uniform with information on the years they attended the College and what they are doing now. We hope to create a timeline of past pupils alongside local, national and global events from 1985-2011.  If you are a past pupil, please send the above information to Dr McCormick at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, 120 Gilnahirk Road, Belfast BT5 7DL or email it to

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