History Department

Members of Staff

Mr K Coary (Head of Department)

Mr F Kelly

Mrs S Moore

Mrs C Scott 


History has an important role to play in the school curriculum. The skills peculiar to it are invaluable for young people and empower them to take a wider view of the environment they live in. Enjoyment is an important feature of the study of History in St Pius X College and to this end active learning is important. Personal research, reading, discussion, debates, role-play, use of ICT, drawing, tape recording, videoing and use of film are all important.


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Departmental aims

1.       To promote historical knowledge and understanding.

2.       To encourage interest and enjoyment in the study of the past.

3.       To develop the historical skills set out in the National Curriculum.

4.       To give pupils a sense of identity and moral fortitude through studies of their local History and a study of other key global events.

5.       To provide an informed insight into the world of the 20th century.

The student of history, on leaving St. Pius’, should have been helped through history:

1.       To understand the world in which we live.

2.       To have a sense of personal worth regardless of their ability.

3.       To understand the process of change & continuity in human affairs.

4.       To have the ability to think critically and make judgements about human situations.

5.       To have achieved a sound basis for further study.


Overview of our History Curriculum:

Year 8   What is History?  
    Persecution: Witchcraft  
    Life in the 1930's  
    The Normans  
    The Medieval World   
Year 9   War & Conflict in History  
    Persecution: The Native Americans  
    The Nazi's and the Holocaust  
Year 10   Persecution: Racism  
    The 20th Century  
    The Partition of Ireland  
GCSE Unit 1 Germany 1918-1939 & the Troubles in Northern Ireland 1969-1972 50%
  Unit 2 The Cold War 25%
  Unit 3 Controlled Assessment: Civil Rights in the USA 25%
A-Level AS1 Germany 1918-1945 25%
  AS2 Ireland 1821-1867 25%
  A21 Ireland in the 1800s 20%
  A22 The Partition of Ireland 1900-1925 30%


Some of the careers available to History graduates:



Legal Executive



Town Planner

History Writer



Business Director


History is concerned with the actions of human beings in the past.  In telling the story of the past it seeks to discover reasonable explanations of those actions through the artefacts used, through human impact on the environment and through the record of human activities be they documentary, visual or oral. History also prepares young people for the world they live in and for their adult life.  To understand why we face the dilemmas that confront us in the 21stCentury, we must examine how we came to be and History is essentially equipped to give us an insight into the past and an understanding of our present.

Evidence -  It's nature and limitations  -  is at the centre of the historians concerns.  The skills involved in the use and the evaluation of evidence and the questions which the historian asks of it are at the heart of historical method.  Pupils therefore are offered a course which presents History as an enquiry based on evidence.  It is hoped pupils will acquire the historical skill of assessing and evaluating the record of human behaviour.  Without our understanding of history young people will enter the worlds of work, citizenship and leisure blinkered and uncomprehending.



 The aims of history teaching are to enable pupils:

  • to develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations;

  • to understand the values of our society;

  • to learn about the major issues and events in the history of their own country and of the world and how those events may have influenced one another;

  • to develop a knowledge of chronology within which they can organise their understanding of the past;

  • to understand how the past was different from the present and that people of other times and places may have had different values and attitudes from ours;

  • to understand the nature of evidence by emphasising history as a process of enquiry and by developing the range of skills required to interpret primary and secondary source material;

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

  • to look for explanations of change in terms of human intentions, beliefs and motives as well as of environmental factors

  • to understand that events have usually a multiplicity of causes and that historical explanation is provisional, always debatable and sometimes controversial;

  • to encourage an understanding of the process of change and continuity in human affairs and the recognition that change and progress are not necessarily the same;

  • to develop insight, clearly based on historical evidence, in order to offer explanations of past events and to develop also an informed appreciation of the perspectives and motives of people in the past;

  • to contribute to personal and social education by developing certain attitudes and values; for example - a respect for evidence;  and toleration of a range of opinions;

  • to communicate clearly, employing a wide range of media.

  • to provide opportunities for our pupils to achieve in non-exam conditions;


Year Group

Course Title

Course Description


Teachers Involved

Year 8

What is History?

Sam’s Story


TheNormans& MedievalIreland

The first number of lessons in history consist of pupils looking at what history is. They explore the different types of sources available to the historian and then carry out a research task of their own. They also study life in the 1930s and look at witchcraft through history which is the first unit on the theme of persecution which flows through key stage 3. In the third term they study the Norman invasions ofEnglandandIrelandand examine what life was like in Medieval Ireland

Interview Task

Christmas examination

Black Death project

Summer examination

K Coary

F Kelly

G Duffy

Year 9

The Protestant reformation and the Tudors.

Hitler & The Holocaust

Native Americans

Pupils begin by exploring the causes and consequences of the Protestant Reformation. Personal profiles of Henry VIII,Elizabethand Mary Queen of Scots is completed. A project on plantations and Bellaghy Bawn is carried out.

The theme of persecution is followed through by an examination of how the Jews were treated inGermany. This is also addressed in a study of the Native Americans.

Bellaghy Bawn Project

Christmas Examination

Letter of apology to a Jewish family

Summer Examination.

K Coary

F Kelly

C Scott

G Duffy

Year 10

Racism & Black people of theAmericas

The Partition ofIreland


The KS3 theme of persecution is completed with a study of racism. This looks at the slave trade inAmerica, the American Civil War and racism and the Ku Klux Klan.

Students develop an insight into the causes and consequences of the partition ofIreland.

As a study of one significant event of the 20thCentury students investigate the events that occurred when the Japanese fleet attackedPearlHarbour. They report on why this is classified as a significant event.

Film Study - ‘MississippiBurning’

Christmas Examination

PowerPoint presentation onPearlHarbour

Summer Examination

K Coary

F Kelly

S Moore

P McVey



This involves a study of:

-        The Rise of the Nazis and Life in NaziGermany

-        The Cold War

-        The Troubles inNorthern Ireland

-        PearlHarbour

Coursework – 20%

Exam – 80%

K Coary

F Kelly


CCEA A-Level History

Students complete four modules over their two years of study:

  • The Rise of the Nazis
  • FascistItaly
  • Nationalism & Unionism inIreland
  • The Partition ofIreland

Modular Examination

K Coary

F Kelly

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St Pius X College
59 Moneymore Road,

Co Derry
BT45 6HQ

  • Telephone: 028 796 32186
  • Fax: 028 796 32573
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  • Web Address: www.stpiusxcollege.org