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Edmund Rice College, Glengormley




Mr D White (HOD)
Mr E Graham
Mr R Small

History at Edmund Rice College is ever popular with all students throughout Key Stage 3 studying History as a compulsory subject . The History Curriculum is designed to give all students the opportunity to develop a broad knowledge which is developed along with a range of integrated skills.

Pupils learn about the relationship between Irish History, European and World History. With a wide range of primary artefacts used to ensure each lesson is new and exciting. “There is never a dull moment”.

The skills that are learnt are essential for life after ERC –

Problem Solving
How to form an argument and justify your opinion
Research and analyse
Develop writing skills
Present conclusions clearly and persuasively

“I learned how to have a ‘reasoned’ and ‘sensible’ argument with my parents and put my case across logically. My Dad was impressed!”

The skills mastered in History lessons are invaluable in many careers with our students having gone on to pursue careers in teaching, archaeology, law, journalism, personnel, government and libraries.

Field trips are an integral part of History at Edmund Rice College. They compliment the curriculum and are offered both to each year group and on a whole school basis. Historical Visits include:

  • A Day in Carrickfergus Castle as part of the Year 8 Study of the Norman Invasion of Ulster
  • A Visit to the Plantation Centre as part of the Year 9 Study of the Plantation of Ulster and/or visit to the Somme Heritage Centre as part of study of World War 1
  • A 2 day residential trip to the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh as part of the Year 10 study of the Great Famine
  • A walking tour of West Belfast which includes an examination of significant murals as part of the GCSE course, Northern Ireland 1965-85
  • Whole School 5 day tour of Rome and the Vatican City.

Dramas are incorporated in each year group at Key Stage 3, the examples of the most well loved dramas are:

Year 8 – Who Shall be King in 1066?

Year 9 – Spanish Armada drama and Battle of the Boyne Puppet Show

Year 10 – Emigration drama as part of the Great Famine module, Rise of Hitler drama as part of Holocaust module and the study of Across the Barricades as part of Consequences of Partition module.

History offers all students the chance to have their efforts recognised as 'Effort certificates' are awarded at year assemblies on both a monthly and termly basis. We also have 'Attainment Certificates' awarded on a termly basis and on special occasions when a department member deems appropriate.

GCSE History

Currently 40 students have chosen GCSE History, studying the topics which are most relevant and interesting to the pupils of ERC. Through their study of GCSE History, students have an opportunity to examine in detail, significant themes such as Hitler and the Nazis, Northern Ireland and the ‘Troubles’ 1965-1985 and the conflict between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. in Europe and Vietnam.


Paper 1 (50% overall GCSE Grade) Foundation and Higher Tier offered. The written examination lasts two hours and consists of heads and tails, short and extended answers. 

Students sit Paper 1 examination at the end of Year 11 and have an opportunity to repeat this exam at the end of Year 12 if they wish. Paper 1 is a study in depth of the following topics:Germany, c. 1918-c. 1941, Changing Relationships: Britain, N. Ireland and Ireland, c. 1965-1985

Paper 2 (25% overall GCSE Grade) 

This examination which lasts 1½ hours consists of one question which requires the use of source material and one extended answer. Paper 2 is a source based outline study of The Cold War, c. 1945-c. 1991

Controlled Assessment

Controlled Assessment (25% of overall GCSE Grade) A live source based task is released by the examination board each June and is valid from September to June and for one year only. All controlled assessment write up work is completed in class.   We chose to complete the Nazi persecution of the Jewish Community task as a follow on from the Year 11 Nazi Germany unit.

Useful websites for GCSE History :