Departmental Staff


Head of Department: Mr E McCaffrey

Mr N McArdle



The History department provides a broad range of topics and periods of study. There is a large take up of students for the subject at GCSE and A level, proving that History continues to be a popular discipline. We are proud of the results achieved by our students at the highest level and by the fact that many choose to continue in related disciplines at university.


Key Stage 3 (Years 8, 9 & 10)

Year 8 pupils study various aspects of Irish History as prescribed by the revised curriculum. This will include in their first year; the impact of the Norman invasion in England and their subsequent arrival in Ireland. Students will also learn about the daily life in Norman Ireland of various groups of people.

In Year 9 pupils study the Reformation and its impact on Europe. We look at the Tudor Monarchs and how the Reformation changed the direction of England and Ireland. We focus on the impact on Ireland of all these changes, and how Ireland interacted in European politics at this time, with the Armada and the Ulster Plantations.

19th and early 20th century Ireland is the focus of our Year 10. We assess the reasons for and the impact of the Famine on Ireland. We study the relationship between land and politics in the late 19th century. We focus our studies on the 1905-1925 period; Ulster and Home Rule; The Easter Rising, the rise of Sinn Féin and partitioning of Ireland and the establishment of the northern Ireland.


GCSE (Years 11 & 12)


The St. Paul’s History department follows the Edexcel specification. There are modular exams in Year 11 and Year 12, with students having completed 50% of the exam by the end of year 11.

Our topics of study at this level includes; European Foreign Policy in the years 1870-1939 and in particular the causes of both the first and second world wars. We also study the reasons for the Nazi rise to power in Germany and the impact they had on Germany from 1933 to 1945.

In Year 12, students have the opportunity to study the transformation of British society from 1906-1928, looking at such aspects of life as the role of women and the suffragette movement and the extension of the franchise.

Students will also complete a school based assessment on some aspect of modern northern Irish History.


A Level (Years 13 & 14)


The St Paul’s History department follows the CCEA specification. There are two papers to be completed in both years of study.

In year 13 we look at the impact of totalitarianism on modern Europe.  Paper 1 concentrates on the impact of Hitler and Nazis on Germany, whilst Paper 2 focuses on the Bolshevik take over and consolidation of power in Russia.

Year 14 looks in depth at the 19th and early 20th century in Ireland. In Paper 3 we study the development of Unionism and Nationalism in the 19th century. Paper 4 considers the impact of the political upheaval of the 1905- 1925 period.