top of page
Subject Information 

History is taught as a core subject in Our Lady’s Secondary School from First to Third year, and is one of the Leaving Certificate subjects available to senior students. The History Department at Our Lady’s aims to contribute towards the development of all aspects of the student’s educational needs. History encourages students to have a confident positive attitude towards learning. It prepares them for the requirements of further programmes of study, of employment and of life outside education.

Much of popular culture, whether in films, literature, or theater, draws on history for inspiration. Many of the issues that affect the planet on a daily basis have their roots in history also, and knowing this history helps to understand them. History also helps to deepen our understanding of events and people, as it gives us context and a sense of perspective. Students will encounter many issues and events, both in Irish history and in the history of Europe and the wider world, which have helped to shape the world we live in.

Methodology used in all classes from first to sixth year is drawn from various sources; text books, documents, specialist books, primary material where available, videos, use of the local library and the internet. Individual research projects are a common feature of the work in both second and fourth, and in the senior classes. Class discussion is common to all years, with lively exchanges of points of view. The principle underlying the syllabus for Leaving Certificate is that the study of History should be regarded as an exploration of what historians believed to have happened, based on an enquiry into the available evidence.

History Tour to Berlin click here

Department Members

  • Mr O Boyle

  • Ms Sheridan

  • Ms Brennan

  • Ms M McKenna

  • Mr Doris

Junior Cycle History

History at Junior Cycle introduces young people to the job of the historian and to the sources and techniques which historians use to find out about the past. It provides the students with a wide tapestry of past events, issues, people and ways of life through which they can come to perceive patterns such as cause and consequences, change and continuity. It is in the past that they will find the roots of the contemporary world. The students will be expose to a variety of teaching approaches eg use of a variety of types of historical sources, historical narrative and analysis, biographical studies, exploration of themes and issues. Students will also get the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the material by taking part in various field trips which are offered at Junior Cycle such as trips to the Ulster American Folk Park and Glasnevin cemetery as seen by the pictures below.


The study of History at Junior Cycle aims to enable students to develop the necessary conceptual understanding and disciplinary skills to investigate the actions of people in the past and to come to a deeper understanding of the human condition. Students also come to see the world, and their place in it, from an historical perspective; and understand how the people and events of the past have shaped the contemporary world.

The new Junior Cycle reform has three interconnected strands:

  • Strand One: The Nature of History

  • Strand Two: The History of Ireland

  • Strand Three: The History of Europe and the Wider World

he assessment of History for the purposes of the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement will comprise two – classroom based assessment:

  • ‘A Young Life in Time’ – Second Year

  • ‘The Past in my Place’ – Third Year

In addition, the second classroom based assessment will have a written assessment task that will be marked along with the final assessment (10%) by the State Examinations Commission. All assessment will be at a common level.

History in Transition Year

Students have 2 class periods a week in Transition Year. An important part of history in transition year is undertaking research. Students will undertake many individual and group research projects such as family history and they can also choose a subject of personal interest dealing with any subject of historical importance. This will be of great benefit as it provides experience in research for the research study of the Leaving Certificate Exam.

History at Leaving Certificate

Students have 3 class periods a week in Historyin 5th and 6th year. There is a concentrated and significant emphasis on preparing students for the Leaving Certificate final exam. However, we attribute great importance to the students' own critical thinking skills which are essential in their preparation for both life, work and further study in society. Over a three year period students will have the opportunity to study two modules from Modern European History and two modules from Modern Irish History. The modules they will study are:

  • Dictatorship and Democracy in Europe 1920 – 1949 (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, World War II)

  • Division and Realignment in Europe 1945-1922 (Cold War, EEC, Fall of Communism)

  • Ireland: Movements for Political and Social Reform 1870-1914 (Home Rule Movement, Land War, Strike and Lockout)

  • Ireland: The Pursuit of Sovereignty and the Impact of Partition 1912-1949 (1916 Rising, War of Independence, Civil War, Cumann na nGaedheal, Fianna Fail)

History at Leaving Certificate involves a research based study. Students get to pick a research topic of their choice. This study will be completed in class and handed into the school in April of their Leaving Certificate Year. This research study is an excellent opportunity for students to gain marks in the Leaving Certificate as it accounts for 20% of the final Leaving Certificate Exam.

Senior Cycle history also provides students with an opportunity to gain educational experience away from the classroom and the school environment. Every two years students of senior cycle history are given the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience of the curriculum as they are offered a chance to visit Berlin.

bottom of page