St Brigid's College, Loughrea



St. Brigid’s College History Department

History is an option subject provided at Junior and Senior Level. History deals with the experience of human life in the past. The study of history involves an investigation of the surviving evidence relating to such experience. Students will gain an insight into other ways of life, other ways of thinking, and other solutions to recurrent problems.


Claire Casey

Lisa O Connell

ICT is widely used in the teaching of History. All general classrooms have data projectors with internet access which can be used to show relevant clips to compliment the content being taught in class.

Junior Certificate


  • Students who study History should acquire knowledge of and understanding about human activity in the past.
  • They should understand the present world through the study of the past.
  • They should develop the ability to think independently and develop a range of skills essential for the study of History.
  • It is essential that students are objectives and accept that people and events must be judged in the context of their values and times NOT our values and times.
  • Students are encouraged to develop an appreciation for History and for their heritage from the past.

Structure of the Syllabus

The syllabus is presented in three strands: strand one is The Nature of History, strand two is The History of Ireland and strand three is The History of Europe and the Wider World.

Strand One: The Nature of History

Strand 1 is a formational strand, supporting students to explore the concepts, practise the skills and consider the values and attitudes that inform the discipline of history and the work of the historian. Strand 1 will help students to acquire a ‘big picture’ of the past and an understanding of the importance of evidence that will enhance their historical consciousness. Therefore, discrete

time can be dedicated to realising learning outcomes.

Strand 1 is also a unifying strand, whereby the learning outcomes can be achieved through engaging with the context provided in strands 2 and 3 in relation to personalities, issues and events.

It should be noted that strand 1 does not equate to a first-year course – the learning outcomes will be realised while engaging with the historical context of strands 2 and 3 over three years.

Strand Two: The History of Ireland

Students should be able to:

Recognising Key Changes

2.1 recognisehow a pattern of settlement and plantation influenced identity on the island of Ireland, referring to one example of a pattern of settlement, such as the growth of towns, and one plantation.

2.2 investigatethe role and significance of two leaders involved in the parliamentary tradition in Irish politics.

2.3 explorehow the physical force tradition impacted on Irish politics, with particular reference to a pre-twentieth century example of a rebellion.

2.4 examinethe rise and impact of nationalism and unionism in Ireland, including key events between 1911 and 1923.

2.5 identify the causes, course and consequences of the Northern Ireland Troubles and their impact on North-South and Anglo-Irish relations.

Exploring People, Culture & Ideas

2.6 consider the historical significance of Christianity on the island of Ireland, including its contribution to culture and society in the Early Christian period

2.7 investigate the causes, course and consequences, nationally and internationally, of the Great Famine, and examine the significance of the Irish Diaspora.

2.8 describe the impact of war on the lives of Irish people, referring to either World War One or World War Two.

2.9 explain how the experience of women in Irish society changed during the twentieth century.

2.10 examine how one sporting, cultural or social movement impacted on Irish life.

Applying Historical Thinking

2.11 make connections between local, personal or family history and wider national and/or international personalities, issues and events.

2.12 debatethe idea that the 1960s was an important decade on the island of Ireland, referring to relevant personalities, issues and events.

2.13 analysethe evolution and development of Ireland’s links with Europe.

Strand Three: The History of Europe & the Wider World

Students should be able to:

Recognising Key Changes

3.1 investigatethe lives of people in one ancient or medieval civilisation of their choosing, explaining how the actions and/or achievements of that civilisation contributed to the history of Europe and/or the wider world.

3.2 evaluatethe impact of conquest and colonisation on people, with particular reference to Portuguese and Spanish exploration.

3.3 examinethe causes, course and consequences of one revolution in pre-twentieth century Europe and/or the wider world.

3.4 discussthe general causes and course of World War One or World War Two and the immediate and long-term impact of the war on people and nations.

3.5 recognisethe importance of the Cold War in international relations in the twentieth-century world.

Exploring People, Culture & Ideas

3.6 explorelife and death in medieval times.

3.7 appreciatechange in the fields of the arts and science, with particular reference to the significance of the Renaissance.

3.8 considerthe historical importance of religion, with particular reference to the Reformation and the actions of one Reformer.

3.9 examinelife in one fascist country and one communist country in the twentieth century.

3.10 explorethe significance of genocide, including the causes, course and consequences of the Holocaust.

Applying Historical Thinking

3.11 explorethe contribution of technological developments and innovation to historical change.

3.12 evaluatethe role of a movement or organisation, such as the European Union or United Nations, in promoting international co-operation, justice and human rights.

3.13 debatethe idea that the 1960s was an important decade in Europe and the wider world, referring to relevant personalities, issues and events.

3.14 illustratepatterns of change across different time periods in a chosen theme relating to life and society (such as, Crime and punishment; Food and drink; Work and leisure: Fashion and appearance or Health and medicine).

Classroom-Based Assessments in History

There are two Classroom-Based Assessments in History. They are assessed at a Common Level. They relate to specified learning outcomes and are scheduled to be undertaken by students in a defined time period within class contact time to a national timetable (as advised by the NCCA) in the school calendar. Following the second of these assessments students will complete an Assessment Task

which is marked by the State Examinations Commission as part of the state-certified examination in History. The Classroom-Based Assessments for History and indicative timings are outlined in Table 1 below.




Student preparation


The Past in My Place


Group, pair or individual

During a maximum of 3 weeks with support/guidance from teacher.

Towards the end of Year 2

A Life in Time



During a maximum of 3 weeks with support/guidance from teacher.

Term 2 of Year 3

Leaving Certificate

Ø To develop knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past and promote understanding of the present through the development of a historical perspective of issues of contemporary importance.

Ø To develop knowledge and understanding of Irish, European and World history while at the same time developing students’ understanding of historical concepts.

Ø To develop an awareness of different interpretations of particular historical issues and a range of skills essential for the study of history.

Ø To develop an ability to think critically and to develop a positive attitude to the study of history.

Ø To develop in students an informed and critical awareness of their historical inheritance.

Syllabus (Higher and Ordinary Level)

The new History syllabus is divided into 12 topics.

Students must study 4 topics (one of this is prescribed by the SEC, this rotates every two years).

Students must also submit a Research Project which has a value of 20%.

Students study TWO Irish topics and TWO European topics.

Students taking the Leaving Cert in 2020 & 20121 will study

  1. Europe Topic 6: The United States and the world, 1945-1989.
  2. Ireland Topic 5: Politics and society in Northern Ireland, 1949-1993.
  3. Ireland Topic 6: Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland, 1949-1989.
  4. Europe Topic 4: Division and realignment in Europe, 1945-1992.

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Please see the link below from information from the HSE regarding Vaping.
Click the link below to see some of the projects and activities that our Transition Year students were involved in across a very busy school year....
Resiliath take gold in F1 in Schools National Finals!
We held our 6th Year Graduation Ceremony on Friday the 19th of May. See below for pictures of the event.
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St Brigid's College, Loughrea
Co. Galway,

091 841 919

Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
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