Junior Cycle – History

The aim of history at junior cycle here in Marian College is to instil an appreciation and interest in local, national and international history. We aim for students to investigate events and the actions of people in the past and to come to a deeper understanding of the world they inhabit. We also aim for the students to come to see the world, and their place in it, from a historical perspective; and understand how the people and events of the past have shaped the contemporary world.

In September 2018 the new junior cycle history specification will be introduced to schools. This will be offered at a common level. The specification has three interconnected strands:

Strand 1: The Nature of History
Strand 2: The History of Ireland
Strand 3: The History of Europe and the Wider World

The first strand is a unifying Strand which focuses on The Nature of History as a discipline. The Strand emphasises the skills, concepts, values and attitudes that inform the learning of history. It helps to form the students as historians.

Strands 2 and 3 provide the context for students to deepen their understanding of The Nature of History as a discipline.

There will be two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs). The first will take place in before summer in second year, while the second will take place before Christmas in third year. The topics for the CBAs are; the past in my place and a life in time. Through these Classroom-Based Assessments students will develop their knowledge, understanding, skills, and values, thereby achieving the learning outcomes across the strands.

A further Assessment Task worth 10% will be completed by the students to be marked by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) along with the Final examination at the end of third year.

The Classroom-Based Assessments will provide an opportunity for students to:

  • engage with areas of personal historical interest
  • work with evidence and research information using a range of methods
  • analyse data and evidence to make informed value judgements and decisions
  • organise information and plan logically
  • communicate clearly and effectively
  • develop their historical consciousness
  • collaborate with others on tasks
  • reflect on their own learning.

Through these Classroom-Based Assessments students will develop their knowledge, understanding, skills, and values, thereby achieving the learning outcomes across the strands.


Senior Cycle

'When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness' - Alexis de Tocqueville

In History at Senior Cycle at Marian College we aim for our students to study the experience of human life in the past in conjunction with investigating the surviving evidence relating to these experiences. Thus bringing our students into contact with human experiences which are very much different to their own. This helps them in gaining an insight into their own roots, identity and inherited traditions.

The syllabus is designed to be taught at both Ordinary and Higher levels. The levels are differentiated through the specification of learning outcomes. History at Senior Cycle involves the study of the Later Modern Field of study 1815-1993. Students study 4 topics in all where one topic will be prescribed by the examining authority for the documents-based study. At Marian College our students study:

Fifth Year:

  • Government, economy and society in the Republic of Ireland, 1949-1989
  • The pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition, 1912-1949

Sixth Year:

  • Dictatorship and democracy, 1920-1945
  • The United States and the world, 1945-1989

History at Leaving Cert also offers a unique opportunity for our students in the form of the RSR Research project which forms 20% of the overall terminal assessment. Involvement in research is an integral part of the syllabus. While offering an insight into the manner in which historians operate, the skills developed through such study have a wide applicability. It allows students to undertake a research project of their own choosing from any area in History that interest them which is a unique opportunity not afforded to them by any other subject.

History should be studied because it is essential to individuals and to society, and because it harbours beauty. Only through studying history can we grasp how things change; only through history can we begin to comprehend the factors that cause change; and only through history can we understand what elements of an institution or a society persist despite change. History, well told, is beautiful.