History/Modern Studies

The History Department has six members of staff. We teach the subjects of History and Modern Studies from four purpose built classrooms, a resource room and staff base on the fourth floor of the Blackfriars building.

Our aims are:

  • To develop a knowledge and understanding of the various factors which have shaped the world in which pupils live, including an awareness of their heritage and historic environment.
  • To enable pupils to consider and understand the essential features of historical study i.e. continuity and change, and cause and effect.
  • To encourage and foster conceptual understanding.
  • To progressively develop historical skills such as: identifying and locating different sources of evidence, interpreting and evaluating evidence, and making informed judgments and devising explanations based on the evidence
  • To encourage pupils to think and work both independently and imaginatively in order that they may become increasingly responsible for their own learning.
  • To develop a disciplined approach to historical study whereby knowledge and skills acquired are utilised and expressed accurately and extensively - whether spoken or written.
  • To foster in all pupils an interest in History both inside and outside the classroom.

Pupils follow a common course in History in S1/S2. They then have the option of taking the National 4/5 course in History and the National 4/5 course in Modern Studies in S3 and S4. Higher courses in History and Modern Studies are available in S5 and are also taken by some S6 pupils. The Advanced Higher History and Modern Studies courses are studied in S6 by pupils who have shown significant aptitude and interest in the subjects.

The members of the department accept joint responsibility for the oversight of the College History Society (the Bygoneers) as one means of encouraging an interest in History outside the classroom. Individual staff involvement will be determined by specific interest(s) and time available. It is departmental policy to involve senior pupils as much as possible in the running of the Society.

Every second year the Department runs a highly successful trip to the World War 1 battlefields in the October break. Students who participate usually find their understanding and appreciation of the suffering in the Great War vastly enhanced. It is also valuable follow up to National 4/5 courses.