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Alexandra College



In the History Department we aim to stimulate student interest in, and understanding of, the past.

Our aim is to equip every student to comprehend society, culture and politics in all their diversity through using the skills of the historian. By fostering independence of thought it is hoped to encourage appreciation of diversity of opinion, attitudes and values. Students learn to work collaboratively and independently, thus perfecting and developing different techniques, skills, and critical faculties.

To this end the teachers in the History Department also undertake to continue to develop their own learning and education as historians and teachers.


The History Department incorporates the aims of both the NCCA’s Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate syllabi into our own subject aims.

We aim to:

  • Enable students to acquire knowledge of human activity in the past in order to promote a greater understanding of the contemporary world
  • Provide opportunities for students to investigate how the interaction of individuals, groups, and institutions creates human history and shapes the world of succeeding generations.
  • Develop in students the knowledge, understanding, concepts, skills and values that are fundamental to the study of history.
  • Develop the ability to think independently.
  • Develop a range of research skills appropriate to their age and level.
  • Foster in students an interest and enthusiasm for the work of the historian and an enjoyment of the study of human activity in the past.
  • Encourage recognition that historical narratives must be based on evidence, that evidence may be open to different interpretations, and promote a commitment to the pursuit of objectivity and fair-mindedness.


The objectives of Junior and Leaving Certificate History are to:

  • Investigate the concept of historical evidence and the different types of sources of evidence.
  • Develop students’ ability to interrogate and evaluate a range of historical sources.
  • Enable students to distinguish between fact and opinion, detect bias and identify propaganda.
  • Explore the principal trends, issues and events in the historical topics studied and acquire knowledge and develop understanding of how events fit into a larger context such as how Irish history topics fit into a broader international context.
  • Enable students to carry out historical research at a level appropriate to their age and abilities and communicate their research findings in a variety of ways. They will learn how to select, record and collate data from primary and secondary sources and present their findings in a well-structured, logical format.
  • Equip them for the rigours of the Junior and Leaving Certificate History exams and enable them to fulfil their potential.


At Junior Cycle we employ a variety of teaching methodologies, which aim to develop skills of effective reading, note taking, evaluation of source material, essay writing and exam technique.

Encouraging students to participate in class discussions, where they can ask questions or express their opinions is important for developing a deeper understanding of the subject and encouraging a positive attitude to history. Group work encourages students to work with their peers and to reflect on their own learning. The use of worksheets and source material both documents and visual sources is essential for enhancing the students understanding of the skills of the historian.


Our digital resources, i.e. iPads, computers, videos & DVDs are useful in all areas of our work in history.

They are employed in different ways with all year groups.

iPads are used with Junior Cycle classes for PowerPoint presentations, access to e-books and for research in class and to enable students to access class notes.

In Transition Year through the use of the computers in the IT room and the library we have the facility to encourage and develop independent learning and research skills essential in history. New ways of presenting assignments are encouraged in TY; these include the use of Keynote & PowerPoint Presentations, together with podcasting and videos.

We also use data projectors, maps and current articles from magazines such as History Ireland and History Today.

We also have a large variety of Junior Cert and Leaving Cert textbooks, which we use to supplement our own textbooks.