Teaching Staff

Mr B McVeigh, Head of History
Mr S Brown, History/Politics/Vice Principal
Miss L Gibson, History/Politics/Careers
Mrs S Hanna, History/English/SENCO/Head of Year



The history department is staffed by four specialists, all of whom are enthusiastic about history and who also enjoy communicating their enjoyment of the subject to the pupils. The subject’s popularity can be judged by the significant number of pupils opting to study it in the senior school and by the consistent record of excellent results which they achieve.


Teaching and Learning Aims

As a department, we want our pupils to enjoy history at school and develop a spirit of inquiry about their personal and local histories as well as the wider national and international context. We also hope to equip pupils who will not continue studying history after leaving school, with the skills and interests that will enable them to take pleasure in history and things historical for the rest of their lives. 

We also believe that an appreciation of the past helps us to more fully understand contemporary society, culture and politics. In addition, we firmly believe that the skills pupils develop as they study history will be indispensable in the world of employment and in helping them lead more fulfilled professional and personal lives.


Key Stage 3 Summary

Year 8

Students will study Medieval Britain through three themes: Power, Society and Religion. Topics include the Battle of Hastings, the Normans in Ireland, Henry II and Thomas Becket, Medieval Village and Town Life, Heaven and Hell in the Middle Ages, Martin Luther and the Reformation and Henry VIII. Teaching will be largely in a chronological framework and lessons will facilitate the development of key historical skills such as source handling, identifying change and continuity and explaining cause and consequence of major historical events.

Year 9

Students will study the period 1500-1900 starting with an investigation of why the Spanish Armada failed. Students will then study the Plantation of Ulster. In the spring term students investigate a themed unit titled ‘Power to the People’ which explains how power transferred from the few to the many from the English Civil War until Votes for Women in 1918. Teaching will be chronological with some in depth and themed based units to gain a full understanding of the topics. Lessons will develop personal learning and thinking skills through group work, individual projects and extended pieces of writing.

Year 10

Students will study the 20th century world in Year 10 covering key topics such as the Great War, Partition of Ireland, Interwar Years, Home Front during the Second World War and the Nazi persecution of Jewish People. During Year 9 students will continue to develop key historical skills through a range of teaching and learning activities.


GCSE Summary




International Relations: The Development of the Cold War and German Depth Study

Paper 1 2 hour examination



British Depth Study 1890-1918

Paper 2 1 hour 30 minute examination


Controlled Assessment – content changes each year

2000 word essay




Students are required to study four units at A’ Level, two in Year 13 and two in Year 14. From academic year 2015/17 Year 13 will account for 40% of the course and Year 14 60% of the course. 

Year 13




Option 5 Germany 1918-1945:

  • The Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazi Party (1918-1933)
  • Nazi Germany (1933-1945) 

1 hour 30 minute external paper  


50% of AS

20% of A’ Level  

Option 5 Russia 1905-1941:

  • Causes and Consequences of 1905 Revolution
  • Lenin and Revolution (1917-1924)
  • Stalin and Revolution (1924-1941)

1 hour 30 minute external paper

50% of AS

20% of A’ Level


Year 14




Option 4: Unionism and Nationalism in Ireland (1800-1900)

  • Nationalism: Cultural Perspective
  • Economic Perspective
  • Constitutional Perspective

Unionism (1800-1900)

1 hour external examination

20% of A’ Level 

Option 4: Partition of Ireland 1900-1925:

  • Home-Rule Crisis (1900-1914)
  • Political Events (1914-1918)
  • Events in Ireland (1919-1925)

2 hour 30 minute external examination

40% of A’ Level

Details of the subject content can be found on the CEA website www.ccea.org.uk

Extra-Curricular/Extended Learning Opportunities

Key Stage 3

Each year we visit Carrickfergus Castle to illustrate the work we do on the Normans and castle building in Year 8. In addition, in Year 10 we visit the Somme Heritage Centre to consolidate our study of the First World War.

Senior School

On alternate years we organise visits to either Berlin or Krakow. In Berlin we concentrate on sites associated with the Third Reich, such as Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the underground bunkers which were used as air-raid shelters during the war, and on sites associated with the Cold War, such as the Stasi Museum and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The focus of our visit to Krakow is a full day visit to Auschwitz, although we also have opportunity to visit the old Jewish district, Krakow Castle and the salt mine.

Career Opportunities

There are very few careers for which history is absolutely necessary, however there are many for which it is distinctly helpful, e.g. law, journalism and the civil service. Studying history to a higher level encourages students to think and argue logically, discriminate between what is relevant and irrelevant, biased and unbiased, and carry out investigations for themselves. These skills are obviously useful in a wide range of jobs, and history graduates from Queen's in the past few years have found employment in industrial management, personnel work, social work, the media, tourism, banking, insurance, accountancy, the civil service, law and - of course - teaching!