St Raphaela's Secondary School



At St Raphaela's, the aim of the History Department is to encourage a love of History that will last longer than a student’s school days. We aim to foster a spirit of enquiry and critical thinking, to develop an historical consciousness and to help students acquire the big picture in appreciating and recognising change.

The History Department achieves these aims by making every effort to bring History to life within and outside the classroom. Whole school events and History trips are regular school life occasions in St Raphaela’s. History guest speakers, trips to Krakow and Berlin, and various celebrations organised as part of the Decade of Centenaries such as the 1916 Commemoration and the Women’s Commemorative Event to name but a few. Initiatives and opportunities like The Museum in a Box and Viking Dublin Dogs really bring home the importance of History and our connection with the past.

History is a compulsory subject at Junior Cycle in St Raphaela’s. It is provided as a short course in Transition Year and is an optional subject for Senior Cycle.

Junior Cycle:

At Junior Cycle, students engage in a three-year, common level course, covering the mandatory learning outcomes as outlined in the subject specification. Three strands are covered in this cycle; The Nature of History, The History of Ireland and the History of Europe and the Wider World. Within these strands students get the opportunity to enjoy a breath of topics, ranging from the Work of the Historian, Ancient Rome, Medieval Times, The Plantations of Ireland, The Founding of the GAA, The American Revolution, to The Irish Independence Movement, The Rise of Fascism and The Changing Roles of Women.

Students complete two Classroom Based Assessments. In 2nd Year, students complete CBA 1 on ‘The Past in My Place’. This is where students engage in a study of historical importance and significance from their locality. In 3rd Year, students complete CBA 2 on ‘A Life in Time’. Students engage in the study of a person of historical importance. Students complete an Assessment Task worth 10% based on CBA 2. In June, students complete a State Examination written paper worth 90%.

More details on the Junior Cycle History Specification can be found here;

Transition Year:

For the students who opt to partake in Transition Year, they get to experience Leaving Certificate Subject Sampling. Students partake in a short course study of History, lasting approximately 6-8 weeks. As the TY Programme is a school-based programme and is uniquely designed to suit our school needs and student interest, the History topics studied in TY vary from year to year. The students embark upon independent research and apply the skills learnt at Junior Cycle, through critically evaluating sources and coming to historical conclusions. Some topics studied at St Raphaela’s have included Modern History Through Music, The Role of Women, Archaeology, World Dictators and History in the Movies. At the end of this short course students will be awarded credits, based on their performance in a project or presentation.

Transition Year students also partake in Outreach for one module during the year. Students visit several places of historical and cultural interest, like museums, archives and galleries, for example, the National Museum, the National Gallery, the Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin Castle and the Pearse Museum.

Senior Cycle:

At Senior Cycle, students have the option to pursue History for the Leaving Certificate. This is a two-year course, offered at both Higher and Ordinary Level, covering the mandatory elements as outlined in the syllabus. There are four areas of study that students participate in; Dictatorship & Democracy, The Pursuit of Sovereignty & The Impact of Partition, Politics & Society in Northern Ireland and The USA & Wider World. Within these topics, students get the opportunity to enjoy a breath of subjects, ranging from the Home Rule Crisis, Use of Fear and Terror in Mussolini’s Italy, American Foreign Policy and the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland.

Students build on their research skills by combining a balance between content knowledge and displaying evaluative and analytical skills. In 6th Year, students also partake in a compulsory Research Study Report, comprising of 20% of the total marks. Students embark upon independent research under the guidance and supervision of the teacher. Every two years the SEC prescribes a topic for a documents-based study. This topic rotates periodically. A special section in the written component is dedicated to this DBQ and is worth 20% of the exam. The rest of the course, along with the DBQ, is assessed in the State Exams in June.

More details on the Leaving Certificate Syllabus can be found here;

St. Raphaela’s Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
01 288 8730
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