Children playing in Liberty Square around 1940. What has changed? what still looks familiar?  The second world was underway and fuel and food was limited, yet these two boys are just enjoying their game. What was their childhood like? what did they study in school? what sports did they play? do they live in Thurles today?


  1. Acquire knowledge of and understanding about human activity in the past
  2. Understand the contemporary world through the study of the past
  3. Develop conceptual understanding and the ability to think independently
  4. Develop a range of skills essential for the study of history
  5. Are encouraged to develop positive attitudes such as a commitment to objectivity and fairness, and an acceptance that people and events must be judged in the context of their values and time
  6. Are encouraged to develop an interest and enthusiasm for history and a value of their heritage from the past

History is compulsory for all students. The study of history at junior cycle aims to enable students to develop the necessary conceptual understanding, disciplinary skills and subject knowledge to investigate the actions of people in the past and to come to a deeper understanding of the human condition. Students also 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.

By exploring the past from a historical perspective, students also develop an interest and enthusiasm for history and acquire values and attitudes that shape their view of people in the past, including a regard for heritage and their cultural inheritance, and a sense of historical empathy, where people are judged in the context and values of the time in which they lived.

The study of history instils in students a respect for integrity, objectivity and looking at issues from different perspectives. This capacity for critical thinking helps them to interrogate sources of evidence and make judgements about the viewpoint expressed, including the capacity to identify propaganda. Hearing and telling the stories of people who lived in the past helps students to understand more about how people live today; and can help students to learn from the past when thinking about how to address the problems of today


The study of history is about exploring human experience over time and how that experience has shaped the world we live in today. By asking questions of available evidence, students of history can make rational, informed judgements about human actions in the past and examine why people were motivated to act as they did and the effects of these actions. Studying history develops our historical consciousness, enabling us to orient ourselves in time and to place our experiences in a broader framework of human experience.

Being historically conscious transforms the way that we perceive the world and our place in it, and informs how we see the future development of the world. Having a ‘big picture’ of the past helps to develop our historical consciousness. It allows us to see major patterns of change and gives us a framework to understand and put into context the knowledge that we gain about the actions of people that came before us. Investigating evidence to identify moments or patterns of change in the human experience, and to make judgements on the significance of such change, is the key practice of the historian. This study of change relates to the fullness of human experience over time, from the initial emergence of humans to the more recent past.

The study of the past allows us to examine the impact of human actions in a wide variety of dimensions, including politics, government, law, society, economics, culture, beliefs and ideas. When we learn about the past, it is important also that we understand the nature of history as a discipline that allows us to make sense of what has happened in our world over time. This involves understanding such concepts as: continuity and change; time and space; how evidence allows us to make judgements about the past and how such judgements may need to be changed if new evidence emerges; awareness of the usefulness and limitations of different forms of evidence and the importance of being objective and fair when investigating the actions of people in the past, and taking care not to let opinions or prejudices affect our judgements; how human actions in the past have different levels of significance; that we see people in the past and their actions in the context of the time in which they lived.

Understanding the actions of people in the past and understanding how we come to know about these actions helps us to develop positive values about history. These include a respect for truth and evidence, a commitment to being open to seeing the past from different perspectives and a regard for the integrity of the past.
This way of seeing the world deepens our understanding of the relationsh

ip between past and current events and the forces that drive change; helps us to appreciate how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the culture in which we live; and enables us to value our local, national and international heritage.

The ability to construct and communicate coherent, logical arguments on matters of historical significance, and in so doing utilise skills such as thinking critically, working collaboratively and utilising digital media effectively, is also enhanced by the study of history. Studying history helps us also to develop a historical sensibility that leads to an appreciation of the cultural achievements and accomplishments of previous generations, and to derive pleasure and enjoyment from learning about the richness and diversity of human experience in the past, and how this has impacted on and shaped our own identity and experience of the world.


Assessment will test the extent to which candidates can demonstrate the following:

1. Knowledge and understanding of:
• The principal trends, issues and events specified in the syllabus
• The influence of and interaction between individuals and
• institutions in the historical periods specified
• The nature and use of historical sources
• The procedural concepts listed in the syllabus
• The general and specific substantive concepts listed in the syllabus

2. An ability to:
• Recall historical information relating to the above in its chronological setting
• Use historical terms
• Use and interpret information from a variety of sources, including – Primary and secondary written sources – Statistics – Visual material – artefacts, buildings, settlements and other material sources – Orally transmitted information – Select relevant information to answer historical questions – Examine critically historical information, e.g. distinguish fact from opinion, detect such deficiencies as gaps, inconsistencies and bias – Synthesise information, e.g. assemble in logical sequence, follow a line of argument, offer explanations – Present and communicate information and ideas in a variety of ways, including written, graphic and oral – Apply their understanding of the historical concepts and procedures in dealing with historical issues


History is assessed at one level – Common Level.

Like other Junior Cycle subjects, History students will complete two Classroom Based Assessments, one in 2nd year and one in 3rd year.

The textbook we use is Making History by Dermot Lucy (Gill)