Welcome to the GCS History Department!

“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” – P. Buck.

Department Teachers:

Mr. J. McNamara, Mr. P. Conole, Ms. O. Duffy, Ms. O. Veale, Mr. C. Madden, Mr. R. Keane, Ms. C. O’ Donoghue and Mr. D. Moloney.

The aim of the History Department is to afford students the opportunity to explore and develop their knowledge of local history in their area, while also allowing the students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the contemporary world through the study of the past.

History Education Programme

Junior Cycle

“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” (Junior Cycle History Specification 2017).

The main text book currently being used in this school is: Time Bound by Seán Delap and Paul McCormack (published by Folens). This text book is supplemented by a workbook, history exam papers, handouts, power point displays and class trips.

Syllabus outline:

Strand 1: The nature of history – This unifying strand focuses on the nature of history as a discipline. The strand emphasises the skills, concepts, values and attitudes that inform the learning of history. It helps to form students as historians. There are three interrelated elements to strand 1:

• Developing historical consciousness

• Working with evidence

• Acquiring the ‘big picture’.

Strands 2 and 3: The Contextual Strands – These relate to the historical context in terms of personalities, issues and events to which students apply the conceptual understanding and learning gained through strand 1. Strand 2 relates to the history of Ireland while strand 3 relates to the history of Europe and the wider world. There are three interrelated elements to strands 2 and 3:

• Recognising key change

• Exploring people, culture and ideas

• Applying historical thinking.


(i) CBA: Classroom-Based Assessments are the occasions when the teacher assesses students in the specific assessments that are set out in the specification. On completion of the Classroom-Based Assessments, students will undertake an Assessment Task. This will be completed after the second Classroom-Based Assessment and will be marked by the State Examinations Commission.

(ii) Final Exam: There will be one examination paper at a common level. This paper will be set and marked by the State Examinations Commission. The examination will be of two hours’ duration and will take place at the end of third year

Senior Cycle:

At leaving Certificate level students choose between modules on European, World and Irish History. A major part of the course is where students undertake a research project of their own chosen topic. The research topic is worth 20% of their final mark but perhaps more importantly allows students the opportunity to experience the work of the historian at first hand. Many of our students have completed excellent accounts of local studies such as The Loughnane Brothers and The Ballyturn Ambush. Numbers choosing to study History at Gort Community School has been on the rise in recent years, an indication of the popularity of the new syllabus.


Leaving Certificate history is assessed at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level. There are two assessment components: a research study report (submitted prior to the examination) and a written examination.

“History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time”, Cicero (106BC – 43BC)