S1 History : 1 period per week
S2 History : 1 period per week
S3 Level 4 CfE (Broad General Education) and National 4 and 5 (3 periods per week)
S4 National 4 and 5 (3 periods per week)
S5/6 Higher Grade History (5 periods per week)
S6 Advanced Higher History (5 periods per week plus supported self study)
The Junior School Course caters for the total population in S1 and S2. It accepts that students come from different primary schools and have a very varied background in terms of their experience of history. Nevertheless the course tries to recognise and build on the pupils’ knowledge and understanding and develop the skills of enquiry and critical thinking which will help them at school and in their adult life.
The History Department have now revised the S1-2 course in line with CfE. Pupils are working towards National 3 outcomes. Content focuses on Scottish in S1 and European and World in S2. We have built on current best practice to include a variety of teaching methods and “best work” assessments. There is also greater freedom for teachers to develop topics in line with pupil interest, so the following list offers a degree of choice and is not compulsory content for every pupil.
S1 Scottish topics covered:
1. Introduction to history – using evidence, time, historical skills.
2. Early People and after – Scotland’s first people, Skara Brae.
3. Scotland in the Middle Ages – the Vikings, the Wars of Independence, options: Castles, The Black Death.
4. Early modern Scottish history: options: Mary Queen of Scots, the Clearances.
S2 European and World topics:
S3 and S4
Level 4 BGE and National 4/5 History
This course is available for students of all abilities who are interested in History. This course has now been fully developed to bring it in to line with CfE based on the pattern that BGE (Broad General Education Level 4), National 4 and National 5 outcomes will cover all content areas: Scottish, British, European and World. The skill areas covered will be broadly in line with the old Standard Grade: Knowledge and Understanding, Enquiry Skills, but there will be more emphasis on teaching essay writing skills to prepare pupils for Higher. There is also more opportunity in the new courses for pupils to do research work on an historical topic of their choice. Enquiry Skills have been revised similarly, to provide progression into the source-based questions found in the new Higher.
Pupils start the S3 course with a Level 4 CfE course to introduce them to studying the First World War: origins, how the war developed at home and abroad, how it was concluded. Pupils will gradually be introduced to Scottish examples and N4 and 5 skills so they can merge into a the first N4/5 topic, Scotland and the Era of the Great War 1914-1920s. They will be taught the six different types of questions asked at N5 to enable all pupils to have the opportunity to sit the final exam at this level in S4. They will sit a Unit Assessment on the Scottish topic at both N4 and N5 levels before the end of this unit in the Spring of their S3 year. Also in S3 all pupils will do an “Added Value” (AV) project which qualifies for National 4 History. The current topic for this project is Trench Warfare.
This course is also an excellent preparation for the annual S3 History Trenches Trip. All pupils studying the subject will have the opportunity to go on this trip which represents a fantastic opportunity to experience history at first hand and with all the senses.
S3 classes will then move on to either the British topic or the European and World topic, depending on teacher choice and resources available. The European topic we study is Germany 1918-1939 and the British: Changing Britain 1760-1900. Pupils will sit Unit Assessments for these topics as well, at both N4 and N5 level, to qualify them for the final SQA award.
In S4 pupils continue with the European and British topics. They also do another project, this time the National 5 “Assignment” which is a timed essay written under exam conditions in school. They will have plenty of time to prepare for this essay with home study, as well as receiving training and research time in class to get them started.
S5 and S6
History at senior level offers excellent opportunities for pupils to learn the skills they will need at university and in the world of work: researching, discussing and debating, analysis, written and verbal communication of reasoned argument. At Advanced Higher level students develop these skills to levels they will use at university. In other words our course provides an excellent background for university study in any discipline.
This course is available for students who have a keen interest in the subject and have shown the ability to deal with issues and problems in history. The ability to evaluate and give a reasoned opinion is crucial. The entry level to the course is currently recommended to be a C pass at National 5 History. For students who do not achieve these grades in S4 we offer the option of studying the course over two years. Past experience has shown that this option works very well for motivated students. The Higher course builds on the essay writing and enquiry skills developed in S3 and S4. As with the N5 course, three unit assessments will help students practice these skills under exam conditions.
We are now teaching the new Higher history course. This is broadly similar to the current Higher but has been redesigned to link with National 5 history. The course content and skills are the same, but instead of NABs pupils sit Unit Assessments, as they do with Nationals. There will still be an extended essay, now called an Assignment. This is similar to the current extended essay except it will be sat over one and a half hours instead of two. In the exam pupils get slightly longer to write their two essays (45 minutes each), and reduced time on the source questions, but now there will be three rather than four of these. This means the final exam will be done in one sitting, lasting 2 hours 20 minutes.
Topics studied currently:
Scottish: Migration and Empire (1830-1939). (Source questions)
British: Britain 1850-1950 (essay writing skills)
European and World (essay writing skills): Russia 1881-1921
Extended essay (Assignment)
Advanced Higher History
South Africa: Race and Power, 1902-84
A study of race and class conflict in an industrialising society and of international pressures on that society, focussing on the themes of ideology, authority, rights and resistance.
Students will be taught how to study on their own, developing research skills which will be important for use at University level. Particular emphasis will be laid on historiography. Assessment includes the usual Higher interim assessments (NABs), end of course exams and a dissertation.
New Advanced Higher
This course was introduced in 2016. It will be along similar lines to the new Higher. Content is unaltered for the South Africa topic. Skills and the dissertation will remain unchanged.