Junior History

History for Junior Cycle & Useful Links



History involves the study of people who lived in the past - ordinary people as well as famous people. In History, you will learn about the sources of evidence on which we base our understanding of their lives. You will find out about important changes that over time have helped to shape the world in which you live. As a History Department we are mindful of our role as educators and we set out to nurture the unfolding minds and critical thinking of our students within the ethos of Coláiste Phobal. 

In establishing aims and objectives we take into account the nature of the discipline we teach, the needs of the students and staff and the challenges and opportunities offered by curricular, SEN and technological change.



History Department Mission Statement


The aim of the Colaiste Phobal History Department (in conjunction with the Junior syllabi) is to introduce students to the breadth and depth of the human experience by a study of past events, societies and cultures. Through this study students will develop their abilities to conduct research, analyze and assess evidence, and articulate sound conclusions. It is our belief that the acquisition of historical knowledge and skills will help the students of Colaiste Phobal is to develop as informed, engaged, and thoughtful members of Irish society.



History in Junior Cycle


Subject Overview

The History syllabus aims to ensure that students:

  • Acquire knowledge and understanding of human activity in the past
  • Understand the contemporary world through the study of the past
  • Develop conceptual understanding
  • Develop the ability to think independently
  • Develop a range of historical skills e.g. research skills
  • Develop such positive attitudes as a commitment to objectivity and fairness
  • Develop an interest and enthusiasm for history
  • Learn to value their heritage




The syllabus is divided into three sections. The framework is chronological in presentation, spanning prehistoric times to the late 20th century. It is developmental in nature, moving from the simple to the more complex, from the concrete to the more abstract.


Section I: How we find out about the past

  1. Introduction - the job of the historian.
  2. Our roots in ancient civilisation - a study based on archaeological evidence of life in pre-Christian and early Christian Ireland and in one ancient civilisation
  3. Castle, church and city - a study of medieval society based on buildings, settlements and other material sources
  4. Renaissance - a study based on visual sources and biography of Renaissance art, architecture and learning


Section II: Studies of Change

  1. Changes in European view of the world - Exploration
  2. Religious change - Reformation
  3. Changes in land ownership - Plantation in Ireland
  4. Political change - Revolutionary change
  5. Social change - From farm to factory


Section III: Understanding the Modern Ireland

  1. Political developments in Ireland in the 20th century
  2. Social change in the 20th century
  3. International relations in the 20th century



Assessment is by means of an examination paper at two levels, Ordinary level and Higher level.
The following styles of questioning are used at the two levels:
Q. 1 - Pictures (based on picture sources)
Q. 2 - Documents (based on written sources)
Q. 3 - Short answer questions
Q. 4 - People in history (short essays on historical personalities or generic types)
In addition, at Higher Level there are two extra questions testing higher level skills and a broader knowledge of syllabus content.


Current status

As part of the review of junior cycle, History is one of the syllabuses currently undergoing a rebalancing process, in a move towards presenting all junior cycle syllabuses in similar formats.



The following is the course content by topic for each year group:


First Year

How we find out about the past

  • The work of the Historian
  • The work of the Archaeologist
  • Our Roots in Ancient Civilisation
  • Castle, Church and City
  • Renaissance (as time allows)


Second Year

Studies of change

  • The Voyages of Exploration and Discovery
  • The Reformation and Counter-Reformation
  • Plantations in Ireland
  • Revolutionary Movements-America, France and Ireland
  • From Farm to Factory


Third Year

Understanding the Modern World

  • Political Developments in Ireland in the late 19th and the 20th Centuries
  • Social Change in Ireland in the 20th Century
  • International Relations in the 20th Century


Useful Links for Historians


The Junior Certificate History Syllabus



National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (N.C.C.A.) Fact Sheet



Examination Papers/Marking Schemes



Scoilnet.ie - An abundance of study tools, worksheets and useful revision aids: Have Fun!!



Office of Public Works (O.P.W.) - Government body that looks after our Heritage sites



BBC History 



Primary Resources



School History 



U.C.C University College Cork - Multitext



Roscrea Links


Roscrea Through The Ages - Local Historical Memories Website



Roscrea - Ireland's 3rd Oldest Town and more



Ask About Ireland



Census 1901 Roscrea ... Can you find your ancestors??



Census 1911 Roscrea ... Can you find your ancestors??



Irish Times Summary and Sources on Roscrea



Roscrea District Marraige Records