History teaching staff 

  • Mrs J O’Neill (Head of Social Studies)
  • Mrs McCartney
  • Mr J Sharpe


What is History?

Studying history is important because it allows us to understand our past, which in turn allows us to understand our present.  History helps us learn about world events and the study of past can help us become good citizens.  History helps us understand continuity (what has stayed the same) and change which enables us to judge wisely.  Throughout the different topics covered we begin to understand the world around us.  History tells us who we are.


US President Abraham Lincoln famously said “We shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents – to learn wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged.”  Here he is saying let the study of past events educate others and help make them smart good people. British Prime minister Winston Churchill said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”  Again, he is telling us to study the past to make a better future.


Famous faces who studied History…

-Jonathan Ross Tv Presenter studied European History at University.

– Prince Charles, the first British heir completed a degree in History at the University of Cambridge.

-Anita Roddick, the Founder of Body Shop also completed a degree in History.

– Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook) majored in History.


This list of names is only a small number of many famous individuals who studied History.  This is evidence that studying History can enable you to choose many different careers.


Key Stage 3

All pupils will study History in Year 8-10.  History helps to develop skills such as teamwork, creative thinking, independent research, problem solving and decision making.

Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
·        Medieval History: ·        Conflict & Religion: ·        20th Century Studies:
·        What is History? (Skills) ·        The Reformation ·        Titanic: 20th Century Social Change
·        Battle of Hastings ·        The Tudors ·        World War 1
·        Castles ·        The Stuarts ·        USA 1920s
·        Medieval Life ·        Ireland in the 17th Century ·        Ireland 1900-1921
·        Normans in Ireland ·        The Irish Famine ·        20th Century Overview




GCSE History

Why should I study History at Glengormley High School?

History is not only enjoyable, but you will cover a wide range of topics and content.  GCSE History will give you the skills to analyse sources, look for meaning in content and put together facts from the past.

Should I study History – YES!

If you enjoy looking for hidden meaning and solving issues – History is for you!

If you like looking back at the past and examining pictures, artefacts and film – History is for you!

If you want a subject that Universities seek as evidence of good literacy skills – History is for you!

At Glengormley High School we teach the CCEA specification of GCSE History.  Students cover three modules and complete two examinations.


From the options above we cover:

Unit 1: Section A: Life in Nazi Germany 1933-1945 – Covering Hitler in Power and WW2 in Germany.

Section B: NI and its neighbours 1965-1998 – Covering the ‘Troubles’ and up to the Good Friday Agreement.

Unit 2: International Relations 1945-2003 – Covering the History of during and after the Cold War.

GCE History (A-Level History)

If you achieve a Grade C or above in GCSE History and GCSE English, you will be offered History as an option at A-Level.  Throughout this two-year course you will complete 4 modules of work taught by Mrs O’Neill and Mr Sharpe.

We also follow the CCEA specification at GCE level.











The options selected in the History department are:

AS1: Germany 1919-1945

AS2: Russia 1914-1941

A21: Ireland under the Union

A22: Partition of Ireland 1900-1925




Careers and opportunity after studying History:

“There is a history in all men’s lives.” (William Shakespeare)

History can open a wide range of opportunities for further and higher education and interesting and rewarding careers.  Through following this course, you will have the opportunity to develop skills that are transferable and are highly sought after by employers. You will have the opportunity to develop your skills and increase your self-confidence through research, having a questioning approach to evidence, arguing a case, reaching balanced conclusions based on the evidence and writing in a clear and coherent way.

Many history students go on to have interesting and challenging careers, for example in the media, politics, teaching, business, finance or civil service. An interest in history may even direct you to a more specialist career as an archaeologist, archivist historical researcher, solicitor, barrister, museum curator or genealogist.

Careers include: –

·        Law ·        Journalism ·        Curator
·        Police ·        Researcher ·        Genealogist
·        Archaeologist ·        Teacher ·        Politics
·        Media ·        Civil Service ·        Archaeologist


Glengormley High Trip to Poland

30 Glengormley High students visited Poland at the end of February.  The first day consisted of a walking tour of the city of Krakow – including the Old Town Square, the former Jewish Ghetto and Wawel Hill and Castle.  The students heard how Krakow has developed as a city with a focus on the historical context of the treatment of the Polish Jews under the Nazi regime.  This was further explored with a visit to the Schindler Museum. 

Saturday consisted of a trip to the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau where the students were informed of the extent and nature of the Holocaust.  The students were able to relax that evening with a quiz courtesy of Mrs Kerr and Miss Dowds.  We visited the Salt mine on Sunday.  It features an underground lake, a chapel and various exhibits on the history of salt mining in the region.

Year 10 Pupils attend final of Queen’s Poster Competition

On Monday three of our Year 10 pupils attended the finals of the Shared Understanding Partnerships Initiative poster competition at Queens University. This is run in conjunction with the Newtownabbey Learning Community and Queens University. Well done for winning through to the finals and to all our entries. Special congratulations to Lewis who attained third place in the Research category.
#aspiretosucceed #learningwithoutlimits #JoinGHS

Historians of the Month

Well done to our Historians of the Month for October!

Year 12: Katie Nelson, Conor McGurk

Year 11: Katie Robinson

Year 10: Aimee-Jo Maginnis, Kyle Stewart

Year 9: Bailey Campbell, Dean McGilton, Molly McCrum

Year 8: Katie McDowell, Charlie McClenaghan


A level Public Services work with Local Councillors

Year 13 Public Services class were joined by their peers from Blessed Trinity as local politicians visited Glengormley High to engage with the pupils about issues in our community, the voting process and their role as a politician.

The students were joined by Councillor Michael Maguire of the UUP, Councillor Noreen McClelland of the SDLP and John Blair, Alliance party MLA for South Antrim

Sixth Year visit HMP Magilligan

On Friday a number of sixth formers got the opportunity to travel to HMP Magilligan and view the permanent exhibition within the prison to the Holocaust. The exhibition is housed in a number of Nissen huts and was exclusively made by inmates of the prison. They include audio visual displays and images of the persecution and genocides.


Year 11 visit Belfast Synagogue to hear from Holocaust survivor

On Thursday Year 11 students visited the synagogue in Belfast and got the opportunity to meet and hear the story of Joan Salter MBE. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust. She was born in 1940 to Polish Jewish parents and she was three months old when Belgium was invaded by the Nazis.
After the German invasion of Belgium in May 1940, Joan’s father was deported, along with all non-native men over the age of 15. Her mother took Joan and her sister to Paris, and eventually over the mountains into Spain in early 1943.

From there, Joan was transported to America and was fostered. We were also able to hear of the history of the Jewish population in Belfast and of the features of the synagogue.

This was a very emotional and humbling testimony that was appreciated by all the students and staff alike.

Local Councillors visit A Level Public Services Class

Mrs McCartney and Mr Kennedy’s Year 13 Public Services class were joined by Councillor Michael Goodman of Sinn Fein and Councillor Phillip Brett of the DUP today. The councillors talked to the pupils about the challenges of local politics, the role and responsibilities of a councillor and how young people can get involved in the development of Glengormley town. The pupils evaluated the visit in a debrief and will put their knowledge to use in pursuit of their qualification.

Here’s what some of our pupils thought:

Joel McTernaghan, “What I found interesting about the visit was that two members from parties that supposedly hate each other so much that they can’t work together in Stormont, were talking about how often they work together within our community.”

Abigail Brett, “I did not know there is funding available for community projects in Glengormley and the council is looking for ideas.”

Alice Stewart, “I learnt more about the election process and it was nice to hear it from someone directly involved. It felt more legitimate and made me feel more connected to my representatives.”

Year 10 Queen’s University Poster Competition

Year 10 pupils continued their participation in the School University Partnerships Initiative from last year. They met with students from Rosstulla, Abbey Community College and Belfast High to present their entries into the SUPI – in conjunction with the Newtownabbey Learning Community – Poster Competition to commemorate the Great War.

Congratulations to all the entrants and best of luck to Kirsty Alcorn, Kacey Greer and Lewis Purdy who won through to the finals to be held in December at Queens University.