Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower

History and Politics

History and Politics

Key Staff

  • Mr G Bond (HOD)
  • Dr D Agnew
  • Miss A Morrow

History is taught as part of the curriculum at Wellington College and is studied throughout all of KS3, and offered to students for GCSE and A-Level.

Government and Politics is also offered to students at A-Level.

 

 

Year 8 topics

  • What is History?
  • The Norman Conquest of England
  • The Normans in Ireland
  • The Crusades
  • The Black Death

Year 9 topics

  • The Reformation
  • The Tudor Monarchs and religious change
  • Exploration, Empire and the slave trade
  • The Spanish Armada
  • The Plantation of Ulster

Year 10 topics

  • Was America right to use the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945?
  • Have women achieved equality in the 20th century?
  • Was the assassination of JFK part of a conspiracy?
  • Why did WW1 begin?
  • Was the Battle of the Somme a failure?
  • Why was Ireland partitioned in 1921?

At GCSE Wellington follows the CCEA GCSE specification.

In Year 11 we begin our studies with an outline study of International Relations in the 20th century.  This includes looking at the origins of the Cold War and some of its key flashpoints, including, the Berlin Wall, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War.  The course finishes with a study of the rise of new tensions after the end of the Cold War and involves a study of the causes of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the involvement of the USA and GB in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Year 11 sit a module at the end of the year. The International Relations paper is a source based paper that will exam students understanding of historical interpretations and why the past is viewed the way it is.  This paper is 1 hour 15 minutes long and includes six questions.

At the end of our Year 11 year and into Year 12 we commence the next phases of our studies in preparation for the final paper at the end of Year 12.  We study two modules for this paper.  Firstly, Nazi Germany 1933-1945, including the Nazi rise to power, the role of the police state and Nazi policies towards the family, women, young people and Jews.  Secondly, Northern Ireland 1963-1998, including the Northern Ireland civil rights movement, the rise of violence and emergence of paramilitaries, attempts at peace and key moments such as the Hunger Strikes and Good Friday Agreement.  The module is sat at the end of Year 12, and is one hour forty-five minutes long, including five questions on Nazi Germany and six on Northern Ireland.

The minority of students who do not perform as well as expected at the end of Year 11 will have an opportunity to re-sit at the end of Year 12.   There is a full suite of revision classes and online resources to support students who do so, as well as those sitting a single module.

Specification at a glance:

Paper 1

Nazi Germany and Northern Ireland

One 1 hour 45 min paper

Sat at the end of Year 12

Paper 2

International Relations

One 1 hour 15 min paper

Sat at the end of Year 11

Examining Board: CCEA

At Wellington College the History Department prides itself on offering a diverse and wide range of areas and topics for historical study.  As many of our students go on to study History at university, we believe there are best prepared by getting out of the 20th century and experiencing the study of History in different periods and places.  We follow the CCEA specification, and have selected a varied and interesting range of modules for study.

AS 1 – Nazi Germany 1919-1945

This module builds on the learning acquired at GCSE and expands into the impact of WWI and the rise of the Nazi party as a result.  Its focus is on historical interpretation and understanding how different views of the past can be supported and challenged.  It is examined by a single 1 hour 30 minute examination at the end of Year 13.  AS1 is 20% of the total History A level.

AS 2 – The Ascendency of France 1661-1714

This module presents students with something completely new.  It charts the reign of the French monarch Louis XIV and the key events of the later 17th century on a broad European scale charting the key decisions that give birth to modern Europe.  It is examined by a single 1 hour 30 minute examination at the end of Year 13.  AS2 is 20% of the total History A level.

A2 1 – The American Presidency in the 20th Century

This module is a synoptic study that looks at the changing role of the US President over the course of the twentieth century from ‘caretaker of the constitution’ to ‘leader of the Western World’.  It is examined by a single 1 hour 15 minute examination at the end of Year 14.  A21 is 20% of the total History A level.

A2 2 – Ireland 1685-1714

This module studies some of the seminal moments of Irish history that have shaped the past four hundred years on this Ireland.  We examine the impact of the ‘Glorious Revolution’, the Williamite Wars in Ireland, their impact and the birth of penal Ireland.  It is examined by a single 2 hour 30 minute examination at the end of Year 14.  A22 is 40% of the total History A level.

AS Government and Politics Specification - Examining Board CCEA

Course Description

The study of Government and Politics encourages young people to develop knowledge and understanding of the political systems in which they live. It encourages students to develop critical thinking and other essential academic skills. Study of A-Level Government and Politics helps to prepare young people for careers in many areas including law, business, journalism, finance, government services and, of course, politics itself.

An interest in current affairs is essential for all students of this subject. Students will need to be able to communicate their ideas clearly and fluently.

There are two AS Government and Politics modules:

AS 1:   The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland

  • 1 hour 15 minute examination - [ 1 source & 3 questions ] - 40% of AS / 20% of A2

AS 2: The British Political Process

  • 1 hour 45 minute examination - [ 5 questions ] - 60% of AS / 30% of A2

A2 Government and Politics Specification - Examining Board CCEA

There are two A2 Government and Politics modules:

A2 1:   Comparative Government

  • 2 hours 15 minute examination - [ 1 source & 5 questions ] - 60% of A2 / 30% of the A-Level

A2 2: Political Power & Political Ideas 

  • 1 hour 30 minute examination - [ 1 source & 3 questions ] - 40% of AS / 20% of the A-Level

Module Descriptions

There are FOUR modules within A-Level Politics

Two modules in Year 13 [AS Level Politics]:

AS 1:    The Government and Politics of Northern Ireland

This unit focuses on the:

  • arrangements for government of Northern Ireland since 1994;
  • strategies and policies of the main Northern Ireland political parties;
  • changes in electoral support for the main parties; and
  • political effects of the different electoral systems used in Northern Ireland.

 

AS 2: The British Political Process

Students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of Prime Minister and cabinet;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the operation of the executive, legislature [The House of Commons and the House of Lords] and judiciary [judges];
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main British political parties.

 

Two modules in Year 14 [A2 Level Politics]:

Unit A2 [1]: The United Kingdom and the United States of America

In studying this option, students should draw upon knowledge and understanding previously acquired in the study of Unit AS 2: The British Political Process. This option includes:

  • a study of the United States Constitution and its main features;
  • how it can be amended or interpreted;
  • how it impacts on policy making;
  • the relevance of the Constitution to contemporary American society;
  • a direct comparison of the President and Prime Minister and Congress and the House of Commons of the USA and the UK.

Unit A2 [2]: Political Power

The focus of this option is on:

  • the competing theories of the nature and distribution of political power;
  • the various factors involved in the exercise of political power;
  • the basis of political authority, legitimacy and stability.

NI Party Leaders visits to WCB

NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - DUP NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - Sinn Fein NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - SDLP

NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - Alliance NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - Ulster Unionists NI Party Leaders visits to WCB - Green Party

 

 

 

Employers value the research, analytical, teamwork and communication skills that are developed by history students throughout their degree

GCSE History / Careers Information & Advice for Year 10 Pupils

Why study GCSE History?

  1. Many pupils enjoy History, find it fascinating and above all it is FUN.
  2. To help understand people and events;
  3. To understand society and to learn about our world, it’s culture and values.
  4. To learn skills which you can carry with you into jobs and adult life.

Furthermore, History will help in virtually any job or career by:

  • Helping you to think for yourself;
  • Helping you to work with others;
  • Helping you to be adaptable and to communicate well.

It makes you a more employable person, whether at 16+, 18+ or 21+.

GCSE History helps you with:

  1. Communication
  2. Motivation
  3. Personal Qualities
  4. Skills in relationships
  5. Decision making
  6. Management                                                                        

GCSE History develops these in YOU…

GCSE history will teach you key skills that will be of use in the following professions / employment areas:

  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Libraries
  • Retailing
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Personal services: Banking & Insurance
  • Social Services: Police, Civil Service, Social Work & local Government
  • Tourism / Travel Companies and Travel Agencies
  • Museum / Heritage / Leisure Services
  • Estate Agencies
  • Nursing
  • Photography
  • The Armed Forces (Intelligence Services / Adjutant Generals Corps)
  • Management            
  • Politics

A-Level Politics / Careers Information & Advice for Year 12 Pupils

Politics will help in virtually any job or career by:

  • Helping you to think for yourself;
  • Helping you to work with others;
  • Helping you to be adaptable and to communicate well

A/S Government & Politics will teach you key skills that will be of use in the following professions / employment areas:

  • Marketing
  • Law
  • Libraries
  • Retailing
  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Personal services: Banking & Insurance
  • Social Services: Police, Civil Service, Social Work & local Government
  • Tourism / Travel Companies and Travel Agencies
  • Museum / Heritage / Leisure Services
  • Estate Agencies
  • Nursing
  • Photography
  • The Armed Forces (Intelligence Services / Adjutant Generals Corps)
  • Management
  • Politics

AS Politics students often do their Year 13 work placements at Stormont, attached to a Northern Ireland MLA.

Useful Websites