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History Curriculum

S1/S2 Social Studies Curriculum

In S1 pupils complete four periods of Social Subjects, one of which is an RME period. There is a loosely integrated course which is composed of blocks of Geography, History and Modern Studies. In S2 pupils receive four periods of Social Subjects of which one period is allocated to RE. In S3 students make choices but in line with the principles of Broad General Education they need to complete at least one Social Subject.

S1 Course
An Introduction to History
The formation of the Kingdom of Scotland ( 700 AD to 1034 AD)
The impact of settlers in Scotland – The Romans and the Vikings

S2 Course
Hitler’s Germany
Britain during the Second World War

S3 Course
Our S3 courses have been developed in line with delivering a Broad General Education. However, our courses are also designed to reflect some of the key skills that students will require to be successful in National courses.
Modern Studies

Students will continue to receive their RME entitlement in S3, however, this is delivered by the Faculty of Language and Literacy.

S3 History
The Stewart Kings of Scotland
Mary Queen of Scots and the Reformation
The British Empire and the Industrial Revolution
The Victorians
The Swinging Sixties

S4 – S6 Courses

National 4 and 5

Course Entry Requirements
This course is designed for pupils in S5 who undertook a CfE History based course in S3. Your report will have recommended the Level of Study (National 4 or National 5). Pupils who achieved a National 4 qualification in History in S4 are also eligible for National 5.

Areas of study
Three units of study are offered in the National 4 and 5 History course. Additionally, there is an externally assessed ‘Added Value’ Assignment, which accounts for a third of the overall grade.

The Scottish Wars of Independence
2014 marked the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and the referendum on Scottish independence. So, to find out where it all started, we look at Scotland’s Wars of Independence (1286-1328). Find out all about William Wallace – was he really like the legend celebrated in “Braveheart”? Examine the rise to power and the achievements of Scotland’s most famous King – Robert Bruce. And of course find out what really happened at Bannockburn back in 1314.

The Atlantic Slave Trade (1700-1807)
This topic will examine Britain and Scotland’s role in the notorious slave trade of the 18th century. With lots of different movies being made about slavery, what was in fact Britain’s part in this? Find out where the slaves came from, what it was like to be a slave and what were slaves used for. What part did Scotland play in this trade? You will also learn about the Abolition movement. This is a fascinating and contemporary topic which still causes controversy today.

Russia, The Red Flag: Russia and Revolution 1881-1921
Find out all about one of the major powers in World History – Russia. The topic starts in 1881 with an examination of Imperial Russia under the Tsars. It looks at the time of Tsar Nicholas II and the events that led to two revolutions against him and his family. It will look at the strange case of Gregory Rasputin and the events that led to the disappearance of the Russian Royal Family in 1918. It will chart the rise of Lenin and the successful establishment of a communist system in Russia in 1917.

An alternative topic of study is ‘Free at Last’ – focussing on the African American struggle for Civil Rights in America, from the Jim Crow Laws to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

Career Implications
Pupils who have opted for History have gone on to pursue a wide variety of careers including: Medicine, Law, Journalism, TV and Media, the Armed Forces, the Police, Teaching, Nursing, Archaeology, Accountancy, Sports Management and various other career paths.

Progression Pathway
If you achieve a good National 4 grade in S5 you can go on to try National 5 History in S6. If you achieve good National 5 grades in S4 or S5 you might consider taking Higher History in S5 or S6.


Entry Requirements
To be accepted into Higher History you need to have:
A pass at National 5 History (A, B or C Grade)
A National 5 pass in another social subject (Modern Studies or Geography)
A Higher pass in another Social Subject

Course Outlines
The Higher History course compromises three units, which are varied and interesting. These are:

British History from 1850 to 1950
This topic examines what it was like to live in Britain 100 years ago. It will look at life of the working people of Britain. It will look at the key changes that took place in Britain during this period. The quest for greater democracy and the establishment of a fully democratic system will be assessed, in addition to the infamous Suffragette campaign spearheaded by Emmeline Pankhurst. We will also evaluate the success of the Liberal Social Reforms 1906-14. Finally, we will assess the impact of the Second World War and the Labour Reforms initiated by Clement Atlee 1945-51.

Germany 1815 to 1939
Find out about the events that led to the creation of the German Reich in 1871, before assessing the failure of the Weimar Republic and the factors which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and National Socialism. The topic will then examine, in great detail, life in Hitler’s Germany from 1933 and how the Nazis were able to maintain power through the creation of the Totalitarian state. This topic will also examine the steps taken by Hitler 1933-39 which led Europe to the brink of the Second World War, following Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

Scotland at the time of the First World War 1914-1918
With the centenary of the First World War taking place in 2017, what better time to discover about the origins and consequences of the Great War and the impact that is had on Scotland. This section is based on Source Handling and pupils will build on skills learnt during National 5.

As well as your three unit assessments you have to write two essays in the exam and answer three source based questions. You will also work on an externally assessed Assignment topic of your own choice, which counts as 30% of your final mark.

Studying Higher History will pass on to you many skills that will be useful at college/university and later in life. The ability to write well, the ability to sustain an argument and the ability to complete personal research are all key skills that you will learn.

You may want to go on to complete another Higher in a Social Subject. Higher History provides an excellent pathway into Higher Modern Studies and Sociology. Higher History is a recognised entry qualification to Arts/Social Science courses at Further Education and Higher Education, as well as for a wide range of careers. Many universities value Higher History as an excellent qualification; such is the emphasis on problem solving, essay writing and independent research.

Trips and Extra Curricular Activities
Within the Social Subjects Faculty there are a wide range of trips and extra-curricular activities offered.

Many years ago there was an army recruiting poster that said “Join the Army and see the World”. In many ways as a school we could re write this and say “Join Dumfries Academy and see the World”. For many years now, the Faculty of Social Subjects has offered pupils a wide range of trips and outdoor experiences.
These include day trips, weekend trips and longer foreign excursions. Included in the school programme are:
For S1 the Social Subjects day trip to the Lake District
For S1 the History weekend trip to St Andrews – 3 days in January
For S2 the Social Subjects day trip to Edinburgh
For S2 History weekend to the Battlefields of the First World War in Belgium and France (which will be linked into the coming commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the war)
Of course many of these S1 and S2 trips are linked into the curriculum studied, but of course also help cover the Health and Well Being agenda as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.

As they get older pupils get the opportunity to travel further afield.

The History Foreign trip began back in 1986 and has been running ever since. It has allowed pupils to travel all over the world. Pupils have visited: Paris, Berlin, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Moscow, St Petersburg, Greece, Spain, Italy, Prague, Poland, Barcelona, Rome, Krakow, Majorca and many other destinations.

In 2017 we are going to Barcelona for our biennial summer trip.

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