A Busy Year for the History & Politics Department

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Year 8 Visit to Carrickfergus Castle

Our annual Year 8 sojourn to Carrickfergus Castle took place in June.  This fabulous medieval castle offered a hands-on learning experience about Norman history and medieval life. Our tour guides provided an excellent insight into the feudal system, the construction of castles and the life and times of John de Courcy.   Each class set enjoyed the experience of seeing the various tiers of the feudal system illustrated by their peers donning “status appropriate” costumes provided by the castle’s education guides. Peasants, knights, barons and even royalty…we saw them all!

This visit reinforced much of our classroom-based learning about the Normans and was thoroughly enjoyed by all Year 8’s.  Miriam from 8Y commented ‘This was a great day out and all of 8Y would like to thank Myles our brilliant tour guide.’

Year 9 Plantation Outreach Event

In February, Year 9 historians participated in a Plantation Outreach Event.  This event provides a unique opportunity to delve further into the history of the Ulster Plantation. Held in collaboration with local historians and cultural organisations, this event included workshops, reenactments, and discussions about the significant social, economic, and political impacts of the plantation period. The Year 9’s enjoyed the opportunity to get to grips with one of the more complex areas of 17th century history and we look forward to welcoming them back next year.

Year 10 Somme Centre Visit

In Year 10 pupils study World War 1 (WW1) in great depth.  Our Year 10 students visited the Somme Heritage Centre in October, a poignant and educational trip that brings the history of WW1 to life. The Centre’s exhibitions, artefacts, and personal stories provided a powerful narrative of the experiences of soldiers and civilians during the Great War. Students were particularly moved by the stories of local soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Somme, enhancing their understanding of the war’s profound impact on our community and the world. Alex from 10W commented ‘We had a really interesting time at the Somme Centre and would like to thank our tour guides who brought this important historical period to life for us.’

Year 10 Entwined Futures Gifted and Talented Programme

Collaborating with the Entwined Histories Project since 2012, our Gifted and Talented Year 10’s once again participated in the prestigious Entwined Futures Programme. This year the theme was ‘Citizenship, Identity and Sovereignty.’  Through a series of events taking place across the country including a residential trip, students explored complex political themes and historical events, developing their critical thinking and analytical skills. The programme culminated in a presentation evening where students showcased their research and celebrated the end of a job well done. Nadin from 10U commented ‘We learnt a lot and developed our teamwork and creativity skills.  It was fun to meet so many new people and everyone was so nice – I would recommend this programme to anyone.’

Year 13 Trip to Stormont

In February our Year 13 Politics students had the opportunity to visit Stormont, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly. This visit provided a unique insight into the workings of regional government. Students attended a live session in the Assembly Chamber, met with local politicians, and participated in a Q&A session that covered current political issues and the legislative process. This experience was invaluable for students, offering a real-world perspective on the political structures and functions that they study at AS Level.

Future Plans

Just before the end of the summer term, we have 30 students and four staff taking part in an exciting tour of the WW1 battlefields. Based in Ypres, the group will explore some of the most iconic sites relating to WW1 and our local connections to this tragic period of history.

The WHS History and Politics Department remains committed to providing enriching experiences that bring history and politics to life. These trips and programmes are integral to our curriculum, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of historical events and political processes among our students. We look forward to continuing to offer a range of engaging educational opportunities in the future that provide our students with lifelong memories and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world we live in today.

Last modified: June 26, 2024