First Year History Curriculum – Introduction
In Willow Park First Year, we aim to deliver a History programme which, in the spirit of the Junior Cert guidelines, ‘provides a wide range of educational experiences within a supportive and formative environment’.
We introduce our students to the work of the historian, and to the sources and techniques which historians use to find out about the past. We also provide our students with a ‘wide tapestry of past events, issues, people and ways of life through which they can come to perceive patterns such as cause and consequence, change and continuity. It is in the past that they will find the roots of the contemporary world’ (Junior Certificate Guidelines).
Our primary aim in the teaching of History in Willow Park
In Willow Park, we undertake ‘to encourage students to develop an interest and enthusiasm for history and a value of their heritage from the past’. (Junior Certificate Guidelines).
In striving to achieve this aim, we employ a variety of approaches in the teaching of history. We examine various types of historical sources, engage in historical narrative and analysis, and explore the primary themes and issues of the course material in varied and interesting ways.
We also adopt an ‘experiential’ approach to History in Willow Park and as such place great emphasis on the following:
1. History Tours
We organise guided tours to places such as:
– National Museum of Ireland
– The Passage Tombs of Newgrange and Knowth
– Natural History Museum
– Dublinia; Viking and Medieval Dublin
2. Student Presentation
Students design and deliver presentations (usually in Powerpoint format) on selected topics from the First Year Curriculum.
3. Local History Project
Students also undertake research projects relating to topics of local historical concern (for example, A History of the Founding Fathers of the school, The Spiritans). Such research is cross-curricular based where possible; to be studied, for example, in conjunction with Religion or Art.