To know where we are going, we need to understand our where we have come from. Our comprehensive junior cycle history programme thursts the students into the arena of times past and gives them an appreciation of how we got to where we are today. An outline of the content covered in the junior cycle history curriculum is given below.
History I : The Ancient World
Modern society is shaped and formed by many of the events and systems which emerged in the Ancient World. Even today, the Ancient World influences our customs, laws, and forms of government in innumerable ways. It shapes the form and function of the buildings we live in, the writing we use to communicate on a day-to-day basis and the governments and institutions of western society. These civilisations and the questions they confronted remain as relevant today and teach us a great deal about our own culture. In the Irish context, an understanding of our Celtic and pagan forefathers provides a unique insight into the world and civilisation into which St. Patrick brought the Christian faith. Ancient history not only provides insight into human nature, but also provides a proper context for the most important event in history, the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
History III : The Renaissance World
The sixteenth to eighteenth century presents a pivotal period in Irish and world history which provides a fundamental understanding of our nation’s past. In this age, students meet and understand the pivotal figures of Anglo-Irish history such as the Hugh O’Neill, Queen Elizabeth I, Sarsfield, and Cromwell; figures who shaped and formed the history of subsequent centuries. The Renaissance and early Modern period continue the transformation and development of Western culture in Europe and help us to understand our own world and culture today. We also encounter the foundations of the modern nation-state and the political structures that we may take for granted as well as the religious ideas that still profoundly impact us today
History II : The Christian World
The early Christian era and Middle Ages are an organic continuation from the history of the Ancient World. This year’s programme will allow students to deepen their understanding not merely of the period studied but the fascinating periods which follow. This era was pivotal in the history of Ireland when its monks rekindled the flames of learning throughout Europe. By studying the peoples and cultures that shaped Ireland’s past, this year’s programme provides the tools to properly interpret and understand the subsequent centuries of our nation’s history. Students will discover that the historical events and people of the Middle Ages have much to teach us about how to live and flourish in our own contemporary society.
History IV : The Modern World
An understanding of modern history is a minimum requirement to make sense of the world around us. In the Irish and European context, the exit of Britain from the EU placed a new focus on the enduring consequences of Ireland’s troubled twentieth century. The Modern History programme places the last two centuries in the context of what has gone before. It is a period where often stark distinctions emerge between good and evil. Yet, it is only by in-depth study of these events and personalities from the past that we can we hope to assimilate the good and reject the evil in our Modern World.