History is alive all around us and gives us a window into the past that allows us to better understand the world we inhabit today. It is a fantastic story, full of important lessons: war, revolution, migration, the building of our modern economy, great political leaders and nation building to name but a few.

The study of History has changed (it is no longer simply about rmemorising names and dates), but its importance has not; it allows pupils to develop opinions and to interpret evidence to support their own conclusions. There is no right or wrong; only debate. It teaches pupils not only of past events and individuals, but also how to think for themselves.

We encourage our pupils to expand their knowledge but also to develop their critical thinking skills through the questioning of accepted explanations of events in the past.

In Modern Studies, pupils are also challenged to think about their place in the modern world through the study of domestic social issues as well as world issues.

Introduced to history as a separate subject from T2 onwards, pupils are able to pursue their studies at all certification levels from National 5 to Advanced Higher. Modern Studies is available at Higher level.

History - National 5

At National 5 level, pupils will develop skills in writing, such as analysing a range of historical sources through the study of three topics covering Scottish, British and International History.

Migration and Empire

 This unit focuses on the movement of people to and from Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, their reasons and the impact they had.

The Atlantic Slave Trade

 This unit investigates the nature and origins of the Atlantic slave trade, as well as examining the impact this had on Britain.

The Red Flag

 A focus on the causes and the consequences of the Russian Revolutions.

Civil Rights in the USA 1918-1968

 A study of the causes and consequences of racial tension in the USA and the development of the Civil Rights movement in response to this.


History - Higher

At Higher level, pupils will study three topics covering Scottish, British and European History. As well as furthering their source-handling skills, pupils will also develop the ability to write essays: an invaluable tool that greatly improves communication, as well as analytical skills.

Britain, 1851–1951

An evaluation of the reasons why Britain became more democratic, 1851–1928

An assessment of how democratic Britain became, 1867–1928

An evaluation of the reasons why women won greater political equality by 1928

An evaluation of the reasons why the Liberals introduced social welfare reforms 1906 –1914 and the effectiveness of these

An assessment of the effectiveness of the Labour social welfare reforms, 1945 – 1951

Appeasement and the Road to War 1918-1939

An evaluation of the reasons for the aggressive nature of the foreign policies of Germany and Italy in the 1930s

An evaluation of the reasons for the British policy of appeasement, 1936-1938

An assessment of the success of British foreign policy in containing Fascist aggression, 1935 to March 1938

An assessment of the Munich agreement

An evaluation of the reason for the outbreak of war in 1939

Migration and Empire

The migration of Scots

The experience of immigrants in Scotland

The impact of Scots emigrants on the empire

The effects of migration and empire on Scotland

History - Advanced Higher

The aims of the Advanced Higher History Course are to acquire depth in the knowledge and understanding of historical themes and to develop skills of analysing issues, developments and events, drawing conclusions and evaluating sources through the in-depth study of one historical event, in this case, the Spanish Civil War.

The course covers:

  • Spain in the 1920s
  • The fall of the Monarchy
  • The Second Republic
  • Azana’s Reforms
  • The ‘Bienio Negro’
  • The Military Uprising, 1936
  • The rise and leadership of Franco
  • The Civil War: The Spanish dimension
  • The Civil War: The international dimension
  • The consequences of the Civil War

Trying to bring history to life for our pupils is a kay aim for us as a department and where possible we achieve this through out of the classroom learning with regular trips for most year groups. Transitus pupils visit the Bannockburn centre and recreate the Battle of Bannockburn, often with surprising results! Our S2 pupils visit New Lanark and our pupils visit Liverpool and the International Slave Museum. We also run a biennial trip to the WW1 battlefields of Belgium and Northern France.

There is also a popular extra-curricular ‘History in the Movies’ club.

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To find out more about how we engender hard work and determination in our young people, come and visit us and meet our dedicated teaching staff and speak to our pupils.