Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Edmund Burke

Why Study History ?

Please read Letter from Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins

Please read Letter from An Taoiseach Micheál Martin

Introduction: How fortunate we are at Castleknock College to be situated on a site of such historical and archaeological significance: we have the remains of the Anglo-Norman castle, the hub of the extensive medieval Barony of Castleknock and the historic College buildings dating back to the 1830s. It is impossible not to feel a sense of history at Castleknock College. The vibrant and dynamic History Department aims to link the old to new, to impart knowledge and wisdom that enables students to forge a strong sense of identity and best prepare for the future.

Ethos: The study of history is concerned with gaining a clear understanding of the complexity of the human experience by analysing significant events and people of the past. The history student investigates the political, socio-economic and cultural factors that have influenced and shaped our world at local, national and international level.

Students of history develop an understanding of their own heritage as well as an appreciation of cultural diversity, multiple-perspectives, social attitudes, values and ideologies. In doing so, a lifelong love of learning is fostered.

Skills: The History Department at Castleknock College aims to develop the key skills of our students such as managing information and thinking, working with others, managing yourself, communicating, being creative and staying well. Skills specifically associated with the study of history are also emphasised: locating and analysing source material, synthesising key information from sources, evaluating source material, recognising bias and propaganda, presenting cogent, logical and clear analysis of a topic, contextualising information and recognising the multi-perspective dimension to controversial topics. Underpinning our teaching is an awareness of the importance of ‘The Four C’s’: Context, Cause, Course and Consequence(s). Each topic is studied through this framework.


  • Mr McGauley
  • Mr Hunt
  • Ms Coombes
  • Mr Smith
  • Mr Bordiss
  • Ms Hafford
  • Ms Canavan

Students: History is compulsory for all students at Castleknock College to Junior Certificate and in Fourth Year (TY). It is optional for Leaving Certificate where it has become a popular choice.

Tours: 2018 & 2019 trips included a 1st year trip to Newgrange, Monasterboice and Mellifont Abbey, a 2nd year trip to Wicklow Gaol, a 6th year trip to Derry and an international trip to Berlin for LC students.

ICT: The History Department have embraced technological advances and regularly use Microsoft Teams and online resources such as videos, catalogues and library materials. Interactive programs such as Quizlet and Kahoot are used to engage students and online research is encouraged and directed.

Useful websites: www.livingireland.ie / www.historyireland.com / www.theirishstory.com / www.theirishhistorypodcast.ie / www.nationalarchives.ie / www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/category/history / www.history.com

Careers: History offers versatility to students in later life with the following career options open to History graduates:

  • Law (Barrister, Solicitor, Judge)
  • Education (2nd and 3rd Level)
  • Media & Journalism (Newspaper and Broadcasting)
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Diplomatic Service
  • Military & Police
  • Research
  • Civil Service
  • Political life
  • Archaeology

Notable history graduates: Michael Palin (actor / writer), Louis Theroux (writer / broadcaster), Melvyn Bragg (writer / broadcaster), Sacha Baron Cohen (actor), Jonathan Ross (broadcaster), Jeremy Bowen (BBC journalist). Gordon Brown, Chris Patten, Douglas Hurd, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush.