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The History Department has an excellent record of academic success and is a very successful and popular department with large number of pupils choosing to do the subject at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.


About Our History Department

The main aim of the department is to encourage an interest in the past, in an enjoyable manner. We seek to develop pupils’ understanding of the factors that have shaped the world in which they live, as well as to foster an interest in history both inside and outside the department. Pupils are encouraged to think critically and work independently in order that they may become increasingly responsible for their own learning. Historical skills such as identifying and locating different sources of evidence, interpreting and evaluating evidence and making informed judgements and devising explanations based on evidence are progressively developed within the department.

The staff employ a wide variety of teaching methods, including direct teaching, ICT, pair and group work, role-play, structured investigations (with group and individual research), argument and debate; and seminars with senior pupils. Through using varied learning and teaching strategies the aim is to help pupils become engaged, historically well-informed citizens. The study of history is central to the development of the transferable skills identified in the Curriculum for Excellence such as critical thinking.

In Transitus pupils study: ‘What is History?’, the Scottish Wars of Independence and castles, including a visit to Bothwell castle. In S1 pupils do Medieval Life in Scotland and Europe and Scotland and Europe in the Times of Renaissance and Discovery. In S2 pupils study World War One and the Holocaust, as well as a unit on the Morality of War. 

The department runs a popular Modelling Club for Junior pupils, creating 3D representations of historical events.


Mr Chris Mackay (Head of Department)
Mrs Gemma Lindsay
Dr Helen Ross
Miss Nicola Sutherland

Find out more about our Book of Remembrance by clicking here.

Curriculum Information

In S3 and S4 pupils study three topics:

1. The Atlantic Slave Trade, 1770-1807

This unit looks at the organisation of the slave trade and its effects on Britain, the experience of the slaves and slave resistance, as well as the successful campaign to abolish the slave trade.

2.    Migration and Empire, 1830-1939

Migration has, and continues to have, a huge impact on Scotland. This unit studies the causes and results of Irish and European immigration to Scotland, the reasons for Scots emigration and the enormous effect Scots had on the places they moved to abroad.

3.    Red Flag: Lenin and the Russian Revolution, 1894-1921

A study of one of the great turning points of the 20th century – the collapse of imperial rule in Russia and the establishment of Communist government. This unit looks at Russia’s government and people 1894-1917, the effects of World War 1 on Russia, plus the causes, events and effects of the revolutions of 1917.

Pupils also have the chance to go on a trip to the First World War battlefields in France and Belgium.

Course Content:

1.    Britain 1851-1951

  • The development of Britain into a democracy
  • The increasing role of the state in the welfare of its citizens, including the Liberal reforms 1906-1914 and the creation of the welfare state
  • The reasons why Britain became more democratic, including votes for women and women’s rights

2.    The Cold War 1945-1989

  • The reasons for the Cold War
  • The effectiveness of Soviet control of eastern Europe
  • The Cuban missile Crisis
  • The Vietnam War
  • The reasons for the end of the Cold War

3.    The Impact of the Great War on Scotland, 1914-1928

  • The Scots on the Western Front
  • The impact of the war on society and culture at home; the impact of the war on industry and the economy; the impact on politics and Scottish identity

Pupils will do an in-depth study of:

Germany: Versailles to the Outbreak of the Second World War

Topics include: the German Revolution of 1919; Germany’s economic and social problems after the Great War; the collapse of the Weimar Republic, including the rise of Nazism and the Nazi take-over of power; the Nazi consolidation of power in Germany, Nazi economic policy, Nazi race and social policies.

The department runs a trip to Berlin as part of this course.

  • First World War battlefields in France and Belgium
  • Advanced Higher Trip to Berlin