Miss A Kennedy (Curriculum Leader)

Mrs N Carruthers

Ms C Hohs

Mr A Maclaughland

History helps us understand change and how the society we live in came to be. The past causes the present, and so the future. At James Gillespie’s we aim to provide an experience that will engage young people and develop a life-long interest in the subject. We build on the pupils’ knowledge and understanding and develop the skills of enquiry and critical thinking which will help them at school and in their adult life. Employers and academic institutions place a high value on skills developed through the study of History.  In particular they are impressed by the ability of Historians to research, analyse and present information. Above all, History helps pupils to think logically and put forward reasoned arguments.

Our Courses

Broad General Education

The S1 – S3 course covers a wide-range of Experiences and Outcomes. Through differentiated teaching methods and a variety of resources, it is anticipated that pupils will finish S2 having achieved Third or Fourth level in People, Past Events and Societies.



  1. Introduction to history – using evidence, time, historical skills.
  2. Early People – Scotland’s first people, the Vikings
  3. The Wars of Independence



  1. Black Peoples of America – slave trade to civil rights.Civil Righst in USA
  2. The Assassination of President Kennedy – an investigation.



  1. The First World War 


This topic will cover Level 3 and 4 Experiences and Outcomes. Knowledge and skills will be developed to prepare for National 4 and 5 work and some aspects of these courses will begin.

National History


Entry requirements: All S2 pupils are welcome to take this course.

The understanding gained from this course applies to other issues and settings and provides a strong foundation for further study in sociology, history and politics. Learners develop skills in independent thinking, source analysis and evaluation, knowledge of historical events and drawing conclusions. The following course is offered at National 3, National 4 and National 5.


Britain Unit

  • Changing Britain (1760 – 1914)


European and World Unit

  • Hitler and the Rise of the Nazis (1919 – 1939)


Scottish Unit

  • Era of the Great War (1910 – 1928)

Higher History

Entry requirements:  a National 5 pass in a Social Subject or English

History at senior level offers excellent opportunities for pupils to learn the skills they will need at university and in the world of work: researching, discussing and debating, analysis, written and verbal communication of reasoned argument.


Britain Unit (Essay):

  • Britain (1850-1950)


European and World Unit (Essay):

  • Russia (1881-1921) OR Germany (1815 – 1939)


Scottish Unit (Sources):

  • Migration and Empire (1830-1939) OR Wars of Independence (1286 – 1328)

Advanced Higher History

Entry requirements:  Higher History


Students will be taught how to study on their own, developing research skills which will be important for use at University level. Particular emphasis will be laid on historiography. Assessment includes an end of course exams and a dissertation. At Advanced Higher level students develop these skills to levels they will use at university. In other words our course provides an excellent background for university study in any discipline.


South Africa: Race and Power, 1902 – 84:

  • A study of race and class conflict in an industrialising society and of international pressures on that society, focusing on the themes of ideology, authority, rights and resistance.

To access History course resources on SharePoint, click here.

Please note, this is only accessible to JGHS staff and students with their school log-in information.