Facing History

As the pioneer school in Northern Ireland for the Facing History Project our involvement continues to find ways to develop and extend its potential through the creation of worldwide links. An American initiative, Facing History links work done in History on the Holocaust to other areas of persecution worldwide, such as Rwanda and Darfur and asks pupils to consider bystander participation and to face moral dilemmas. Essentially a Year 10 area of work in History, the project links into the programme of study in Year 10 Citizenship, where pupils study Democracy and the role of Government and to work done in Year 10 in Conflict Resolution through Religious Education. The Integrated Education Fund is enabling pupils in Year 10 to take forward the International context of work done through the Facing History project into a more local context and is bringing together pupils from our school and another Belfast school in discussion, workshops and residential work. Last year pupils in Year 11 were involved in small focal groups which have taken forward the discussions begun through Facing History in Year 10. Technological problems have prevented peer-peer links with participating schools in Boston and Cape Town, but the History teacher did manage a Skype link with Cape Town, with a more extensive discussion forum remaining a key objective for the future. Pupils’ ICT skills are developed through use of research and presentation skills incorporating sound.