“Historians do not perform heart transplants, improve highway design, or arrest criminals. In a society that quite correctly expects education to serve useful purposes, the functions of History can seem more difficult to define than those of engineering or medicine. History is in fact very useful, actually indispensable, but the products of historical study are less tangible, sometimes less immediate, than those that stem from some other disciplines.” Peter N. Stearns

Mission Statement
The Department of History of St Mary’s DSG aims to expose learners to world history through a mixed and varied syllabus and in so doing, to raise awareness of recurring patterns and themes within the sweep of history. We hope to achieve this through promoting habits of analysis, debating and critical thinking amongst the learners. We do this in order to bring the learners to a point where they can see the past as a building block for the future, appreciate current affairs and their causes, and prepare themselves for an active role in the world after school.

Why study History?
A study of History builds the capacity of people to make informed choices in order to contribute constructively to society and to advance democracy. History, as a vehicle of personal empowerment, engenders in learners an understanding of human agency, which brings with it the knowledge that, as human beings, they have choices, and that they can make the choice to change the world for the better.
A rigorous process of historical enquiry:
• encourages and assists constructive debate through careful evaluation of a broad range of evidence and diverse points of view;
• provides a critical understanding of socio-economic systems in their historical perspective and their impact on people;
• supports the view that historical truth consists of a multiplicity of voices expressing varying and often contradictory versions of the same history;
• History is an excellent preparation for the world of work. Society values people who are:
• open-minded
• good at problem-solving
• able to pick out the essential from the trivial
• independent thinkers.
Career Paths and Opportunities
The History Department believes that History offers a preparation for careers in the legal profession, political science, social sciences,  journalism, teaching and lecturing — and in fact, in any career where an appreciation of the past, and empathy with world problems and an ability to think clearly and concisely, would be valued. It is our greatest wish that learners of all ages enjoy their studies in the department.

Curriculum Outlines
Grade 10
• The world around 1600
• Expansion and conquest during the 15th – 18th centuries
• Transformation of Southern Africa after 1750
• Colonial expansion after 1750
• South African War and Union

Grade 11
• Communism in Russia 1900 – 1940
• Capitalism and the USA 1900 – 1940
• Ideas of race in the late 19th and 20th centuries
• Nationalism: South Africa, Middle East and Africa
• Apartheid in SA 1940s – 1960s
Grade 12
• The Cold War
• Independent Africa
• Civil society protests 1950s – 1990s
• Civil resistance 1970s – 1980s in SA
• Coming of democracy in SA
• End of the Cold War and new global order
Homework, Assignments and Projects
Homework is set so that you may:
• Study for a test
• Research a given topic
• Present a project: written, spoken or enacted.
Assignments offer you the opportunity to:
• Apply basic knowledge
• Explore topics of interest
• Extend your skills of application or presentation
Projects (Group or Individual)
• Provide an in-depth study of a specific area of the syllabus, linked to Outcomes Based Education requirements.
Assessment and Examinations
Grade 10 – 12
Paper 1:
Section A: Single Source Analysis (3 x 20) 60 marks

Three questions will be set across at least two of the set themes. Each question will focus on an analysis of a single source. The format of these three questions will take the following form:

- one will be a visual analysis
- one will require a textual analysis
- one will link a theme to a current issue in the media. This will require the candidates to make links between events and issues from the past with   the present.

The questions will require broad historical understanding, but will also focus on specific historical skills, such as analysis, evaluation of written and visual sources, and engaging with issues of reliability and usefulness.

Candidates will be required to do all three questions.

Section B: Source-Based Questions 90 marks
There will be one set of questions based on a range of different sources from one or more of the three prescribed themes.

Section C: Source-Based Essay 50 marks
The source-based essay will develop from the source-based questions in Section B.

Section A: Discursive Essay 70 marks

Three questions will be set, one on each of the three prescribed themes. Candidates will be required to answer one question. The discursive essay should be approximately 800-900 words in length.

A discursive essay question targets higher order cognitive skills and learners will respond according to their abilities.

Section B: Extended Writing 30 marks
Three questions will be set, one on each of the three prescribed themes.
Candidates will be required to answer any one question. The extended writing should be approximately 350-400 words in length.
Excursions / Items of Interest
Historical Movies
We use historical movies in class as enhancement to the understanding of themes, for example: The Mission, Mississippi Burning, Rabbit Proof Fences, Platoon, Red Dust

We host annual History Evenings. These are evenings where the students showcase their best work to parents and invited guests.
We participate in the Pretoria Inter-Cluster History Speech Competition as well as the Young Historian Competition. 
Our Patron is Dr Alan Kirkaldy from Rhodes University. He guides us to keep our work relevant and focused on what lies ahead for our girls planning on furthering their studies.
Grade 10 students make a music video using protest songs or other relevant music with historical importance.

Date: Monday, 23 May 2016 14:18