Department of History and Modern Studies

The Department of History and Modern Studies promotes interest in the modern world and in the people and events which have shaped that world. Through a wide range of courses, we hope to encourage a questioning approach in learning and to develop skills in reading, in extended writing, and in interpreting and evaluating evidence to reach informed conclusions.

The study of History and Modern Studies encourages independence in thought and action, based on the development of informed attitudes about historical and contemporary issues.

Lower School

In Remove (P7, Yr7), students build on their experience in Junior School and are introduced to historical sources as a basis for developing their skills in using evidence and in extended writing in Lower 4 (S1, Yr8). They also take three short blocks of Modern Studies.

Upper School

In Upper 4 (S2, Yr9), students build on the work done in Lower School, focussing on developing the skills that they will need for studying History at GCSE level and beyond.  In Lower 5 (S3, Yr10) - Upper 5 (S4, Yr11), students may then elect to study History at GCSE level. The study of History in Upper 4 also equips them to elect to take a course in Sociology at GCSE level.

Sixth Form

Students can progress in Lower 6 (S5, Yr12) - Upper 6 (S6, Yr13) to take SQA Higher and Advanced Higher Levels in History and in Modern Studies.


Find out more about the History curriculum


We believe in broadening our students' experiences beyond the classroom and to that end offer a range of local trips to places such as Inchcolm Island and Linlithgow Palace. We also arrange international visits on a regular basis, including biennial visits to the battlefields of the Western Front in the First World War, and as far afield as Russia. We also have many contacts in the world of politics whose support of our older students in their studies is of great value.

Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills by becoming involved in activities such as the Model United Nations.

Teaching Staff

The department has four full time members of staff, all teaching classes across the academic disciplines of History, Sociology and Modern Studies, at all levels from Remove (P7, Yr7) to Upper 6  (S6, Yr13).

Eleanor Patrick

MA (Hons) History
MEd Education

Gill Akhtar

MA (Hons) History
MSc Music

Annessa Ashkanani

MA (Hons) Sociology

Iain Maciver

MA (Hons) History
MSc (By Res.) History
PhD History

All our teachers are registered with the GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) and they all hold a post graduate teaching qualification (usually PGCE or PGDE) if their degree is not in education.