Leaving Cert History: Surprise topic on the paper
THE Apprentice Boys of Derry was not a topic many Leaving Cert students expected to see on yesterday's higher-level history paper.
But although it was the least anticipated of all the case studies to appear this year, the questions proved fair and should not have been hugely challenging for students, according to Tony Forrestal of the Teachers' Union of Ireland and The Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co Donegal.
"Most students would have been expecting the Coleraine University controversy as opposed to the Apprentice Boys of Derry to come up, and seeing it on the paper would have taken their breath away for a minute or two, but once they got into it most students were ok," he added.
"In the personalities section a lot of key people came up such as Padraig Pearse, Countess Markievicz, TK Whitaker and Mary Robinson," said Mr Forrestal.
"Anyone who knew their key personalities well would have been very happy with what came up, and although some of the questions needed careful consideration, overall they were pretty fair," he said.
However according to a spokesman for the Institute of Education, the 'United States and the world' option presented more of a challenge as question one required an overarching view of US presidents over three decades.
"Most candidates chose the 'pursuit of sovereignty and the impact of partition' option as the questions focused exclusively on the political aspect of this option -- candidates would normally expect two perspectives to be examined," said the spokesman.
According to Mr Forrestal the ordinary paper was very "student friendly" this year, in keeping with last year's paper.
"All the case studies and the three different sections were very straightforward -- there was no part that should have proved hugely taxing for ordinary level students who had studied."