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Brigid Murray
Adviser Environmeny & Society
02890 564054

Environment and Society - Subject Areas

This area includes the subject strands of geography and history and it contributes to learning in a number of related areas: local and global citizenship, education for sustainable development and human rights. The subjects within the Environment and Society area share a common interest in the world around us.

There is no shortage of important issues, on both a local and global scale, that demand our understanding and problem-solving abilities ranging from environmental challenges such as global warming to local social and economic issues. The subjects within this learning area address many contemporary issues that are relevant to the lives of young people and which they wish to learn about.

The challenge for us as educators in the 21st century is to equip young people with the skills necessary to take their place in society as competent, active participants and to encourage young people to become informed and active global citizens who can respond creatively to a changing environment.

There follows an outline of the nature of each subject area and the skills and competences developed through the study of that subject.


Geography is the study of the world around us, the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments.

Geography offers pupils opportunities to:

  • Develop a range of cognitive skills and key skills including numeracy, literacy, problem-solving, research
  • Engage in fieldwork and team-building activities
  • Acquire subject specific knowledge and specific skills e.g. map interpretation
  • Increase locational knowledge – where places are and how they are interconnected
  • Examine a range of case studies at local, national, European and global levels.

History is more than just learning about the past. In today’s classrooms, it is an exciting and dynamic subject that helps pupils understand the world in which they live. History equips them with the critical and creative thinking skills, the ability to solve problems and make decisions and the personal and interpersonal skills needed for life in the twenty-first century. History offers pupils opportunities to:

  • Learn about the past at local, national and global level
  • Develop a sense of chronology
  • Consider how the past influences the present and how they can influence the future
  • Appreciate the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society
  • Analyse and interpret evidence and reach their own conclusions
Local and Global Citizenship

Local and global citizenship is an exciting and innovative area that helps students not only understand the world in which they live, but challenges them to create the type of world they would like to live in. Citizenship equips students with critical and creative thinking skills, the ability to negotiate and investigate contemporary issues and provides opportunities for young people to explore the challenges and opportunities of the world they live in and to take positive action.

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