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Year 7  

Year 7 Description

The ancient world The Year 7 curriculum provides a study of history from the time of the earliest human communities to the end of the ancient period, approximately 60 000 BC (BCE) – c.650 AD (CE). It was a period defined by the development of cultural practices and organised societies. The study of the ancient world includes the discoveries (the remains of the past and what

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The ancient world

The Year 7 curriculum provides a study of history from the time of the earliest human communities to the end of the ancient period, approximately 60 000 BC (BCE) – c.650 AD (CE). It was a period defined by the development of cultural practices and organised societies. The study of the ancient world includes the discoveries (the remains of the past and what we know) and the mysteries (what we do not know) about this period of history, in a range of societies in places including Australia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India and China.

The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.

The history content at this year level involves two strands: historical knowledge and understanding, and historical skills. These strands are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.

Key inquiry questions

A framework for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions through the use and interpretation of sources. The key inquiry questions for Year 7 are:

  • How do we know about the ancient past?
  • Why and where did the earliest societies develop?
  • What emerged as the defining characteristics of ancient societies?
  • What have been the legacies of ancient societies?

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The history of the Catholic Church is part of world history. Belonging to a tradition means we learn from the past in order to inform the future. One way of exploring a Catholic perspective is studying the history of the Catholic Church. The Archdiocesan Religious Education Curriculum, P-12, sub-strand Church History (Year 7 Church History in RE curriculum) provides a means to learn from the past about Church history. The time frames and topics are aligned to the Australian history curriculum. Consequently, no specific Catholic perspective descriptors have been added to the content descriptions in history.

Year 7 Content Descriptions

Overview of the ancient world

The following content is to be taught as part of an overview for the historical period. It is not intended to be taught in depth. Overview content identifies important features of the period, approximately 60 000 BC (BCE) – c.650 AD (CE), as part of an expansive chronology that helps students understand broad patterns of historical change. As such, the overview provides the broader context for the teaching of depth study content and can be built into various parts of a teaching and learning program. This means that overview content can be used to give students an introduction to the historical period; to make the links to and between the depth studies; and to consolidate understanding through a review of the period. Overview content for the ancient world (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, India, China and the Maya) includes the following:

Overview content for the ancient world (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, India, China and the Maya) includes the following:

  • the theory that people moved out of Africa around 60 000 BC (BCE) and migrated to other parts of the world, including Australia

  • thefor the emergence and establishment ofsocieties (including art, iconography, writing tools and pottery)

  • key features ofsocieties (farming, trade, social classes, religion, rule of law)

Depth studies
There are three depth studies for this historical period. For each depth study, there are up to three electives that focus on a particular society, event, movement or development. It is expected that ONE elective will be studied in detail. The content in each depth study elective is designed to allow detailed study of specific aspects of this historical period. As part of a teaching and learning program, depth study content can be integrated with the overview content and/or with other depth study electives.
  • 1 Investigating the ancient past
  • Students build on and consolidate their understanding of historical inquiry from previous years in depth, using a range of sources for the study of the ancient past.
    • How historians and archaeologists investigate history, including excavation and archival research

    • The range of sources that can be used in an historical investigation, including archaeological and written sources

    • Methods and sources used to investigate at least ONE historical controversy or mystery that has challenged historians or archaeologists, such as in the analysis of unidentified human remains

    • The nature of sources forAustralia and what they reveal about Australia’s past in theperiod, such as the use of resources

    • The importance of conserving the remains of thepast, including the heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

  • 2 The Mediterranean world
  • Students investigate ONE of these Mediterranean societies in depth: Egypt or Greece or Rome.
  • Egypt
    • Physical features ofEgypt (such as the River Nile) and how they influenced the civilisation that developed there

    • Roles of key groups inEgyptian society (such as the nobility, bureaucracy, women, slaves), including the influence of law and

    • Significant beliefs, values and practices of theEgyptians, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: everyday life, warfare, or death and funerary customs

    • Contacts and conflicts within and/or with other societies, resulting in developments such as the conquest of other lands, the expansion of trade, and peace treaties

    • The role of a significant individual inEgyptian history such as Hatshepsut or Ramses II

  • Greece
    • Physical features ofGreece (such as its mountainous landscape) and how they influenced the civilisation that developed there

    • Roles of key groups in Athenian and/or Spartan society (such as citizens, women, slaves), including the influence of law and

    • Significant beliefs, values and practices of theGreeks, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: everyday life, warfare, or death and funerary customs

    • Contacts and conflicts within and/or with other societies, resulting in developments such as the expansion of trade, colonisation and war (such as the Peloponnesian and Persian wars)

    • The role of a significant individual inGreek history such as Leonidas or Pericles

  • Rome
    • Physical features ofRome (such as the River Tiber) and how they influenced the civilisation that developed there

    • Roles of key groups inRoman society (such as patricians, plebeians, women, slaves), including the influence of law and

    • Significant beliefs, values and practices of theRomans, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: everyday life, warfare, or death and funerary customs

    • Contacts and conflicts within and/or with other societies, resulting in developments such as the expansion of trade, the rise of the Roman(including its material remains), and the spread of religious beliefs

    • The role of a significant individual inRome’s history such as Julius Caesar or Augustus

  • 3 The Asian world
  • Students investigate ONE of these Asian societies in depth: India or China
  • India
    • Physical features of India (such as fertile river plains) and how they influenced the civilisation that developed there

    • Roles of key groups in Indian society in this period (such as kings, emperors, priests, merchants, peasants), including the influence of law and

    • Significant beliefs, values and practices of Indian society, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: everyday life, warfare, or death and funerary customs

    • Contacts and conflicts within and/or with other societies, resulting in developments such as the expansion of trade, the rise of the Mauryan(including its material remains), and the spread of philosophies and beliefs

    • The role of a significant individual in Indian history such as Chandragupta Maurya or Ashoka

  • China
    • Physical features of China (such as the Yellow River) and how they influenced the civilisation that developed there

    • Roles of key groups in Chinese society in this period (such as kings, emperors, scholars, craftsmen, women), including the influence of law and

    • Significant beliefs, values and practices of Chinese society, with a particular emphasis on ONE of the following areas: everyday life, warfare, or death and funerary customs

    • Contacts and conflicts within and/or with other societies, resulting in developments such as the expansion of trade, the rise of Imperial China (including its material remains), and the spread of philosophies and beliefs

    • The role of a significant individual inChinese history such as Confucius or Qin Shi Huang

Historical Skills
Chronology, terms and concepts

Sequence historical events, developments and periods


Use historical terms and concepts

Historical questions and research

Identify a range of questions about the past to inform a


Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods

Analysis and use of sources

Identify the origin and purpose of primary and


Locate, compare, select and use information from a range of sources as


Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources

Perspectives and interpretations

Identify and describe points of view, attitudes and values in primary and

Explanation and communication

Develop texts, particularly descriptions and explanations that usefrom a range of sources that are acknowledged


Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies

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Year 7 Achievement Standard

By the end of Year 7, students suggest reasons for change and continuity over time. They describe the effects of change on societies, individuals and groups. They describe events and developments from the perspective of different people who lived at the time. Students explain the role of groups and the significance of particular individuals in society. They identify past events and developments that have been interpreted in different ways.

Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, using dating conventions to represent and measure time. When researching, students develop questions to frame a historical inquiry. They identify and select a range of sources and locate, compare and use information to answer inquiry questions. They examine sources to explain points of view. When interpreting sources, they identify their origin and purpose. Students develop texts, particularly descriptions and explanations. In developing these texts and organising and presenting their findings, they use historical terms and concepts, incorporate relevant sources, and acknowledge their sources of information.

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Year 7 Work Sample Portfolios

 

Year 8  

Year 8 Description

The ancient to the modern world The Year 8 curriculum provides a study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650– 1750 AD (CE). This was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period wh

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The ancient to the modern world

The Year 8 curriculum provides a study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650– 1750 AD (CE). This was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period when the modern world began to take shape.

The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.

The history content at this year level involves two strands: historical knowledge and understanding, and historical skills. These strands are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.

Key inquiry questions

A framework for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions through the use and interpretation of sources. The key inquiry questions for Year 8 are:

  • How did societies change from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern age?
  • What key beliefs and values emerged and how did they influence societies?
  • What were the causes and effects of contact between societies in this period?
  • Which significant people, groups and ideas from this period have influenced the world today?

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The history of the Catholic Church is part of world history. Belonging to a tradition means we learn from the past in order to inform the future. One way of exploring a Catholic perspective is studying the history of the Catholic Church. The Archdiocesan Religious Education Curriculum, P-12, sub-strand Church History (Year 8 Church History in RE curriculum) provides a means to learn from the past about Church history. The time frames and topics are aligned to the Australian history curriculum. Consequently, no specific Catholic perspective descriptors have been added to the content descriptions in history.

Year 8 Content Descriptions

Overview of the ancient to modern world

The following content is taught as part of an overview for the historical period. It is not intended to be taught in depth. Overview content identifies important features of the period, c.650 AD (CE) – 1750, as part of an expansive chronology that helps students understand broad patterns of historical change. As such, the overview provides the broader context for the teaching of depth study content and can be built into various parts of a teaching and learning program. This means that overview content can be used to give students an introduction to the historical period; to make the links to and between the depth studies; and to consolidate understanding through a review of the period. Overview content for the ancient to modern world (Byzantine, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Ottoman, Khmer, Mongols, Yuan and Ming dynasties, Aztec, Inca) includes the following:

Overview content for the ancient to modern world (Byzantine, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Ottoman, Khmer, Mongols, Yuan and Ming dynasties, Aztec, Inca) includes the following:

  • the transformation of the Roman world and the spread of Christianity and Islam

  • key features of theworld (feudalism, trade routes, voyages of discovery, contact and conflict)

  • the emergence of ideas about the world and the place of people in it by the end of the period (such as the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment)

Depth studies
There are three depth studies for this historical period. For each depth study, there are up to four electives that focus on a particular society, event, movement or development. It is expected that ONE elective will be studied in detail. The content in each depth study elective is designed to allow detailed study of specific aspects of this historical period. As part of a teaching and learning program, depth study content can be integrated with the overview content and/or with other depth study electives.
  • 1 The Western and Islamic world
  • Students investigate ONE of these societies/empires from the Western or Islamic world in depth: the Vikings or Medieval Europe or the Ottoman Empire or Renaissance Italy.
  • The Ottoman Empire (c.1299 – c.1683)
    • The way of life in the Ottoman(social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society

    • Significant developments and/or cultural achievements that reflect the power and influence of the Ottoman Empire, such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453(CE), art and architecture

    • Relationships with subject peoples, including the policy of religious tolerance

    • The role of significant individuals such as Selim I or Suleiman the Magnificent in maintaining the strength and influence of the Ottoman

  • Renaissance Italy (c.1400 – c.1600)
    • The way of life in Renaissance Italy (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society

    • Significant developments and/or cultural achievements that reflect the concentration of wealth and power in the city-states, such as art and learning

    • Relationships between rulers and ruled in ONE Italian city-state such as Florence or Naples

    • The role and achievements of significant individuals such as Lucrezia Borgia, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli

    • The spread of Renaissanceto the rest of Europe, and its legacy

  • The Vikings (c.790 – c.1066)
    • The way of life in Viking society (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society

    • Significant developments and/or cultural achievements that led to Viking expansion, including weapons and shipbuilding, and the extent of their trade

    • Viking conquests and relationships with subject peoples, including the perspectives of monks, changes in the way of life of the English, and the Norman invasion

    • The role of a significant individual in the expansion of Viking settlement and influence, such as Erik the Red or Leif Ericson

  • Medieval Europe (c.590 – c.1500)
    • The way of life inEurope (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society

    • Significant developments and/or cultural achievements, such as changing relations between Islam and the West (including the Crusades), architecture,manuscripts and music

    • in society in ONE of the following areas: crime and punishment; military and defence systems; towns, cities and commerce

    • Dominance of the Catholic Church and the role of significant individuals such as Charlemagne

  • 2 The Asia-Pacific world
  • Students investigate ONE of these Asia-Pacific societies in depth: the Angkor/Khmer Empire or Shogunate Japan or the Polynesian expansion across the Pacific. N.B. Where appropriate, this depth study may include some reference beyond the end of the period c.1750.
  • Angkor/Khmer Empire (c.802 – c.1431)
    • The way of life in the Khmer Empire, including, social, cultural, economic and political features (including the role of the king )

    • Reasons for Angkor’s rise to prominence, including wealth from trade and agriculture

    • Cultural achievements of the Khmer civilisation, including its system of water management and the building of the temples of Angkor

    • Theories of the decline of Angkor, such as the overuse of water resources, neglect of public works as a result of ongoing war, and the effects of climate change

  • Japan under the Shoguns’ (c.794 – 1867)
    • The way of life in shogunate Japan, including social, cultural, economic and political features (including the feudal system and the increasing power of the shogun)

    • The role of the Tokugawa Shogunate in reimposing a feudal system (based on daimyo and samurai) and the increasing control of the Shogun over foreign trade

    • The use of environmental resources in Shogunate Japan and the forestry and land use policies of the Tokugawa Shogunate

    • Theories about the decline of the Shogunate, including modernisation and westernisation, through the adoption of Western arms and technology

  • The Polynesian expansion across the Pacific (c.700 – 1756)
    • Theories about the origin and spread of Polynesian settlers throughout the Pacific

    • The way of life in ONE Polynesian society, including social, cultural, economic and political features, such as the role of the ariki in Maori and in Rapa Nui society (Easter Island)

    • Cultural achievements of ONE Polynesian society, such as the Ta moko and hangi in Maori society OR the moai constructed on Easter Island

    • The way Polynesian societies used environmental resources (sustainably and unsustainably), including the extinction of the moa in New Zealand, the use of religious/supernatural threats to conserve resources, and the exploitation of Easter Island’s palm trees

  • 3 Expanding contacts
  • Students investigate ONE of the following historical developments in depth to explore the interaction of societies in this period: the Mongol expansion or the Black Death in Africa, Asia and Europe or the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and Incas.
  • Mongol expansion (c.1206 – c.1368)
    • The nomadic lifestyle of the Mongols and the rise of Temujin (Genghis Khan)