Introduction from the History Faculty
We are a high performing Faculty which has quality teaching at its heart. We are a collegial and innovative staff that is prepared to take risks in order to develop 21st Century programs which seek to enthuse our highly gifted students. Using the higher order thinking skills of Bloom’s taxonomy and strategies from Van Tassel Basca’s integrated curriculum model as a basis for our programming we challenge students to create and evaluate their own work and the work of others and thus engage them in the learning process.
We have suitably high expectations of our students and use assessment for learning strategies to help them improve their knowledge and understanding as ability groups and as individuals. We are keen to develop student voice and relationships with parents to further improve the education we provide. The knowledge and skills learned whilst doing History at High (whether it be to Year 9, Year 10 or to Year 12) will allow our students to become articulate, critical thinkers and understand the importance of their rights and responsibilities as Australian and global citizens.
Years 7 to 10 History
Year 7 History
Year 8 History
Students undertake a number of independent and group inquiries spanning three areas of study: Medieval Britain; Incas and Contact and Colonisation in Australia. The foundation work in History, established in Year 7, is continued in the Year 8 curriculum, with a focus on developing students skills in analysing and using historical sources. Both their formal assessments and ongoing classwork are designed to challenge and engage students across a variety of media, utilising the technological resources available within the school to create innovative presentations and displays. Students also have access to the wealth of quality online resources, such as those provided by both ABC and PBS. This also enables students to develop their independent research skills as they develop more sophisticated tools for information retrieval, and to be more critical consumers of online resources.
There is also a strong emphasis on developing students’ formal writing skills throughout the course, which is designed to maximise student achievement within the course, as well as to best prepare students for the rigours of senior humanities study. As well as modelled answers and a number of formative tasks, students work to develop their own questions and marking criteria, as well as deconstructing questions and responses from previous assessments. This has consistently proven to be an effective strategy, as seen through students improved performance in formal written tasks throughout the semester.
Year 9 History
Year 9 History at SBHS shows much evidence of a blended delivery approach and lessons have been adapted to utilise the lap tops in many creative ways: mind maps to develop understanding ; Moodle forums to help students answer short questions; Prezi to allow a more comprehensive presentation of student ideas; virtual museums to develop source work skills and recording through video to show consolidation of learning.
The more traditional skills of the historian have not been forgotten: source work, essay writing and independent research which we develop through a range of formative tasks throughout the year.
From 2012 the History Faculty was one of the first faculties in NSW to trial the draft National Curriculum. In order to do this successfully the History staff have taken the draft NSW syllabus and reorganised it thematically to suit more able students such as those at Sydney Boys High.
Unit 1: The Making of the Modern World: Industrialisation and Imperialism
In 2011 over half of Year 9 students chose to continue with their studies in History in either History Elective or as Accelerated Modern History students. This is clear evidence of the students appreciating and valuing the work done within the Faculty.
Year 10 Elective History
The first unit of work which spans the first term and a half is the History of Medicine. This starts with trepanning in prehistory and finishes with a discussion about ethical issues surrounding modern medical practices. During the course students investigate the people and events which caused change and continuity within medicine in Europe, Asia and Australia.
The second unit of work investigates in some detail the Rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party and the Nazi Holocaust. Students’ assessments in this unit are based around the concept of totalitarianism and a range of other acts of genocide which have taken place throughout the world.
Finally students undertake a unit of work entitled Hollywood and History with an emphasis on how Historical films are marketed and how accurately they portray historical events. The students are always thoroughly engaged in their final assessment which involves them creating the marketing material for a Historical film which they have created.
Over one third of the three Year 10 History Elective History students have opted to continue their studies in either HSC Ancient or Modern History or Studies of Religion.
Preliminary and HSC History
Subjects offered in the senior school are:
The Ancient History course is divided into the Preliminary and the HSC Courses. Below is the structure of both courses.
The historian’s primary skill is the ability to gather and interpret available evidence. Meaning is constructed by incorporating various perspectives to the historical picture. The ability to understand complexity is a sought after skill for the 21st century citizen. The history department is very committed to helping students become mature users of computers, the Internet and web 2.0 tools. The Staged 6 Modern History Syllabus offers students a range of learning opportunities to explore history.
The Modern History course is divided into the Preliminary and the HSC courses. Below is the structure of both courses and there are sample programs. These change from year to year depending on what students want to study and teacher’s interests. Please see Ms Powell (Head Teacher History) for further information on course content and structure.
Part I: Two Case Studies – 50%
As History Extension is not yet on the crowded official timetable students who choose this course will need to be mature, independent, committed, learners. To help them with a range of books and readings available in a portable form each student is issued on loan a Kindle loaded with useful texts.
Students are required to become Historians by conducting a research project on a topic of their choice. This is worth 40 marks out of 50 in the school assessment. The other 10 marks are from the Trial HSC.
The HSC examination is 2 hours long, for 2 questions: One question on historiography and the other on the historiography of a major case study. The current case study is Appeasement.
Studies of Religion
Studies of Religion emphasises the development of skills of analysis, independent research, collaboration and effective communication. These skills empower students to become critically reflective life-long learners.
Students will develop knowledge and understanding about: the nature of religion and belief systems in local and global contexts; the influence and expression of religion and belief systems in Australia; and religious traditions and their adherents. They will gain skills relating to: effective gathering, analysing and synthesising of information about religion; effective evaluation and application of findings from research about religion; and communication of complex information, ideas and issues in appropriate forms to different audiences and in different contexts. Students will value and appreciate: ethical and socially responsible behaviours which are brought about through empathy for, and acceptance of, religious diversity; and the fundamental rights of religious believers, rules and laws that promote fairness, justice and equality in society.
The Studies of Religion Subject is divided into the Preliminary and the HSC Courses. Below is the structure of both courses.
In Term 4 of Year 11, students wishing to study the 2 unit HSC course also complete the following three topics: Religions of Ancient Origin, Religious Tradition Study 3: Christianity, Religion in Australia pre - 1945.
The 1 unit Course:
The 2 unit Course contains all of the above, but with three additional areas of study: