Skip to main content

History

Introduction – why study History?

History aims to stimulate an interest in and an enthusiasm for learning about the past. We want to ensure that students’ knowledge of contemporary society is grounded in an understanding of the past. In History, students read a range of source material, learning to interpret information with discrimination and insight.

Students develop their communication skills, learning to express themselves effectively for different purposes. Key historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference, as well as investigation, analysis and evaluation of source material, are developed.

History provides a broad foundation of knowledge and skills for a wide range of university courses and careers. History students become skilled at:

  1. Analysing large amounts of information, extracting the most relevant information, prioritising, assessing and constructing arguments. These skills are essential in careers such as lawadministrationpolitics and governmentTV research and journalism.
  2. Enquiring and searching for information, knowing where to look and what questions to ask. These skills are essential in careers such as law and policinginvestigative reportingmarket research.
  3. Communicating ideas in an organised, structured and logical fashion. History requires extended, logical, reasoned debate in writing. These skills are essential in careers that require writing reports, including academia, the civil servicelaw, and journalism.
  4. Understanding individuals and groups – their feelings, attitudes, prejudices and motivations. These skills are essential in careers such as personnellawteaching, and social work.
  5. Understanding historical skills such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, which are essential in any career that requires analysis and strategy, such as the armed forcesteachingadvertising, medicine, banking and accountancy.
  6. Developing skills of problem solving and evaluating solutions. The study of History teaches information handling, communicating ideas, flexibility and tolerance – skills that are essential in problem solving in industry and in research and development teams in science and engineering.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Pre-requisites: There are no pre-requisites for Form 5 Pre-Q History. Students will have completed the first half of the Pre-Q History course in Form 4.

Course description/aims:

  • Stimulate interest in and enthusiasm for learning about the past
  • Promote the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of individuals, people and the key features of societies in the past
  • Ensure that the learners’ knowledge is rooted in an under standing of chronology, and the nature, uses and limitations of historical evidence
  • Promote an understanding of key historical concepts: cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, significance
  • Promote an understanding of key historical relationships: past and present, specific and general, patterns and trend
  • Promote an understanding of different perspectives of people in the past, and historians’ different interpretations of evidence about the past
  • Provide a sound basis for further study and the pursuit of personal interest
  • Encourage international understanding
  • Encourage the development of historical skills, including investigation, analysis, evaluation and communication skills

Course outline:

International Relations, 1939-c.2000: Survey Study

  • Why did the Allies win World War Two?
  • How far was Stalin to blame for starting and spreading the Cold War?
  • “The closest the world has come to nuclear holocaust”: How effective was the USA’s policy of containment?
  • How did the USSR maintain control over Eastern Europe?
  • How far was Mikhail Gorbachev responsible for the end of the Cold War?

New Zealand, 1939-c.2000: Survey Study

  • Did NZ gain independence from one empire, only to join another?
  • Why did NZ reject the protection of the “nuclear umbrella”?
  • Why was NZ’s economic prosperity damaged after WW2?
  • How far did NZ society become fairer after WW2?
  • Who was the most significant New Zealander of the 20th Century?

New Zealand Depth Study: Bastion Point

  • How did the NZ government gain control over Orakei?
  • “Just another stunt”: Why did Ngati Whatua members occupy Bastion Point in 1977-78?
  • How did the NZ government justify its actions at Bastion Point in 1977-78?
  • What was the significance of the protests at Bastion Point?

Methods of assessment: School Examinations:

  • 1 x 1 hour examination
  • 1 x 2 hour examination
  • 1 x 3 hour examination (Pre-Q)
  • Students may complete one NCEA Level 2 Achievement Standard worth four credits.

Assessment objectives:

  • Recall, select, organise, and deploy knowledge of syllabus content
  • Construct historical explanations using an understanding of:
    • a) Cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, significance
    • b) The perspectives (motives, emotions, intentions and beliefs) of people in the past
    • c) Historians’ interpretations of events in the past
  • Understand, interpret, evaluate and use a range of sources as evidence, in their historical context.

Continuation of subject: Students will be able to opt for an AS Level or an NCEA Level 2 course in Form 6.

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Pre-requisites: It is an advantage to have studied History in Form 5, but not essential.

Course description/aims: This course gives students an understanding of some of the major forces and events that have shaped the western world today. Topics have been selected for their interest and importance.

Students taking this course will:

  • Become familiar with important historical terms and ideas
  • Deepen their critical understanding of issues important to our nation
  • Increase their knowledge of human behaviour, and their under- standing of different lifestyles and viewpoints
  • Observe how individuals and forces can influence the course of events
  • Develop skills that will assist in further education and that will be useful in life beyond School
  • Develop historical research skills and the ability to communicate that research using different formats

While Form 6 History is a natural extension of the work done in Form 5 History, the course is a ‘stand-alone’, one-year programme which does not presuppose a study of History in other years.

Course outline: Topics to be studied will be selected from the following:

  • Why did the Industrial Revolution happen in Britain?
  • What were the effects of the Industrial Revolution?
  • What were the reasons for and effects of the Scramble for Africa?
  • What were the reasons for and effects of imperialism in New Zealand?
  • What were the reasons for and effects of New Zealand’s involvement in World War I?
  • What were the reasons for the rise in popularity of the Nazi Party in Germany?
  • What were the effects of the Nazis gaining power in Germany in 1933?
  • What were the reasons and effects for American involvement in Vietnam?

Methods of assessment:

  • 2.2 – Examine an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders [Internal]
  • 2.3 – Examine sources of an historical event of significance to New Zealanders [External]
  • 2.4 – Interpret different perspectives of people in an historical event of significance to New Zealanders [Internal]
  • 2.5 – Examine causes and consequences of a significant historical event [External]
  • 2.6 – Examine how a significant historical event affected New Zealand society [External]

Continuation of subject: Courses are offered at Form 7 level. Students who do not opt for Form 6 History, particularly motivated students who have achieved sound marks in English, can successfully pick up History in Form 7.

Form 6 and 7 (AS):

Pre-requisites: For Cambridge AS, it is an advantage to have studied History in Form 5. However, motivated students who have achieved sound marks in English can successfully pick up History as a Cambridge AS subject in Form 6. Furthermore, AS History can be picked up by motivated Form 7 students who have not studied History before.

Course description/aims: The Cambridge AS History syllabus aims to develop:

  • An interest in the past and an appreciation of human endeavour
  • A greater knowledge and understanding of historical periods or themes
  • A greater awareness of historical concepts such as cause and effect, similarity and difference, and change and continuity
  • An appreciation of the nature and diversity of historical sources available, and the methods used by historians
  • An exploration of a variety of approaches to different aspects of history and different interpretations of particular historical issues
  • The ability to think independently and make informed judgements on issues
  • An empathy with people living in different places and at different times
  • A firm foundation for further study of History.

Course outline: Topic to be studied will be selected from the following options:

  • Modern Europe, 1750–1921
  • The history of the USA, 1820–1941
  • International history, 1870–1945

Assessment objectives: Candidates will be expected to:

  • Recall, select and deploy historical knowledge appropriately and effectively
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the past through explanation, analysis and a substantiated judgement of key concepts: causation, consequence, continuity, change and significance within an historical context, the relationships between key features and characteristics of the periods studied
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a range of appropriate source material
  • Analyse and evaluate how aspects of the past have been interpreted and represented.

Methods of assessment: Students will sit two examinations:

  • Paper 1: 1.25-hour examination: 40% of Cambridge AS History. Source-based questions on a topic selected from a depth study. The examination will test Assessment Objectives 1 and 3 (see above).
  • Paper 2: 1.75-hour examination: 60% of Cambridge AS History. Essay questions on course content. The examination will test assessment objective course content. The examination will test Assessment Objectives 1 and 2

Note: There is no internally-assessed course work in the Cambridge syllabus.

Continuation of subject: A full A Level History course is available, or students may opt to undertake other AS Level courses in Form 7.

Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):

Pre-requisites: It is an advantage to have studied History in Form 5 and/or Form 6. However, motivated students who have achieved sound marks in English can successfully pick up History as a new subject in Form 7.

Course description/aims: The Form 7 History course recognises the growing maturity of students and requires them to explore issues with more historical insight than at earlier levels. The course:

  • Will deal with more demanding historical problems
  • Requires students to develop more extended, informed and convincing arguments
  • Offers students the opportunity to work with source materials and to acquire an understanding of the historian’s craft
  • Demands a higher level of reading, writing, thinking, knowledge and understanding than at Forms 5 and 6

In particular the Form 7 course aims to:

  • Develop student’s understanding of Historical concepts
  • Develop student’s ability to write well-developed points supported by detailed evidence
  • Develop in students a critical approach to historical sources by exposing them to the varying interpretations and debates (historiography) that result from historical study

Course outline:

  • Understand that the causes, consequences, and explanations of historical events that are of significance to New Zealanders are complex and how and why they are contested
  • Understand how trends over time reflect social, economic, and political forces

Major Topics that could be studied:

  • Tudor Stuart England, 1558 – 1667
  • New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • The Causes of the US Civil War and Its Consequences
  • The Origins and Effects of the Second World War
  • Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
  • The Origins and Development of the Cold War

Methods of assessment:

  • 3.2 – Analyse an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders [Internal]
  • 3.3 – Analyse evidence relating to an historical event of significance to New Zealanders [External]
  • 3.4 – Analyse different perspectives of a contested event of significance to New Zealanders [Internal]
  • 3.5 – Analyse the causes and consequences of a significant historical event [External]
  • 3.6 – Analyse a significant historical trend and the force(s) that influenced it [External]

Form 7 (AS / A2):

Pre-requisites:

  • Students who gain an ‘A’ to a good ‘D’ grade in Cambridge AS History will be admitted to this course
  • Students who gain a low ‘D’ grade in Cambridge AS History must consult with the Head of History to enter this course
  • Students who gain an ‘E’ grade or Ungraded result in Cambridge AS History will not be able to enter this course.

Course description/aims: The aims below are designed to set out the educational purposes of a course in Cambridge AS History. The aims are to develop:

  • An interest in the past and an appreciation of human endeavour
  • A greater knowledge and understanding of historical periods or themes
  • A greater awareness of historical concepts such as cause and effect, similarity and difference, and change and continuity
  • An appreciation of the nature and diversity of historical sources available, and the methods used by historians
  • An exploration of a variety of approaches to different aspects of history and different interpretations of particular historical issues
  • The ability to think independently and make informed judgements on issues
  • An empathy with people living in different places at different times
  • A firm foundation for further study of History

Assessment objectives: Candidates will be expected to:

  • Recall, select and deploy historical knowledge appropriately and effectively
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the past through explanation, analysis and a substantiated judgement of key concepts: causation, consequence, continuity, change and significance within an historical context, the relationships between key features and characteristics of the periods studied
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a range of appropriate source material
  • Analyse and evaluate how aspects of the past have been interpreted and represented

Course outline: For Cambridge AS History options, see the entry for Form 6: Cambridge AS. At Cambridge A Level, there are two units. The topic to be studied for Unit 3 will be Topic 3: The origins and development of the Cold War. The topic to be studied for Unit 4 will be selected from the following options:

European option, Depth study 1: European history in the interwar years, 1919 – 41

  • Theme 1: Mussolini’s Italy, 1919 – 41
  • Theme 2: Stalin’s Russia, 1924 – 41
  • Theme 3: Hitler’s Germany, 1929 – 41
  • Theme 4: Britain, 1919 – 39

International option, Depth study 3: International history, 1945–92

  • Theme 1: US-Soviet relations during the Cold War, 1950 – –91
  • Theme 2: The spread of communism in East and Southeast Asia, 1945 – 91
  • Theme 3: Decolonisation, the Cold War and the UN in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1950 – 92
  • Theme 4: Conflict in the Middle East, 1948 – 91

Methods of assessment: Students’ marks make up 50% of the Cambridge A Level grade. The remaining 50% is assessed in two examinations at the end of the Cambridge A Level course:

  • Paper 3: 1.25-hour examination: 20% of Cambridge A Level History. Source-based question on an historian’s approach to the selected Unit 3 topic. The examination will test Assessment Objectives 1 and 4 (see above).
  • Paper 4: 1.75-hour examination. Essay questions on the selected Unit 4 content. 30% of Cambridge A Level History. The examination will test Assessment Objective 1 and 2 (see above).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our staff today.