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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 law, administration, politics and government, TV 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 policing, investigative reporting, market 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 service, law, and journalism
  4. Understanding individuals and groups – their feelings, attitudes, prejudices and motivations. These skills are essential in careers such as personnel, law, teaching, 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 forces, teaching, advertising, 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 4 Social Sciences (Geography and History):

Prerequisites: None.

Course description/aims: Form 4 Geography and History are about how people in different environments, cultures, times, and places, think, feel, and act, how they organise their ways of life, interact with their environments, others, and initiate or respond to change. Four broad aims may be identified:

  1. Develop knowledge of the world and nation within which we live
  2. Promote thinking and understanding of how and why different cultures and individuals make, or have made, decisions to meet their needs
  3. Develop academic and social skills
  4. Create an ongoing interest in the Social Science disciplines of Geography and History

The Form 4 course introduces the senior Social Science subjects of Geography and History. Students get a taste of both subjects, study topics that have value in their own right and fulfil the requirements of the NZ National Curriculum. Where the timetable allows, this will involve classes being taught Geography and History by specialist teachers. Covering some Pre-Q content in Form 4 also allows those students who continue in these subjects more in-depth learning in Form 5.

Course outline: The Pre-Q Geography syllabus covers three themes as well as a geographic skills component:

  • The natural environment
  • Population and settlement
  • Development and use of resources

In Form 4, students cover elements of Theme 1 and Theme 2 in order to give them exposure to the physical and human sides of Geography. In addition, they will be exposed to a variety of geographic skills.

The topics covered are:

  • Plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes – the natural processes involved. Their effects and how people can prepare and cope with the consequences
  • Population change, the population explosion, youthful and ageing populations and their consequences. Government policies to influence birth rates. Resources in relation to population. Migration and the movement of people within and between countries
  • Coasts, the features and processes operating in coastal environments. This will include looking at how erosion, transportation and deposition, maintain a dynamic coastal environment
  • Geographic skills

The Pre-Q History syllabus covers the History of the 20th century through the lens of four key questions that seek to summarise international relations. In Form 4, students will learn about the history of World War I, the interwar years and the outbreak of World War II and New Zealand’s place in these histories. 

The topics covered are:

The First World War, 1914-1918

  • Key Question 1: Did one bullet cause the First World War?
  • Key Question 2: Why didn’t the strategy of attrition win the First World War?

International Relations, 1919-1939

  • Key Question 3: “The Diktat” How significant was the Treaty of Versailles?
  • Key Question 4: Could anything have stopped Hitler from causing the Second World War?

Methods of assessment: Every Form 4 student will complete a common test and or an examination at the end of every unit of work. In addition, individual teachers carry out book checks and tests for their classes. Examinations have Geography and History papers, employing questions that are designed to develop Pre-Q skills to support learning in Form 5. 

Continuation of subject: Form 4 Geography and History leads into Form 5 Pre-Q Geography and History and NCEA Level 1 Humanities.

Humanities (Form 5 [NCEA Level 1]:

Prerequisites: This course is offered to students in 4P and 4R who will study a full NCEA Level 1 course in Form 5.

Course description/aims: The Form 5 Humanities programme includes Achievement Standards from History and Geography. All Standards earn credits towards NCEA Level 1, and all meet Literacy and/or Numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 1. The course aims to further develop knowledge and skills useful for History and Geography at Level 2.

Course outline: The course has seven Achievement Standards attempted during the year, from which students can acquire 25 credits: 17 from internal assessment and 8 from the two separate three-hour external examinations in History and Geography.

Methods of assessment: 

  • Geography 1.3 – Demonstrate geographic understanding of the sustainable use of an environment [3 credits, Internal]
  • Geography 1.4 – Apply concepts and basic geographic skills to demonstrate understanding of a given environment [4 credits, External]
  • Geography 1.6 – Describe aspects of a contemporary New Zealand geographic issue [3 credits, Internal]
  • Geography 1.7 – Describe aspects of a geographic topic at a global scale [3 credits, Internal]
  • History 1.2 – Demonstrate understanding of an historical event, or place, of significance to New Zealanders [4 credits, Internal]
  • History 1.4 – Demonstrate understanding of different perspectives of people in an historical event of significance to New Zealanders [4 credits, Internal]
  • History 1.5 – Describe the causes and consequences of an historical event [4 credits, External]

Continuation of subject: This subject is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge required for entry to NCEA Level 2 Geography and NCEA Level 2 History in Form 6.

Form 5 (Pre-Q):

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites 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 understanding 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 trends
  • 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 II?
  • 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 New Zealand gain independence from one empire, only to join another?
  • Why did NZ reject the protection of the ‘nuclear umbrella’?
  • Why was New Zealand’s economic prosperity damaged after World War II?
  • How far did New Zealand society become fairer after World War II?
  • Who was the most significant New Zealander of the 20th century?

New Zealand Depth Study: Bastion Point

  • How did the New Zealand Government gain control over Orakei?
  • ‘Just another stunt’?: Why did Ngati Whatua members occupy Bastion Point in 1977-78?
  • How did the New Zealand 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 or complete an internally assessed component that contributes toward their final Pre-Q mark in History.

Assessment objectives:

  • Recall, select, organise, and deploy knowledge of syllabus content.
  • Construct historical explanations using an understanding of:
    • Cause and consequence, change and continuity, similarity and difference, significance
    • The perspectives (motives, emotions, intentions and beliefs) of people in the past
    • 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 Cambridge Level or an NCEA Level 2 course in Form 6.

Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):

Prerequisites: 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 modern world. 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 understanding 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 the First World?
  • 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 for American involvement in Vietnam?
  • What were the effects of 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]

The external achievement standards are assessed in one paper at the end of the year. The internal achievement standards are assessed by a common assignment for each standard.

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):

Prerequisites: 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 an 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: The topics to be studied will be selected from the following options:

  • European option: Modern Europe, 1750-1921
  • American option: The history of the USA, 1820-1941
  • International option: 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 hour 15 mins 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
  • Paper 2: 1 hour 45 mins examination: 60% of Cambridge AS History. Essay questions on course content. The examination will test assessment objective course content (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):

Prerequisites: 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 students’ 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 World War II
  • Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
  • The origins and development of the Cold War

Methods of assessment:

  • 3.2 Analyse a 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):

Prerequisites:

  • 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 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: At Cambridge A Level, there are two units. The topic to be studied for Unit 3 will be The origins and development of the Cold War. The topics to be studied for Unit 4 will be selected from the following options:

  • European option, Depth study 1: European history in the interwar years, 1919-1941
    • Theme 1: Mussolini’s Italy, 1919-1941
    • Theme 2: Stalin’s Russia, 1924-1941
    • Theme 3: Hitler’s Germany, 1929-1941
    • Theme 4: Britain, 1919-1939
  • International option, Depth study 3: International history, 1945-1992
    • Theme 1: US-Soviet relations during the Cold War, 1950-1991
    • Theme 2: The spread of communism in East and Southeast Asia, 1945-1991
    • Theme 3: Decolonisation, the Cold War and the UN in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1950-1992
    • Theme 4: Conflict in the Middle East, 1948-1991

Methods of assessment: Students’ Cambridge AS 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: 1¼-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
  • Paper 4: 1¾-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

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