RationaleIn a world that is increasingly culturally diverse and dynamically interconnected, it is important that students come to understand their world, past and present, and develop a capacity to respond to challenges, now and in the future, in innovative, informed, personal and collective ways.
AimsThe F–6/7 Australian Curriculum for Humanities and Social Sciences aims to ensure that students develop:
a sense of wonder, curiosity and respect about places, people, cultures and systems throughout the world, past and present, and an interest in and enjoyment of the study of these phenomena
StructureThe Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences may be implemented as a combined F–6 program or as an F–7 program. The F–6/7 curriculum is organised into two interrelated strands: knowledge and understanding and inquiry and skills.
PDF documentsResources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences F-6/7 are available as PDF documents.
F-6/7 HASS - Combined Sequence of Content
F-6/7 HASS - Combined Sequence of Achievement
Year 4 Level Description
How people, places and environments interact, past and present
The Year 4 curriculum focuses on interactions between people, places and environments over time and space and the effects of these interactions. Students gain opportunities to expand their world knowledge and learn about the significance of environments, examining how people’s need and want of resources over time has affected peoples, societies and environments. Specifically, students study European exploration and colonisation in Australia and elsewhere up to the early 1800s and life for Indigenous Australians pre- and post-contact. They examine the concept of sustainability, and its application to resource use and waste management, past and present, by different groups. The curriculum introduces the role of local government, laws and rules, and group belonging and how they meet people’s needs. Themes of law and citizenship extend into their studies of diverse groups, the colonisation of Australia and other places, and how environmental sustainability is enacted.
The content provides opportunities for students to develop humanities and social sciences understanding through key concepts including significance; continuity and change; cause and effect; place and space; interconnections; roles, rights and responsibilities; and perspectives and action. These concepts may provide a focus for inquiries and be investigated across sub-strands or within a particular sub-strand context.
The content at this year level is organised into two strands: knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills. The knowledge and understanding strand draws from three sub-strands: history, geography and civics and citizenship. These strands (knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills) are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, which may include integrating with content from the sub-strands and from other learning areas, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.
A framework for developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions. The following inquiry questions allow for connections to be made across the sub-strands and may be used or adapted to suit local contexts: inquiry questions are also provided for each sub-strand that may enable connections within the humanities and social sciences learning area or across other learning areas.
- How have laws affected the lives of people, past and present?
- What were the short- and long-term effects of European settlement on the local environment and Indigenous land and water management practices?
- What is the significance of the environment and what are different views on how it can be used and sustained, past and present?
Year 4 Content Descriptions
Evaluating and reflecting
Concepts for developing understanding
The content in the history sub-strand provides opportunities for students to develop historical understanding through key concepts including sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy and significance. The Year 4 curriculum introduces world history and the movement of peoples. Students study the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their connection to place (sources, perspectives, significance) and their contact with other societies (change and continuity, perspectives, empathy). Through a study of navigation, exploration and/or trade (sources), students come to learn about Australia’s early colonisation and develop understandings about contact between societies (continuity and change, cause and effect) and its effects on people and their environments (perspectives, empathy).
- Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?
- What was life like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples before the arrival of the Europeans?
- Why did the Europeans settle in Australia?
- What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?
Concepts for developing understanding
The content in the geography sub-strand provides opportunities to develop students’ understanding of place, space, environment, interconnection and sustainability. The content focuses on understandings about sustainability – the ongoing capacity of the environment to sustain human life and wellbeing. Students explore the features and functions of environments that support humans and other living things (environment, interconnection). They examine the use and management of resources and waste, and views about how to achieve sustainability (environment, interconnection, sustainability), including the custodial responsibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to their Country/Place (interconnection, sustainability). Students’ mental map of the world expands to South America and Africa and their main countries and characteristics (space, place, environment).
- How does the environment support the lives of people and other living things?
- How do different views about the environment influence approaches to sustainability?
- How can people use environments more sustainably?
Civics and citizenship
Concepts for developing understanding
The content in the civics and citizenship sub-strand provides opportunities for students to develop understanding about government and democracy, laws and citizens and citizenship, diversity and identity. Students’ understanding of democratic decision-making is further developed through a study of the role of their local government and the services it provides to their community (government and democracy). They examine how rules and laws affect them and the importance of laws in society (laws and citizens) and they explore cultural diversity in their community; in particular, how belonging to different groups can shape personal identity (diversity and identity).
- How can local government contribute to community life?
- What is the difference between rules and laws and why are they important?
- How has my identity been shaped by the groups to which I belong?
Year 4 Achievement Standards
By the end of Year 4, students recognise the significance of events in bringing about change and the importance of the environment. They explain how and why life changed in the past and identify aspects of the past that have remained the same. They describe the experiences of an individual or group in the past. They describe and compare the diverse characteristics of different places at local to national scales. Students identify the interconnections between components of the environment and between people and the environment. They identify structures that support their local community and recognise the importance of laws in society. They describe factors that shape a person’s identity and sense of belonging. They identify different views on how to respond to an issue or challenge.
Students develop questions to investigate. They locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations to answer these questions. When examining information, they distinguish between facts and opinions and detect points of view. They interpret data and information to identify and describe distributions and simple patterns and draw conclusions. They share their points of view, respecting the views of others. Students sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order with reference to key dates. They sort, record and represent data in different formats, including large-scale maps using basic cartographic conventions. They reflect on their learning to propose action in response to an issue or challenge, and identify the possible effects of their proposed action. Students present ideas, findings and conclusions using discipline-specific terms in a range of communication forms.
By the end of Year 4, students recognise the significance of events in bringing about change. They explain how and why life changed in the past and identify aspects of the past that have remained the same. They describe the experiences of an individual or group in the past.
Students sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order with reference to key dates. They develop questions about the past and locate, collect and sort information from different sources to answer these questions. They analyse sources to detect points of view. Students develop and present texts, including narrative recounts, using historical terms.
By the end of Year 4, students describe the location of selected countries using compass direction. They describe and compare the characteristics of places in different locations at local to national scales. They identify the interconnections between components of the environment and between people and the environment. Students recognise the importance of the environment and identify different possible responses to a geographical challenge.
Students develop geographical questions to investigate and locate, collect and sort information and data from different sources to answer these questions. They record and represent data and the location of places and their characteristics in simple graphic forms, including large-scale maps that use the cartographic conventions of scale, legend, title and north point. They describe the location of places and their features using grid references and compass direction. Students interpret geographical data to identify spatial distributions and simple patterns and draw conclusions. They present findings using geographical terminology in a range of texts. They propose individual action in response to a local geographical challenge and identify some possible effects of their proposed action.
By the end of Year 4, students identify structures and decisions that support their local community and recognise the importance of laws in society. They describe factors that shape a person’s identity and sense of belonging.
Students develop questions about the society in which they live and locate and collect information from different sources to answer these questions. They examine information to distinguish between facts and opinions, identify points of view and to draw conclusions. They share their points of view, respecting the views of others, and identify the groups they belong to. Students present ideas and conclusions using discipline-specific terms in a range of communication forms.