RationaleHistory is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students’ curiosity and imagination. Awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and and others.
AimsThe Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop:
interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens
StructureThe Australian Curriculum: History is organised into two interrelated strands: historical knowledge and understanding and historical inquiry and skills.
Historical knowledge and understanding strand
This strand includes personal, family, local, state or territory, national, regional and world history.
PDF documentsResources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: History are available as PDF documents.
History: Sequence of content 7-10
History: Sequence of achievement 7-10
Year 8 Level 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 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?
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:
The Western and Islamic world
The Ottoman Empire (c.1299 – c.1683)
Renaissance Italy (c.1400 – c.1600)
The Vikings (c.790 – c.1066)
Medieval Europe (c.590 – c.1500)
The Asia-Pacific world
Angkor/Khmer Empire (c.802 – c.1431)
Japan under the Shoguns’ (c.794 – 1867)
The Polynesian expansion across the Pacific (c.700 – 1756)
Mongol expansion (c.1206 – c.1368)
The Black Death in Asia, Europe and Africa (14th century plague)
The Spanish conquest of the Americas (c.1492 – c.1572)
Chronology, terms and concepts
Historical questions and research
Analysis and use of sources
Perspectives and interpretations
Explanation and communication
Year 8 Achievement Standards
By the end of Year 8, students recognise and explain patterns of change and continuity over time. They explain the causes and effects of events and developments. They identify the motives and actions of people at the time. Students explain the significance of individuals and groups and how they were influenced by the beliefs and values of their society. They describe different interpretations of the past.
Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework with reference to periods of time. When researching, students develop questions to frame a historical inquiry. They analyse, select and organise information from primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students identify and explain different points of view in sources. When interpreting sources, they identify their origin and purpose, and distinguish between fact and opinion. Students develop texts, particularly descriptions and explanations, incorporating analysis. In developing these texts, and organising and presenting their findings, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in sources, and acknowledge their sources of information.