Years 7 – 9 History

Our aims for History for years 7 to 9 are to encourage and enable students to develop an interest in and enjoyment of history, an inquiring mind, and a sense of chronology.

Programme of Study

The Lower Secondary History programme at Uplands has been constructed to cater for the needs of a multinational group of students who arrive in Y7 from various academic backgrounds (PYP, International Primary Curriculum and Malaysian state schools to name a few) and have very different levels of knowledge and interests.

No single national curriculum for History can adequately provide the diversity and relevance of content that our students require, but the British KS3 programme with its emphasis on ‘concepts and processes’ serves as a useful framework. It is for this reason that several of the units are drawn from this programme and that student textbooks originate mainly from the UK. Other units of study are based on the Australian curriculum and some have been created at Uplands especially for our students.

Our aims for History Y7 to Y9 are to encourage and enable students to develop:

  • An interest in and enjoyment of history
  • An inquiring mind
  • A sense of chronology
  • Knowledge and understanding of some of the main periods and events in world history
  • An understanding of change and continuity, cause and consequence, similarity and difference
  • Basic skills in the use of historical sources.
  • A respect and understanding of others’ perspectives, values and attitudes
  • A sense of identity and understanding of the world around them.

Assessment Structure

Assessment throughout the year is both formative and summative and is based on the progress made in relation to the key concepts and processes detailed in the UK KS3 programme of study. These are:

Key Concepts

  • Chronological understanding
  • Cultural,ethical and religious diversity
  • Change and continuity
  • Cause and consequence
  • Significance
  • Interpretation

Key Skills & Processes

  • Historical enquiry
  • Using evidence
  • Communicating about the past

The criteria used to assess progress can be found in the Level Descriptors for History.

Formative assessment is an ongoing process throughout the study of the different units and is used alongside a series of formal assessment tasks (usually 3 per term). A wide variety of assessment strategies may be used including: quizzes, essays, presentations, creative projects (e.g. posters, guidebooks, speeches, stories), self-evaluation, among many others. Some of these tasks may be completed individually and others as part of group work.

At the end of each term, teachers will assess this collection of evidence (a ‘portfolio’) and will use it to evaluate the level of achievement for each student during this period. Parents and students should be aware that the system of levels requires teachers to look for a ‘best fit’ between the level descriptors and the work that the student has produced and that this is not an ‘exact science’ – students may show strong progress for some of the concepts and be weaker in others.

Year 7 Units

During Year 7, students are introduced to the study of history and then move on to explore units that range from Prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The units for this year are:

  • What is history and how do historians study the past?
  • Why was the development of agriculture such an important step for human beings?
  • What were the achievements of the first civilizations? This unit includes the study of aspects of the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome.
  • What was medieval life in Europe like?

Year 8 Units

During Year 8 students continue to explore a variety of world history topics with an emphasis on some of the main issues of the 18th and 19th centuries. The units for this year are:

  • The wonders of Baghdad – what stories will you bring back? – Medieval Islamic Empires.
  • How did the Industrial Revolution change our world?
  • Why were the Europeans crazy about empires? This enquiry includes the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, the transatlantic slave trade and the unique case of Japan in the 19th century.
  • Democracy: How did ordinary people win the right to vote? The American Declaration of Independence and the impact of the French revolution are considered.

Year 9 Units

The units studied during Year 9 focus on the 20th century:

  • The era of the First World War: causes, consequences and peace treaties.
  • The Russian revolution.
  • The inter-war years: the Great Depression, the rise of dictators and the failure of the League of Nations. Aspects of life in Nazi Germany.
  • The world at war: aspects of WWII in Europe and Asia. This unit includes a case study on the use of the atomic bombs on Japan and a war museum visit to explore the experience of war in South- East Asia. There is also a comparison with WWI.
  • The post-war world. This unit includes a research project on the United Nations with links to current affairs.

At the end of each term, teachers will assess this collection of evidence (a ‘portfolio’) and will use it to evaluate the level of achievement for each student during this period.