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NSW Syllabuses

Learning across the curriculum

Learning across the curriculum content, including the cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities, assists students to achieve the broad learning outcomes defined in the NESA Statement of Equity Principles, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (December 2008) and in the Australian Government's Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (2013). 

Cross-curriculum priorities enable students to develop understanding about and address the contemporary issues they face.

The cross-curriculum priorities are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability Sustainability

General capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

The general capabilities are:

  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
  • Information and communication technology capability Information and communication technology capability
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Numeracy Numeracy
  • Personal and social capability Personal and socail capability

NESA syllabuses include other areas identified as important learning for all students:

  • Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship
  • Difference and diversity Difference and diversity
  • Work and enterprise Work and enterprise

Learning across the curriculum content is incorporated, and identified by icons, in the content of the Ancient History Stage 6 Syllabus in the following ways.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

The study of Ancient History enables students to investigate sites of significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and the preservation and conservation of those sites. Students are provided with opportunities to develop skills to engage with relevant issues, enabling them to investigate the ethical concerns associated with the treatment and display of physical and human remains.

When planning and programming content relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures teachers are encouraged to:

  • involve local Aboriginal communities and/or appropriate knowledge holders in determining suitable resources, or to use Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander authored or endorsed publications
  • read the Principles and Protocols relating to teaching and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and the involvement of local Aboriginal communities.

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

In Ancient History, the study of Asia includes India and China in the ancient period through the study of physical remains, the nature of the sources, and the beliefs and practices of those societies. Students have the opportunity to compare and contrast features of society in India and China with those of other ancient societies. The study of Ancient History provides opportunities to develop an understanding of India and China in ancient times, through an examination of the role of individuals in society and key developments in particular historical periods.

Sustainability Sustainability

The study of Ancient History provides an opportunity for students to explore the ways past people and communities depended upon and managed the Earth’s resources. Access to natural resources in ancient times provided the motivation for settlement, migration, trade, conflict, and shaped the cultural development of ancient societies. An investigation of the relationship people had with their environment enables students to understand the use of technology in ancient times to access resources and control the environment.

Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking is inherent in the process of historical investigation. There are opportunities for students to delve deeply into the implications of any missing or questionable information in their investigation of historical topics. The demands of historical inquiry include the ability to: pose relevant questions; interrogate, select and cross-reference sources; and develop interpretations based on an assessment of the evidence available. Students have opportunities to apply historical reasoning, identify possible weaknesses in their own positions, and analyse and evaluate alternative interpretations of the past. They engage in the analysis of historical accounts to determine how well supported a claim is by the available evidence. Students have the opportunity to use their knowledge to recognise and challenge instances of misrepresentation.

Ethical understanding Ethical Understanding

In Ancient History, students explore the diverse perspectives and circumstances that shaped the actions and possible motivations of people in the context of their time compared with those of today. Students have opportunities, both independently and collaboratively, to investigate the values, beliefs and principles that were the basis for the judgements and actions of people in the past.

Information and communication technology capability Information and communication technology capability

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability is important in the study of Ancient History, particularly in relation to historical investigation, analysis and communication. In Ancient History, students use digital tools and strategies to locate, access, process and analyse information. They use ICT skills and understandings to investigate and identify the provenance and credibility of evidence, and to develop arguments and communicate historical information. Students have opportunities to evaluate websites and online communication, and the interpretations and representations of the past that they convey. This includes how and why such sites are constructed (for example, for ideological or political purposes, preservation, education and scholarship), the audiences they serve, and the techniques they use. They can develop an understanding of the issues involved in the use of ICT when practising ethical scholarship as part of the historical inquiry process.

Intercultural understanding Intercultural Understanding

Intercultural understanding is a vital part of historical learning in Ancient History. Students are provided with opportunities to acquire knowledge of culturally diverse perspectives and learn how these can change over time. They explore the historical contexts for those perspectives and the legacies of ancient societies in relation to the contemporary world. Students have opportunities to develop an understanding of various societies and cultures of the ancient world, and that different ways of life provide a frame of reference for recognising and appreciating diversity in the contemporary world.

Literacy Literacy

Literacy is of fundamental importance in the study of Ancient History. Students access historical content through a variety of print, oral, visual, spatial and electronic forms, including inscriptions, reliefs, artefacts, sites, accounts of the past by ancient writers, and photographs, films and archived material. They have opportunities to learn to interpret and extrapolate meaning from a variety of sources for evidence in an historical inquiry and analyse and evaluate texts for authority, reliability, relevance and accuracy. Students have opportunities to create a wide range of texts to communicate, explore, discuss and argue a point of view, selecting and employing text structure and language knowledge to express their thoughts and ideas logically and fluently, supported by evidence. They monitor their own language for accuracy in the use of historical terms, clarity of ideas and explanations, conciseness of expression, and to articulate a position on an historical problem or issue.

Numeracy Numeracy

Numeracy is valuable in the historical inquiry process, which requires students to recognise patterns and relationships, chronologically and spatially, through the use of scaled timelines and maps. In Ancient History, students have opportunities to investigate data, some of which is numerical in nature. They are provided with opportunities to develop numeracy capability when they analyse and interpret statistical information to draw conclusions, for example in relation to change over time.

Personal and social capability Personal and socail capability

Personal and social capability is developed in Ancient History by students enhancing their communication skills and participating in teamwork. Students have opportunities to work both collaboratively in teams and also independently as part of their learning, and research, in Ancient History. Students have opportunities to develop advanced research and presentation skills to express and justify their views effectively to others. Through the study of individuals and groups in the past and their source work in particular, students can develop their ability to appreciate the perspectives and experiences of others. Students are provided with opportunities to develop social awareness through the study of relationships between individuals and groups in the ancient past.

Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship

Through the study of Ancient History, students explore how their own and other societies have organised themselves, and how the ideals and practices of their own democratic society compare to other forms of political organisation. Investigation of the ancient world enables students to further their understanding of the rights and responsibilities of individuals, and how this has varied in different communities and over time. Students have the opportunity to explore past notions of citizenship through a wide variety of studies, including the roles of men and women, and the practice of slavery.

Difference and diversity Difference and diversity

The study of Ancient History involves investigation of difference and diversity within and between past communities. Students explore the varying perspectives of individuals and groups and endeavour to understand the actions, values, attitudes and motives of people from the ancient past. Students engage in the study of differing historical experiences, due to characteristics including race, gender and socioeconomic status.

Work and enterprise Work and enterprise

In Ancient History, investigation of the living and working conditions of people in the past provides insights into how the nature of work and enterprise has changed. Students have opportunities to explore similarities and differences in the nature of trade and economic activity, the use of resources, and the role of different groups. The study of industries and occupations that people of the ancient past engaged in allows students to better understand the needs and wants of past peoples, their social status, education and the values of the community of which they were a part.