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NSW Syllabuses

Years 7–10 Life Skills content

The Years 7–10 Life Skills content forms the basis for learning opportunities. Content should be selected based on the abilities, needs and interests of students. Students will not be required to complete all of the content to demonstrate achievement of an outcome. 

The Board of Studies NSW has identified important learning for all students that has been embedded in the descriptions of content, including the Years 7–10 Life Skills content, across the syllabuses. Find further information about the learning across the curriculum content in the K–10 Syllabus.

Teaching History involves the explicit teaching of content, concepts and skills. Knowledge and understanding, concepts and skills are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated way to provide meaningful learning experiences for students. Find further information about the organisation of content.

Site studies

Where appropriate, students should have the opportunity to participate in a site study to develop their understanding and demonstrate achievement of History Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes. Site studies can provide students with meaningful opportunities to engage with historical concepts and carry out processes of historical investigation.

Historical concepts

The following historical concepts may be explored, as appropriate, through the History Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content to facilitate an understanding of the past and provide a focus for historical inquiries:

  • Continuity and change: some aspects of a society, event or development change over time and others remain the same, eg aspects of everyday life across societies and periods of time
  • Cause and effect: events, decisions and developments in the past that produce later actions, results or effects, eg reasons for colonisation and the impact on Aboriginal people, causes of World War I and the war's effect on the lives of people at home
  • Perspectives: people from the past have different views and experiences, eg family events are viewed differently by family members, the different experiences of people who have had limited rights and freedoms
  • Empathetic understanding: the ability to understand another's point of view, way of life and actions, eg understanding why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected to the land, understanding the reasons why migrant groups come to Australia
  • Significance: the importance of an event, development, group or individual, eg the importance of Cathy Freeman to Australian culture.

Historical skills

The following historical skills may be integrated, as appropriate, into the History Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content:

Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • demonstrate understanding of historical texts
  • sequence historical people and events
  • use historical terms

Analysis and use of sources

  • identify primary and secondary sources
  • locate, select and use information from sources

Perspectives and interpretations

  • identify points of view in the past and present

Empathetic understanding

  • recognise that the behaviour and attitudes of people from the past may differ from people today


  • pose questions about the past
  • investigate questions about the past using relevant sources and ICT

Explanation and communication

  • develop historical texts, including narratives and descriptions
  • select and use a range of communication forms, such as oral, graphic, written and digital, to communicate about the past