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Sydney Technical High School

Sydney Technical High School

Manners Makyth Man

Telephone02 8566 2600

Year 8 history

Year 8 Stage 4 History

Semester 1 History students are offered opportunities to cultivate their understanding of some of the great civilisations of the ancient world. Students begin their historical learning with an overview of historical methods, evidence and literacy skills before moving on to examine Ancient Greece. They find out about how Greece was organised from a political, economic, social and military perspective and its legacy for the modern world. Students learn about the great mythologies and stories of ancient Greece from Homer’s epics to the battles of Marathon, Salamis and Thermopylae. In the second term of History, students explore the rise to power of Ancient China and undertake a personality study of the complex Emperor Shi Huangdi and his great archaeological legacies of the Terracotta Warriors and his tomb. The course concludes with a hand-on excursion to the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University where students examine mummies and get the chance to hold a Spartan sword!

Semester 2 History students continue to develop their understanding of historical themes and concepts by exploring the issue of contact. Students learn about the fascinating history of Medieval Europe and Japan, as well as the frontier conflicts of colonial Australia. The first term of history begins with the Battle of Hastings and Rise of Feudalism in Medieval Europe and also explores European contacts with Islam during the Crusades. Using a range of sources, students also consider key aspects of the medieval world including the plague, crime and punishment, and the witch-trials. In the Japanese unit, students learn about the Tokugawa Shoguns’ revival of the feudal system and control of foreign trade as well as how Japan’s isolation and the influences of westernisation eventually led to the decline of the Shogunate. The last unit of study is the invasion, occupation, colonisation and settlement of Australia and its impact on indigenous peoples. During the year, students will have the chance to experience and encounter the stories, battles and weapons of the Medieval World first-hand with a visit from a medieval expert.

Students learn the following:

Topic 1: Olympus and the Olympics: Ancient Greece – 8 weeks

  • Location, origins and the first Aegean civilisations
  • Civics and citizenship: democracy, rights and freedoms in Athens and Sparta
  • Contacts with other peoples: the Persian Wars
  • Daily life of men and women of Greece
  • Beliefs and values: religious beliefs, gods and goddesses
  • Impact of significant people and events: Alexander the Great
  • Case study: Hoplite Battles
  • Legacy of Ancient Greece

Topic 2: Emperors and Empire: Ancient China – 8 weeks

  • Location, the origins of China civilisations
  • Civics and citizenship: the role of the Emperor and social structure
  • Beliefs and values: religious beliefs, gods and goddesses
  • Impact of significant people: Qin Shi Huang, Sun Tzu, Admiral Zheng He, Confucius, Lao Zi, Buddha and Ban Zhao
  • Daily life of men and women
  • Contacts with other peoples
  • Case Study: Building the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors
  • Legacy of Ancient China

Topic 3: Investigating the Ancient Past – 4 weeks

  • Main features of history and archaeology
  • Role of historians and archaeologists
  • Different approaches taken to historical investigation by archaeologists and historians
  • Nature of sources for Ancient Australia and what they reveal about Australia’s past in the ancient period
  • Sources: animal and human remains, tools, art, stories and sites related to the dreaming
  • Case study: ancient sites that have disappeared, or are threatened, or have been protected and preserved, eg Akrotiri, Pompeii, the Pharos Lighthouse, Angkor Wat, Teotihuacan

Topic 4: The New Millennium: Medieval Europe – 8 weeks

  • Legacy and Origins of the Middle Ages: Europe in the Year 1000 AD
  • Contacts with other peoples: the Norman Conquest and its Impact
  • Civics and Citizenship, Rights and Freedoms: Feudalism and Class System
  • Beliefs and Values: Religious Beliefs and Role of the Church, Chivalry and Role of Knights, the Crusades
  • Depth Study: Castles, Defences, Sieges and Warfare
  • Daily Life of Men and Women: Life on the Manor – Food, Feasting, Games, Leisure and Entertainment, Disease and Medicine
  • Civics and Citizenship: Law and Law and Order, Crime and Punishment
  • Impact of Significant People: William the Conqueror, William Wallace Braveheart
  • Significant Events: The Black Death, The Battle of Hastings

Topic 5: The Asia-Pacific World: Medieval Japan – 8 weeks

  • Way of life: Social, Cultural, Economic and Political Features including Feudal System
  • Japan under the Shoguns: Structure of Government, Warfare and the Samurai
  • Geography and Location: Castles, Towns, use of environmental resources
  • Daily Life of Men, Women and Children
  • Roles and Relationships of Key Groups
  • Depth study: Tokugawa Shogunate and Control, the Feudal System and Foreign Trade
  • Decline of the Shogunate: Modernisation and Westernisation, the Opening Up of Japan

Topic 6: Invasions and Indigenous Peoples: The Spanish Conquest of the Americas – 4 Weeks

  • The Nature and Impact of Colonisation and Contact
  • Pre-contact Inca Culture – Nature of Inca Society, Government and the Roles and Responsibilities of Social Groups
  • Spanish Contact in the 15th Century and Differing Experiences and Impact of Contact, including: Impact of Disease, Land Disputes, Dispossession, Massacres and Wars, Christianity
  • Differing Perspectives on the Inca Colonisation and Historical Bias