History is mandatory for students in New South Wales from Kindergarten to Year 10.  History allows students to build their understanding of how cultures evolve and develop, and provides them with the opportunity to assess the impact of significant individuals and events on Australian and world history.

Bourke High School is currently transitioning to the Australian Curriculum for History.  Students in Years 7 and 9 have been studying topics from the Australian Curriculum, while students in Years 8 and 10 are completing their study of topics from the New South Wales Curriculum.

Stage 4 History

Students in Stage 4 examine the fundamentals of historiography, and undertake a study of World History (Ancient, Medieval and Modern).  The Stage 4 curriculum provides a study of the nature of history and historical sources, both archaeological and written.  Students investigate ancient history from the time of the earliest human communities to the end of the ancient period (approximately 60 000BCE - c. 650 CE).  It was a period defined by the development of cultural practices and organised societies, including Australia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India and China.

Students develop an understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathetic understanding, significance and contestability.

  Topic One Topic Two Topic Three
Year 7

Investigating the Ancient Past
(including Ancient Australia)

Assessment Tasks
Archaeological Dig (20%)
End of course examination (10%)

The Mediterranean World

Assessment Tasks
Perspectives/Empathetic Writing (25%)
End of course examination (10%)

The Asian World

Assessment Tasks
Structured historical essay (30%)
End of course examination (5%)

Year 8

The Western and Islamic World
(The Vikings)

Assessment Tasks
Personality Study (25%)
End of course examination (10%)


The Asia Pacific World
(Japan under the Shoguns)

Assessment Tasks
Historical report (25%)
End of course examination (5%)

Expanding Contacts
(The Black Death)

Assessment Tasks
Source analysis task (25%)
End of course examination (10%)

Stage 5 History

Students in Stage 5 examine the making of the modern world and Australia, through undertaking a study of the modern world from 1750 - 1945.  It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought.  It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was a part of the expansion of European power.  The period culminated in World War I and World War II.

The history of the modern world and Australia from 1945 to the present, with an emphasis on Australia in its global context, follows.  The twentieth century became a critical period in Australia's social, cultural, economic and political development.  The transformation of the modern world during a time of political turmoil, global conflict and international cooperation provides a necessary context for understanding Australia's development, its place within the Asia-Pacific region, and its global standing.

  Topic One Topic Two
Year 9

Making a Better World?
Progressive Ideas and Movements

Assessment Tasks
Chronology Task (10%)
Research Task (25%)
End of course examination (15%)

Australians at War
(World Wars I and II)

Assessment Tasks
Historical Portfolio (30%)
Source Analysis (15%)
End of course examination (5%)

Year 10

Rights and Freedoms
(1945 to present)

Assessment Tasks
Historical Essay (20%)
Speech (20%)
End of course examination (10%)

Australia's involvement in
the Vietnam War

Assessment Tasks
Source Analysis and Sequencing Task (25%)
Empathetic Writing (15%)
End of course examination (10%)