Fairvale High School

Focused. Aspiring. Inclusive. Respectful.

Telephone02 9604 3118



Head teacher: Ms J. Brown

"Become a Time Detective – unlock the Mysteries of the Past and solve the riddles of the Present. 
History is all about learning that serious fun!"

In History we learn the “Time Detective” skills of inquiry into people from the past and develop the intellectual skills of investigation and interpretation. When we understand, appreciate and evaluate the people, events and issues that have shaped the Past we have the key to unlock the secrets of the Present.

The skills we learn in History – the skills of thinking, communicating, problem solving, analysis – help  us in all other subjects across the curriculum, and are highly sought after in the workplace.

Our History team offer a wide range of subjects and dedicated teachers who strive to develop the potential of the student. In the classroom we ensure that is an engaging and challenging learning environment focused on thinking. 

Stage 4

In Year 7 (three periods a week for the year) the students focus on Investigating the Ancient Past focusing on how historians and archaeologists investigate history including excavation research. Investigating an historical controversy further develops these skills. The use of sources and what they reveal are a major focus.  The students continue to develop these skills in the depth studies of Ancient Egypt and Ancient China.

In Year 8  (two periods a week for the year) the students study The Vikings, Japan Under the Shogunate and Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, Colonisation and Contact History.

Students are assessed through commons assessments in each year. The assessments are explicitly linked with the course outcomes. 

​Stage 5

In Year 9 ( three periods a week for the year) the students study The Modern World,  comprising of the following depth studies beginning with the impact of the Industrial Revolution, followed by Making A Nation – the development of the nation of Australia, Australia’s involvement in World War I and World War II.

In Year 10 (three periods a week for the year) students study the depth studies Migrant Experience in Australia post World War II, The Holocaust and the mandatory depth study rights and Rights and Freedoms.

Students are assessed through common assessments in each year. These assessments are explicitly linked to the course outcomes.

Stage 5 elective history:

This course comprises a variety of options and is very student directed. The aim is to develop the skills of analysis, research and critical thinking. Topics are wide ranging and can cover Myths and Legends, unsolved mysteries in history, the history of medicine or how is history constructed through movies, gaming and through the internet.

Students are assessed throughout the year. These assessments are explicitly linked to the course outcomes.

Stage 6 - preliminary and HSC courses

All of the senior courses that the History faculty offers are Australian tertiary admission rank (ATAR) subjects:

  • Aboriginal studies
  • ancient history
  • modern history
  • studies of religion 2

Ancient history 

A new syllabus has been introduced this year covering topics like:

Preliminary course : Year 11

Part I

  • Investigating ancient history – The Nature of Ancient History
  • The Treatment of Human Remains
  • Tutankhamen’s Tomb
  • Palmyra and the Silk Road

Part II

  • Historical Investigation ( students’ choice)

Part III

  • A thematic study of weapons and warfare

​HSC - Year 12

  • Part 1: The Core Cities of Vesuvius- Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Part II: One Ancient Society
  • Part III: One Personality in their time
  • Part IV: One Historical Period

Modern history 

A new syllabus has been introduced this year covering topics like:

Part 1: investigating modern history

(a) The Nature of Modern History

(b) Case Studies

  • at least one option from ‘The Nature of Modern History’, and at least two case studies
  • one case study must be from Europe, North America or Australia.
  • one case study must be from Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East or Central/South America.

 Part II: 

  • Historical investigation (20%)
    The investigation can be either integrated into any aspect of the Preliminary course or attempted as one project, individually or as part of a group.

 Part III:

  • Students investigate forces and ideas that shaped the modern world through a study of key events and developments and the meaning of modernity.
  • At least one study from ‘The Shaping of the Modern World’ is to be undertaken.
  • A range of possible studies is provided within ‘The Shaping of the Modern World’ section of this syllabus.

HSC Year 12 

  • Part I: Core Study: Power and Authority in the Modern World 1919–1946 (25%)
  • Part II: ONE ‘National Studies’ topic (25%)
  • Part III: ONE ‘Peace and Conflict’ topic (25%)
  • Part IV: ONE ‘Change in the Modern World’ topic(25%)

History extension ​

Students may pursue the history extension course in Year 12. Please contact the Head teacher for more information.

Studies of religion 2 

Studies of religion 2 covers the following topics:

  • The Nature of Religion and Belief
  • A study of three major religions eg. Buddhism, Islam, Christianity
  • Religion of Ancient Origin
  • Religion in Australia pre World War 2

HSC Year 12 

  • Religion and Belief systems in Australia
  • Three traditional Depth studies focusing on : Significant Person, Ethical teachings, Significant Practice
  • Religion and Peace
  • Religion and non-religion.