Senior Years


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In Senior Years, History is offered as an elective subject. Historical narratives of events and people are explored, with an emphasis on historians’ methods and ways of thinking.

Historical reasoning focuses on making sense of the past, and understanding the interpretive lenses that historians use to construct their histories. Students refine their understanding of causality, multiple perspectives, contingency, empathy, change and continuity, and significance. They communicate their ideas through valid historical arguments that are developed through guided inquiry-based and directed learning.

In a range of thematic studies from history through art, conflict, revolution and the nature of absolutist states, students examine the past through a present-day lens, and learn how to avoid presentism. Well-designed assessment ensures students maintain interest in their learning and a strong focus on peer and self-assessment, helps students to reflect on their own progress. 

Experts in the fields of history and archaeology are invited to facilitate workshops onsite or through digital technologies. Place-based learning occurs in university museums or overseas through History Tours.

Year 10

In Year 10, students look closely at the post-war period and the development of the Cold War. They consider Australia’s political, social and cultural development in the post-war decades.

The curriculum offered is challenging, rewarding, meaningful and creative, engaging students through thought-provoking, essential questions. Students are prompted to take an active stance in their studies and are required to do more than memorising and transferring pieces of information. Students’ debate over competing interpretations of events, and ideas based on the utilisation of evidence.

Years 11–12

Ravenswood offers History electives in both the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program.


HSC students can choose to specialise in Ancient History, Modern History or both. Ravenswood also offers committed students the opportunity to develop their own interpretation of history, in History Extension.

Ancient History

Ancient History introduces ways of understanding the past, with particular focus on archaeological artefacts and written sources. The distance between the present and past is most apparent for Ancient History students, who learn how to address continuity, change and significance over vast sweeps of time and geography. Political and cultural histories of the Mediterranean civilisations of Egypt, Greece and Rome draw students into vanished worlds rich in architecture, art and language.

Modern History

Modern History students deliberate over the evidence for shorter-term political and social changes, mainly through war, revolutions and the impact of the structural forces of industrialisation and modernity. Modern History students learn through analogy, and the experiences of their own world are particularly relevant in bridging the gap between the present and the past.

IB Diploma

History is offered in both Standard and Higher Levels. Students focus on the 20th Century with an emphasis on international diplomacy, its successes and failures. Through the integration of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) subject, students tackle the fundamental questions in history of ‘How do we know what we know about the past?’ and ‘How we deal with competing interpretations of the past?’ Students become conscious of the ethical dimensions of history, when they investigate the factors that contribute to the rise and success of authoritarian dictatorships in the 20th Century, and the causes and consequences of war.