NCEA Level 1 History

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr S. Coster.

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." 

- Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi Germany (1933 - 45)

Those who have a passion for delving into the lives of individuals and the eras they lived in will find History captivating. History serves a practical purpose by enhancing our comprehension of our own society, the world, and our individual roles within it. This subject equips individuals with the skills necessary to gather, process, interpret, and present written information effectively. In our increasingly information-driven society, the ability to adapt and handle diverse sources of information has become more crucial than ever before.

Skills: While Level 1 History covers topics that hold significant importance in our lives, the primary goal is to learn and apply skills that have wide-ranging applications in both everyday life and various careers. Many professions benefit from the intellectual skills cultivated through the study of History. These include the fields of law, such as the police, journalism, psychology, and aspects of private business like management.

These skills encompass:

  • Distinguishing between fact and fiction: The capacity to analyze various forms of information, such as written articles, photographs, cartoons, and websites, and make judgments regarding their reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Effective communication: The ability to construct clear, concise, and well-structured paragraphs and reports.
  • Understanding different perspectives: Also known as "point of view," this skill involves comprehending how an individual or group's position or stance has been influenced by factors such as religion, country of origin, education level, or ethnic background.
  • Analysis: The invaluable skill of analyzing and prioritizing information, crucial for decision-making in numerous careers.

This course covers significant events from modern world history that continue to impact our lives today.

Introductory topic: 'Kaiapoi Pa.' This three to four-week topic introduces students to the skills required in Level 1 History while exploring the major Ngāi Tahu settlement of Kaiapoi Pā (c.1670 – 1832). Students will learn to identify primary and secondary resources, develop an understanding of formal paragraph writing, evaluate the reliability and usefulness of resources, and comprehend and explain the term 'perspectives.' In addition to these important skills, students will also gain knowledge about Ngāi Tahu, including the reasons behind their choice of Kaiapoi as a settlement, the appearance of the settlement, and the events surrounding its destruction by an opposing North Island iwi in 1832. As part of this topic, students will visit Kaiapoi Pā on a half-day field trip.

The two main topics are as follows:

20th Century Global Conflict: This topic primarily focuses on the causes of World War Two, a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945 and stands as the deadliest in human history, claiming over 70 million lives, including over 12,000 New Zealand military personnel. The study will delve into the interwar years between the conclusion of World War One (or 'The Great War') in 1918 and the outbreak of World War Two hostilities in 1939, including the United States' entry into the war in 1941. By examining the interwar period, students will gain an understanding of Adolf Hitler's significant influence in igniting the conflict and how democratic nations dealt with his aggressive and confrontational policies. However, students will learn that the war was not solely attributed to Hitler; it had its roots in the decline of the old empires of Britain and France, as well as the ascent of ambitious new powers like Germany, Italy, and Japan, who sought to establish vast empires of their own.

20th Century Civil Rights: The civil rights movements in mid-20th century America aimed to secure legal equality and access to fundamental rights for African Americans. African American men and women, alongside white allies, organized and led this movement. Although some progress was made, the struggle for equality continues in the 21st century, exemplified by the global 'Black Lives Matter' movement. Students will learn how individuals and groups in the 20th century pursued their goals through legal means, petitions, and nonviolent protests. Prominent figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who fought for equality, as well as individuals and groups like the K.K.K. who opposed African Americans' pursuit of equality, will be studied. The topic also includes a thought-provoking examination of the controversial 'Dawn Raids' that took place in New Zealand during the 1970s, which some consider to be the most overtly racist attack on Pacific peoples in the country's history.


  • Researching a significant historical event: This internal assessment requires students to select a significant historic event that occurred between approximately 1900 and 2010. Students will engage in research using a variety of primary sources.
  • 'Dawn Raids' internal assessment report: As part of the '20th Century Civil Rights' topic, students will research and write a report on the significance of the 'Dawn Raids' that occurred in New Zealand during the mid-1970s. This event, which reflects a dark chapter in the country's history regarding race relations, involved the government authorizing immigration and police personnel to arrest individuals suspected of overstaying their work or travel visas, with many of those targeted being from neighboring Pasifika countries.
  • Perspectives writing: As part of the '20th Century Global Conflict' topic, students will write about the differing perspectives regarding the historical context of the 1919 'Treaty of Versailles,' which officially marked the end of World War One. This treaty is considered by many historians as a significant factor that contributed to the outbreak of World War Two. Note: This assessment is categorised as an external. Over the course of approximately one week, students will produce a written portfolio to be externally marked by NZQA.

Note: Level 1 History does not include an end-of-year NCEA examination.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Stationery: A lever arch folder, subject dividers and A4 lined paper. A document cardboard wallet foolscap for the research assessment.

Digital learning device: This course will have an online learning component that would suit 'Bring Your Own Device' - with students bringing a netbook or laptop to class to access resources and activities through the class Schoology page. Bringing a device is not compulsory but encouraged.

The cost for the Term 1 half day field trip to Kaiapoi Pa will approximately be $35 per student.


Assessment Information

NOTE: For Level 1 History there is no end of year examination. The external achievement standard '92027 v2 History 1.4 - Demonstrate understanding of perspectives on a historical context', will be completed during Term 3 over approximately a week and then sent to NZQA to be externally marked.

Credit Information

You will be assessed in this course through all or a selection of the standards listed below.

Total Credits Available: 15 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 5 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 10 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 92024 v3
History 1.1 - Engage with a variety of primary sources in a historical context
Level: 1
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 92025 v3
History 1.2 - Demonstrate understanding of the significance of a historical context
Level: 1
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 92027 v3
History 1.4 - Demonstrate understanding of perspectives on a historical context
Level: 1
Internal or External: External
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 15
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 10
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Total Numeracy Credits: 0