NCEA Level 1 History

Course Description

Teacher in Charge:

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." - Adolf Hitler, dictator of Nazi Germany (1934 - 45)

Those who enjoy learning about people and the times they lived in will enjoy History. History is useful because it enables us to better understand our own society and the world and an individual’s place in it. It is a subject that teaches people to gather, process, interpret and present information. More than ever before, ours is an information-based society. People must adapt to it and handle a wide variety of information. 

SKILLS: While we learn topics that are significantly important to us, the aim in Level 1 History is to learn and apply skills that are used widely in society in everyday life including most, if not all careers.  There are many careers where the intellectual skills developed through the study of history will be a distinct advantage. These can include the law and associated careers such as police, journalism, and aspects of private business such as in management. 

These skills include:

  • ‘Fact v Fake’: The ability to interpret pieces of information such as written articles, photographs, cartoons and websites in terms of why these were created and how to make judgments on the information in terms of it being reliable and trustworthy.   
  • ‘Communication’: The ability to formally write a structured essay and a report that are clear and concise. 
  • ‘Perspectives’: Sometimes referred to as “point of view’.  This is the ability to understand how an individual or groups position / stance has been influenced by things such as religion, country of origin, level of education, or ethnic background.  
  • 'Analysis': The skill of analysis is invaluable in many careers, as the ability to analyse and then prioritise information is vital to decision making.

This course covers some of the most significant events in modern world history that still affect us today.

Introductory topic: 'Vikings'. This three week topic introduces students to the essential skills involved in Level 1 History.  We also learn about the early migrations of Scandinavian peoples (800 - 900 C.E) who were otherwise known as 'Vikings'. Who were these people? Why did they end up terrorising Britain and Ireland? What were some of the important myths and gods that the Vikings believed in? These are some of the questions that students will be able to answer by the end of this mini topic through exposure of the essential subject skills.

The two main topics:

The Origins and Experience of World War II (1919 - 1945) –a study explaining the outbreak of World War II, a global event that claimed over 70 million lives. The study will also include the opportunity to gain an understanding of how influential Adolf Hitler was in starting this conflict. Also included, the role that New Zealand played in this conflict and how the war impacted on New Zealand society.

The Struggle for Black Civil Rights in the USA (1950 - 1970) - The civil rights movements in the mid 20th century in the U.S.A was to secure for African American's equal access to the basic privileges and rights in that country. African American men and women, along with whites, organised and led this movement. While there were legal and some social gains, the early 21st century sees the continuation of the struggle for equality with the global 'Black Lives Matter' movement.  Students will learn how these people and groups in 20th century pursued their goals through legal means, petitions, and nonviolent protest demonstrations. Individuals such as Dr. Martin Luther King jnr and Malcolm X who fought for equality as well as individuals and groups of American's such as the K.K.K. who opposed African American's in having it, will be studied.

Researching a significant historic event. One of the internal assessments will involve students choosing an significant historic event that occurred between c. 1800 - 1990 to research. Students do not need to choose from the topics studied in class but can instead research something of interest.

'The Dawn Raids' internal assessment report: As part of the 'Black Civil Rights' topic students will learn and then write a report on the Dawn Raids that occurred in New Zealand during the mid 1970's, a shameful passage concerning race relations in our countries history. It was when the government charged the police to arrest individuals who they believed had overstayed their work or travel visas - most of these individuals were from neighboring Pasifika countries. 

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 their class Schoology page. This is not compulsory but encouraged.

Learning Areas:



NCEA Level 2 History

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Stationery: A lever arch folder, subject dividers and A4 lined paper. A document wallet cardboard 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.


Burnside High School may change any costs, courses or standards offered without notice.