History is particularly important in the modern world where different cultures and traditions are required to understand one another and where empathy is highly regarded by employers. The IB History course at GGS focuses predominantly on modern history and promotes international-mindedness through the study of history from more than one region of the world. History is a dynamic, contested, evidence-based discipline that involves an exciting engagement with the past through which students can increase their understanding of themselves and of contemporary society.

The course emphasizes the importance of encouraging students to think historically and critically as well as gaining factual knowledge. Students will develop their understanding of the six key historical concepts of cause and consequence, continuity and change, perspectives and significance which they have been introduced to in History lessons throughout Years 7 to 10. On completion of the programme at Higher or Standard level, students will be able to demonstrate detailed historical knowledge and an understanding of historical concepts and sources. They will be able to formulate clear and coherent arguments which integrate and evaluate evidence from historical sources and perspectives. Students will also understand how to critically evaluate the values and limitations of historical sources and through completion of a historical inquiry they will develop their research and referencing skills and will reflect on the methods of the historian.

Standard Level and Higher Level

Standard and Higher Level students will study the topic of Rights and Protest which considers the struggles for rights and freedoms in the mid-20th century through an examination of the civil rights movement in the USA (1954-1965) and the protests against apartheid in South Africa (1948-1964). Students will study the nature and characteristics of discrimination, examples of protests and actions, and the role and significance of key individuals or groups. Throughout this study, which is examined on Paper 1, students will become confident in understanding historical sources and will critically evaluate the values and limitations of the sources.

All students will study two world history topics which are assessed on Paper 2. Students will firstly investigate conditions that facilitated the rise of Authoritarian States in the 20th century, and the methods used by the parties and leaders to take, consolidate and maintain power. Students will study and compare a range of authoritarian leaders including Hitler and Castro. The second Paper 2 topic is the Cold War which dominated global affairs from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s. The origins, development and end of the Cold War will be examined along with detailed case studies of two Cold War crises, two leaders and two countries.

The Internal Assessment requirements are identical for SL and at HL. Students will complete a research investigation on a historical topic of their choice. The students will develop and apply the skills of a historian by selecting and analysing a range of source material and considering diverse perspectives. The assessment requires students to search for, select, evaluate and use evidence to reach a relevant conclusion consistent with the evidence and arguments that have been put forward.

Higher Level
Higher Level students will undertake a regional study (assessed in Paper 3) in which they will further their understanding of 19th and 20th Century Europe. Students will build on the knowledge gained through their preparation for Papers 1 and 2 as there is overlap in the topics chosen.

Students will prepare for three topics:
- Imperial Russia, revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union (1855 – 1924). This topic focuses on the concepts of change and continuity by considering the collapse of tsarist autocracy, the revolutions of 1917, the Civil War and the rule of Lenin.
- Inter-war domestic developments in European states (1918-1939) which considers domestic developments in Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia between the two world wars.
- The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924-2000) which examines the consolidation of the Soviet state from 1924 and the domestic and foreign policies of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. Students will also consider the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union and the political and economic developments in post-Soviet Russia.


Standard Level
External Assessment: Paper 1: A source-based paper on Rights and Protest (1 hour, 30%)
Paper 2: An essay paper based on the two twentieth century world history topics of Authoritarian States and the Cold War. (1.5 hours, 45%)
Internal Assessment: Historical investigation of up to 2200 words (25%)

Higher Level
External Assessment: Paper 1: A source-based paper on Rights and Protest (1 hour, 20%)
Paper 2: An essay paper based on the two twentieth century world history topics of Authoritarian States and the Cold War. (1.5 hours, 25%)
Paper 3: An essay-based paper on the History of Europe (2.5 hours, 35%)
Internal Assessment: Historical investigation of up to 2200 words (20%)



History (Australian Curriculum)
Timbertop - Year 9

Middle School - Years 5 to 8