This week in short…. Evelyn Stevenson

Just reporting back on what has been happening recently. We have all been doing a lot of thinking over the past week and achieved a few concrete successes as well. Firstly, we have put together a booklet, with an interactive content, on the overview to the Ancient World. The other success was attending a workshop on the new curriculum last Friday.

This workshop was organised by the DEC and led by Sabreena Taylor. Its’ focus was helping teachers with the implementation of the BOS Syllabus . In particular it was directed towards how we were going to put it all together including the historical overviews.

At this workshop we were given the opportunity to share ideas as well as consolidate theories and practice. We discussed how each aspect of Stage 4 and Stage 5 would fit together and how the syllabus is designed with a world history approach in mind. The overviews which are new, certainly facilitate this big picture approach to history.

The new syllabus has both new and old aspects to it. This makes it a little less daunting. Some of the new topics are very interesting. I find the overviews a real positive as they tie in specific developments in history, making them more meaningful and relevant. The overview which I have just completed may work best by being integrated into the study of either China or Egypt. For now the overview will be  taught separately. This is partly because I had not considered other options.

When this unit is taught and we reflect together on it, we may choose to make changes to it for the cohort beginning year 7 next year.  The reason for this is that there is potential overlap of content/concepts in certain areas. (e.g. the development of farming and civilisations) I would continue to teach the ‘Out of Africa’ component separately but the development of settlement, villages and sophisticated civilisations could certainly be taught using an integrated approach. We discussed at this meeting three possible alternatives for the overview: that it be taught separately before the depth study, that it be integrated with the depth study or that it be used to wrap up/ review a topic when it is complete.

In addition to these discussions, the group was also given access to several excellent resources for the new curriculum. These resources were tools for teaching more than content. They included things like interactive timelines, maps and videos that covered the concepts well.

This week we begin our trial of the Overview of the Ancient World. Victoria and I are also going to be working on various adjustments we have already discussed for the Depth Study on China.

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