1. Build up in pupils a general awareness of mankind's cultural heritage as well as political and socio‑economic evolution so as to enable them to gain a clear understanding of the world in which they live.  Special emphasis will be put on the integration of the syllabus with the gist of the Chinese culture and the learning of local history.
  2. Enable pupils to acquire and master a range of skills so that they can handle historical data and acquire knowledge independently. These skills include vocabulary, sequencing, comprehension, analysis, synthesis, inference and evaluation.
  3. Encourage pupils to understand historical events from multiple perspectives, in a broad and global way and make sound judgments independently and critically.
  4. Nurture and cultivate positive values and attitudes among students through an awareness and appreciation of the past.




Historical knowledge & understanding

Historical skills & inquiry process

Historical empathy & imagination

Chinese culture & civic education

-    To have knowledge & understanding of some historical terminology and historical facts within a specific period of study.
-    To have knowledge & understanding of core concepts in History.
- Time, Cause & effect, Change & development, Similarities & differences, Evidence

-  Vocabulary (knowledge of & application of some historical terms & useful expressions)
-  Sequencing
(arrange the past events in the proper chronological  order)
-  Analysis
-  Synthesis
-  Inference
-  Evaluation

To show awareness, respect & appreciation of historical events/ figures.
-  To examine the historical issues from perspectives of people in the past.
-  To be aware of mankind‘s cultural heritage.

-  To show an awareness, respect & appreciation of Chinese culture.

-  To cultivate a civic mind enhancing personal growth.

Teaching and learning

1  Knowledge and understanding of some historical terms / facts

    1. Historical terms can be differentiated into two main types: topic-based and theme-based.
    2. Historical terms should be learnt in context with examples and illustration.  This could enhance students’ understanding and application of knowledge.  Dictation on single word should be avoided to help students organize information in a meaningful way.

2  Knowledge and understanding of core concepts in History

Core concepts



- An understanding of chronology in its conventional form and with an ability to demonstrate proper usage.

- Try to understand the meaning of BC, AD, decade, century, prehistory, history, Ancient Times, Medieval Times, Modern Times.

Cause & Effect

- An understanding of simple causation and effects.

- Students should be able to distinguish between the underlying/remote causes with the short-term/immediate causes and between internal causes and external causes.  No single cause should be solely responsible for an event as causes are inter-related.

- Students should be able to identify both short-term & long-term effects and both positive & negative impacts.

- Explain why a local event: Sarajevo Assassination could develop into a global war and identify effects of wars on political, economic and social development of various great powers, and the world as a whole.
- Identify the cause-effect relationship between WWI and WWII.

Change & Development/Continuity

- An understanding that changes take place within a defined period while development can span across a longer period of time. Continuity is a key feature in historical development.

- Examine the changes & continuity in Greek and Roman civilization and its development through the ages.

Similarities & Differences

- An understanding that comparison can be made of historical events/figures/periods in gaining insights into similarities or differences they hold.

- Make a comparison on:  the  modernization efforts of the Qing & Meiji government; the role of Cavour and Bismarck in the unification movements of Italy and Germany;  Fascism & Nazism, etc.


- An understanding that a satisfactory picture of the past is based on adequate and relevant evidence.

- Realize the importance of archaeological sites (evidence) in the study of the history of Hong Kong, e.g. a Han Tomb at Lei Cheng Uk; a Beidu Statue in Castle Peak Monastery; Sung Wong Toi hill in Kowloon Bay;  remains in Sham Wan, Shek Pik, etc.

2.3  Mastery of historical skills

Key historical skills




The ability to apply concepts/terms/facts in their proper historical context

- Identify Gautama, Jesus Christ and Muhammad with Buddhism, Christianity and Islam respectively.


The ability to arrange historical periods/events in proper chronological order


The ability to employ proper historical time

- Ancient Times – Medieval Times – Modern Times
- The Self-Strengthening Movement – the Hundred Days’ Reform – the Late Qing Reform in China

- Using BC when referring to Stone Age;
- Using Middle Ages when referring to   
knights and castles;
- Using ‘the 20th century’ when referring to the two world wars


The ability to make meaning out of/to extract simple information from sources/resources provided, such as maps, pictures, cartoons, short pieces of documents, etc.

- Outline the life of the peasants in the Medieval Times.
- Describe the four causes of the First World War.
- Identify the main policy adopted by Britain as shown in Source A.


The ability to distinguish between fact, opinion and judgment
The ability to break down information into parts and compare and contrast more than one piece of evidence

- Identify different features of a church, a mosque and a temple.
- Compare the role of the League of Nations and the United Nations as peace-keeping bodies.
- Pinpoint that the problems faced by the Qing government in the first half of the 19th century were both internal & external in nature


The ability to build up/organize a piece of work (in either oral, written, graphical or pictorial form) from a selection of various sources

- Write a piece of diary describing the life of a boy in the New Stone Age
- Draw a mind map showing the relationship between the 1905 and 1917 Russian Revolutions.


The ability to make forecast about possible development of a situation

- The outbreak of war between the Christians and Muslims as a result of rivalry over the Holy Land.
- The outbreak of the Second World War as a result of the rise of totalitarianism


The ability to discuss and question about sources on the basis of reliability, bias and validity

- Discuss whether Alexander the Great was deserved for his name with the evidence provided.
- Question about the validity of war-time cartoons/posters and detect bias in them (to distinguish between historical facts and opinions).

2.4  Showing historical empathy and imagination

Historical empathy & imagination


To show awareness, respect, sympathy and appreciation of historical events/figures in the past

- Learn about the role of some historical figures in their respective countries e.g. Sun Yat-sin, Cavour, Bismarck, Napoleon, etc.
- Learn about the role of common people in the development of their countries, e.g. the life of early people in Hong Kong.

To examine historical issues from perspectives of people in the past

- Simulate the building of the pyramid.
- Simulate the role of representatives from various countries attending the Congress of Vienna.

To be aware of mankind’s cultural heritage

- Organize field-trips and visit museums.
- Think about the concept of conservation.


Teaching and learning approaches and strategies

1    Basic principles to be observed:

  1. Team work among subject teachers
    • Since no recipe can be applied to all teaching and learning environment, PREPARATION, COMMITMENT & FLEXIBILITY are important ingredients in all teaching and learning processes.
    • There should be strong collaboration among teachers in the design of teaching strategies, teaching materials (notes, worksheets, transparencies, etc.), assessment programs, etc.
  2. Student-centered & skill-based approach (with due attention to divergence in students’ abilities
    • Direct instruction seems more appropriate for the teaching of basic knowledge and skills but it is not the same as mere lecturing.  The structured learning environment with clear objectives should be accompanied with students’ active participation.
    • A wide range of student activities should be employed to tie in with the needs and abilities of students.  Teachers should consider students’ needs and individual learning styles.
    • It is hoped that through the collaboration among teachers and the emphasis on student-centered approach, students are able to realize that any identical event and situation can be interpreted in different perspectives. Also, we should be reflective and critical in the understanding of all events.

 Some suggested teaching & learning approaches and strategies for all forms

Some suggested activities



Concept mapping

- Students are asked to write down anything related to a concept
- Subject teacher provides stimulation and probing by the use of pictures, photographs, artifacts, etc.
- Ideas are gathered and formed into clusters and framed under some headings for discussion.

- A concept map about the term ‘history’: What? How? Why?

Video /CD shows

- A brief outline of the programs should be given to students before any audio-visual presentation.
- Worksheets/questions should be set for students to pinpoint the focus of the programs.
- Encourage students’ independent thinking through class discussion or commentary report.

- Video shows on: the history of H.K.; the Battle of Waterloo; the Russian Revolution; the Opium War; Two World Wars, etc.

Role play

- Teachers should gather the necessary information beforehand.
- Such activity can be organized in the form of class competition.
- The major aim is to stimulate empathetic thinking.
- An evaluation form is prepared to enhance students’ engagement. 

- Simulate the life of a knight in    the Medieval Times
- Simulate the role of both the victorious and defeated powers attending the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.

Source-based discussion & presentation
(data-based questions) *

- A wide range of sources should be used to arouse the interests and engagement of students.
- Individual or group presentation should be arranged to stimulate discussion among students.
- Teachers should highlight the importance of different interpretations of the same event.
-  A systematic learning of data-based questions (DBQ) and the related skills is implemented right from the junior form levels and is further reinforced in senior forms.


Students should be exposed to the following sources for discussion:
- Maps showing the main centers of early civilization, the colonial conflicts among great powers before WWI, etc.
- Pictures and photos showing the livelihood of early people in H.K., the works of the Renaissance artists, the Sarajevo Assassination, 1914 etc.
- A time-line showing the main events during the Crusades
- Cartoons depicting the changes brought to Japan as a result of the victory in the Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War and the First World War.
- Extracts showing the treaties signed between China and other great powers in the early 19th century, documents signed during and after the Second World War, etc.
- Speeches made by prominent historical figures like Hitler, 
Churchill, etc.  


- Both sides are encouraged to gather relevant information and present their ideas systematically.
- Teacher should give guidance and advice whenever necessary but the main argument should be formulated and elaborated by students themselves.
- Students should be clearly familiar with the procedure of a debate.

- Debates on: the responsibility for causing the First World War, the role of Hitler in the Second World War: a hero or tyrant? The justification of using atomic bombs to end the Second World War, etc.

Visits and fieldwork

- For any visits and fieldwork, preparation is very important: pre-visit is a must and it is necessary to contact the museum to see whether there is any tour guide, pamphlets, worksheets and other information provided.
- Students should have a clear concept of the purpose, arrangement and activities of the visit. A briefing should be arranged.
- Students should have a general knowledge of the topic before the visit, e.g. they are given some lessons or selected readings beforehand.
- In order to enhance students’ engagement, they are required to do the followings: filling in worksheets, taking photos, drawing pictures, or interviewing, etc.


- Visit the Museum of History, historical sites and buildings or the Heritage Trail in H.K.
- Interview some of the people who have survived the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong during the Second World War.

Learning by reading

- Students are encouraged to read books related to historical issues.  A reading list is recommended for students.
- Junior form students have to read 2 books at least and complete the related assignments (book reports/book marks/cartoons).
- They are asked to have one-minute sharing in class.

- To read ‘My struggle’, ‘anti-Semitism’ when studying the role of Hitler during WWII.
- To read ‘Animal Farm’ when studying the concept of totalitarianism.


Some suggested teaching & learning approaches and strategies for senior   forms