Year 5 Level Description

Australian Communities – Their Past, Present and Possible Futures

The Year 5 curriculum focuses on colonial Australia in the 1800s and the social, economic, political and environmental causes and effects of Australia’s development, and on the relationship between humans and their environment. Students’ geographical knowledge of Australia and the the world is expanded as they explore the continents of Europe and North America, and study Australia’s colonisation, migration and democracy in the 1800s. Students investigate how the characteristics of environments are influenced by humans in different times and places, as they seek resources, settle in new places and manage the spaces within them. They also investigate how environments influence the characteristics of places where humans live and human activity in those places. Students explore how communities, past and present, have worked together based on shared beliefs and values. The curriculum introduces studies about Australia’s democratic values, its electoral system and law enforcement. In studying human desire and need for resources, students make connections to economics and business concepts around decisions and choices, gaining opportunities to consider their own and others’ financial, economic, environmental and social responsibilities and decision-making, past, present and future.

The content provides opportunities for students to develop humanities and social sciences understanding through key concepts including significance; continuity and change; cause and effect; place and space; interconnections; roles, rights and responsibilities; and perspectives and action. These concepts may provide a focus for inquiries and be investigated across sub-strands or within a particular sub-strand context.

The content at this year level is organised into two strands: knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills. The knowledge and understanding strand draws from four sub-strands: history, geography, civics and citizenship and economics and business. These strands (knowledge and understanding, and inquiry and skills) are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, which may include integrating with content from the sub-strands and from other learning areas, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming.

Inquiry Questions:

A framework for developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions. The following inquiry questions allow for connections to be made across the sub-strands and may be used or adapted to suit local contexts: inquiry questions are also provided for each sub-strand that may enable connections within the humanities and social sciences learning area or across other learning areas.

  • How have individuals and groups in the past and present contributed to the development of Australia?
  • What is the relationship between environments and my roles as a consumer and citizen?
  • How have people enacted their values and perceptions about their community, other people and places, past and present?

Standard Description

By the end of Year 5, students describe the significance of people and events/developments in bringing about change. They identify the causes and effects of change on particular communities and describe aspects of the past that have remained the same. They describe the experiences of different people in the past.

Students sequence information about events and the lives of individuals in chronological order using timelines. When researching, students develop questions for a historical inquiry. They identify a range of sources and locate, collect and organise information related to this inquiry. They analyse sources to determine their origin and purpose and to identify different viewpoints. Students develop, organise and present their texts, particularly narrative recounts and descriptions, using historical terms and concepts.

A number of Units of work suitable for this year level based on the Australian Curriculum: History -10 are available from the Author. In addition, A Unit of work can be personilised for your school’s needs: to focus on particular knowledge, skills, key concepts or elements of Exit Criteria. Please contact the author, Sue Burvill-Shaw using the contact form on this website,outlining your school’s needs and time constraints, and for more information.