This unifying strand focuses on the nature of history as a discipline. The strand emphasises the skills, concepts, values and attitudes that inform the learning of history. It helps to form students as historians.
There are three interrelated elements to strand 1:
Developing historical consciousness
Working with evidence
Acquiring ‘the big picture.’
Each element is associated with a range of learning outcomes that set out what the student should know or be able to do, following their engagement with the strand.
As strand 1 is the unifying strand, it is intended that its learning outcomes should inform students’ engagement with strands 2 and 3, which are contextual strands. The skills, concepts, values and attitudes that are central to the work of the historian should inform and underpin engagement with the historical personalities, issues and events that students will encounter in strands 2 and s.
NB: Therefore, while the learning outcomes in strand 1 can of course be addressed discretely and prior to engaging with strands 2 and 3, they should also permeate the learning when students are engaging with substantive historical context in strands 2 and 3.
A sense of chronological awareness and appreciation of date patterns should be a strong focus of this integration of learning across all three strands. Developing and maintaining timelines is a means of allowing students to engage meaningfully with this aim.
This structure is consistent with a non-linear approach to engaging with learning outcomes. Strands 2 and 3 provide the context for students to deepen their understanding of the nature of history as a discipline. Therefore, the learning outcomes in strand 1 will be integrated with those in strands 2 and 3. This does not preclude teachers from engaging separately with learning outcomes in strand 1. For example, teachers may work with students on acquiring 'a big picture' in terms of an overarching framework of the past before looking more specifically at learning outcomes in strands 2 and 3, or may explore concepts such as 'cause and consequence'.