Planning, programming and assessing ancient history

Resources to help you plan, program and assess ancient history in Years 11–12.

Ancient history examines past societies using a wide variety of written and archaeological sources. A study of ancient history allows students to:

  • investigate past people, societies, events and historical sites using the methods of historians and archaeologists
  • understand the influence the ancient past has on the present and future
  • analyse written and archaeological evidence, question interpretations of available evidence, appreciate the need to conserve historical sites and consider changing interpretations of the past
  • communicate about history in a variety of forms.

Ancient history (NESA) contains the syllabus and support materials including a sample assessment schedule, standards packages, HSC exam specifications and specimen papers.

Support materials

The Ancient history planning tool maps topics across the ancient history syllabus, highlighting complementary areas of study and key connections. It will support you to create a strong scope and sequence to develop student understanding of course content and concepts, ensuring the best learning path through the syllabus for your context.

HSC revision resources

Use the following resources to support students in their studies as they prepare for the HSC exam. Use the included activities as part of classroom learning or set for independent study. The resources are designed to be used in part or in full to fit the contextual needs of your teaching.


Many of the following support materials were developed by NSW public school teachers as part of the Stage 6 mEsh project where 62 teachers led writing teams (over 150 teachers) across NSW.

Year 11 – museums, history and future careers

Learn about aspects of ancient history through a virtual excursion of the Chau Chak Wing Museum containing interviews with experts:

  • in the field about their work
  • about some of the ancient artefacts.

This learning sequence (DOCX 82 KB) and accompanying virtual excursion integrate components from 2 areas of investigating ancient history – the nature of ancient history section of the syllabus. The introduction to the Chau Chak Wing Museum provides students with an overview to the museum and artefacts.

The virtual excursion has been developed in collaboration with the The University of Sydney – Chau Chak Wing Museum, Career and Workplace Learning and DART Learning.

Pompeii podcasts

These podcasts, featuring renowned Australian archaeologist and physical anthropologist from Sydney University, Dr Estelle Lazer, cover a range of topics from the Year 12 ancient history core topic: Cities of Vesuvius: Pompeii and Herculaneum.

HSC hub

The HSC hub contains quality resources aligned to NSW syllabuses. Access resources designed by our curriculum experts to support the delivery of HSIE subjects in the lead-up to the HSC examinations.

30min presentation with tips for studying and completing the written examination.

HSC hub - Ancient history - success in the written examination


  • Ancient History
  • Stage 6

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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