History is a subject worthy of study for many reasons. The events, peoples and societies of the past are inherently interesting. It has also been said studying the past is like visiting a foreign country in opening our eyes to alternative ways of doing and seeing things. Recognising that the past was often different can open up the possibility of thinking critically about our current practices as well as helping our ability to understand and empathize with those who are different to us. Tracing change and continuity over time can help us to understand the world around us, how it came to be the way it is today and where it may be headed.
There are key skills, essential to survival in our current world that History helps to develop. In our media saturated society it is helpful to have a critical, inquiring mind which is aware of bias and agenda. History is a great field within which to develop tools of critical analysis. On a more constructive note, History also develops the skill of synthesis – of being able to form and support a position on a range of topics, and to express and defend this position well.
From a Christian perspective History confirms for us the brokenness of this world and the fallen state of mankind. It shows us the destructive nature of all societies which place anything first rather than Christ as well as demonstrating mankind’s inner urge to be of significance, to fight against our mortality or to live for a higher ordeal. Humankind’s impulse towards culture and creativity can also be mapped out as we have reflected God’s character as the ultimate craftsman in our achievements. How the products of culture we have developed have erred from God’s charge in Genesis 1:28 and the results of this are also obvious from History.
At Arndell History is studied in Years 7, 9 and 10. Year 7 covers the Ancient and Medieval World while Years 9 and 10 focus on Australia’s interaction with the world of the Twentieth Century. We also offer both Modern and Ancient History in Years 11-12 and History Extension in Year 12.
The key purpose of Biblical Studies is to enable all students to make an informed choice and a genuine response to the Bible. As we believe that the Bible is the inerrant and Spirit-breathed Word of God and that it outlines the meaning of life, offers salvation and teaches us how to live this life best, the Bible is the focus of our lessons. We aim to equip students to be able to read and understand the Bible, navigate their way around it, develop an understanding of the themes that run through it, how they are fulfilled in Jesus and what they have to do with us.
In order to enable students to respond to the Bible genuinely and intelligently we encourage the asking of questions and voicing of opposition and disagreement in class (in a respectful manner). Though students will be challenged to think critically about the foundations of their own beliefs and thinking and will be exposed to the Gospel message of grace, we cannot and will not ‘force’ students to be Christians – that work is up to the Holy Spirit. Our classes also help to develop Christian students’ understanding of the Bible and its application to their lives, as well as equipping them to better answer the questions of their non-Christian friends.
To these ends the program in Years 7-9 focuses on reading through the narrative portions of the Scriptures: Mark, Genesis, sections of Exodus to Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel and sections of Kings and the book of Acts. Year 9 will also spend a semester exploring the place of Old Testament law in the Bible.
In Years 10-12 the basis for what we do is still the Bible and students study Job, one of the prophets, Psalms, Revelation, Zechariah, the Letters of Paul and Ecclesiastes. During these years students are given the opportunity to learn how to make sense of some of the more difficult books of the Bible as well as beginning to develop skills in formulating a position about different issues of theology and application. They also discuss through many of the key arguments for and against the Bible and Christianity and explore the impact of faith on the life of individuals. In addition to this, students are exposed to, and engage critically and respectfully with, different worldviews and religions. They are also shown how to develop a Christian worldview from the Bible.
What students examine in these lessons is of eternal significance and hence Biblical Studies is a compulsory subject from 7-12. We pray that students make the most of the opportunities afforded them in this subject and that we can lovingly serve them by helping them to understand God’s magnificent Word and the wonderful things it has to offer them.
History and Biblical Studies