Social sciences, geography and history



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OXFORD CLIL

SOCIAL SCIENCES, GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY

ESO 1


INDEX



1. INTRODUCTION


2

2. METHODOLOGY


4

3. BASIC COMPETENCES


8

4. ACTIVITIES, ATTENTION TO DIVERSITY, ASSESSMENT, AND ASSESSMENT OF BASIC COMPETENCES


17

Activities

17

Attention to diversity

17

Assessment procedures and marking criteria

18

Assessment of basic competences


18

5. PROGRAMMES OF STUDY

22


Geography


22

Unit 1. Planet Earth

22

Unit 2. Relief

26

Unit 3. Climate and living things

29

Unit 4. Natural landscapes

33

Unit 5. The continents

36

Unit 6. Spain's natural environment

40


History


44

Unit 7. The Stone Age

44

Unit 8. The Metal Age

48

Unit 9. Early Civilisations

51

Unit 10. Ancient Greece

55

Unit 11. Ancient Rome

59

Unit 12. Roman and Visigoth Hispania

63

1. INTRODUCTION
This document refers to the first year ESO syllabus for Social Sciences and is based on the Royal Decree 1631/2006 of 29 December, approved by the then Ministry of Education and Science (MEC), which establishes the minimum syllabus requirements for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) according to Constitutional Law on Education (LOE).

According to the LOE, one of the aims of school education is to enable students to communicate – to understand and express themselves orally and in writing – in one or more foreign languages. To help further this aim, the same Royal Decree gives local education authorities the power to authorise schools to teach some curriculum subjects in a foreign language, as long as the basic curriculum requirements are met.


As a result, an increasing number of primary and secondary schools are offering a range of curriculum subjects through the medium of a foreign language, especially English. The aim of this so-called ‘bilingual’ education is to develop students’ linguistic competence in all of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through content and language integrated learning (CLIL). The Oxford CLIL series has been conceived and developed specifically for the needs of secondary students in bilingual sections and schools. It covers the curriculum requirements in the subject area providing students with the necessary subject knowledge, whilst at the same time developing their linguistic skills in both their mother tongue and English.
Another key feature of the LOE is the integration of basic competences into the curriculum. The course objectives, contents, methodology and assessment criteria are now closely linked to these competences, which guide the teaching and learning process. The basic competences are described in detail in section 3 of this document, and each one is broken down into subcompetences. They are then linked to the specific assessment criteria for each unit, criteria which are, in turn, linked to the different learning activities. In the following section, we will see how each competence is covered and assessed, be it through continuous, formative assessment or through summative assessment. We feel that it is important to make teachers aware that the aim of their work and that of their students is to achieve progress in a series of specific basic competences (each one expressed in terms of demonstrable achievements), and also of how the achievement of these aims can be measured (assessable competences). We do this by linking both the subcompetences and the learning activities to the unit's assessment criteria.
In each of the 12 teaching units for this subject and school year, concepts, procedures and attitudes are all interlinked and geared towards the teaching and learning process. Each one performs a different, yet complementary, role in the students' learning process. This is also clearly reflected in the assessment criteria and the basic competences and subcompetences, which each apply to different content types and require different approaches in the classroom. Students should always be encouraged to participate and learn to work independently as well as in a team, in such a way that they themselves construct their own knowledge, another feature of competence-based education. This is even more essential in a bilingual context. Teaching students the values of a democratic, free, tolerant and multicultural society continues to be one of the priorities of the education system, as reflected in the objectives of this stage of education and in those of this subject in particular. In the different units students will learn about their country and community’s rich heritage (geographical, historical, cultural and artistic). They will develop the skills directly linked to all the basic competences and, in addition, competence in the foreign language.
Each teaching unit starts with an opening section which presents the unit contents through a series of questions. These can help to remind students of their previous knowledge of the upcoming contents (linked to the contents of the previous year in Primary 6 Knowledge of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment). The subsequent unit contents are presented in a clear, organised and concise way. The approach to each topic, the vocabulary and the complexity of the contents have all been adapted to the cognitive abilities of the students. The language level has been carefully graded for non-native speakers. The contents are presented and explained using explanatory boxes and visual support (photographs, illustrations, etc.), which is a key learning tool, helping students understand new concepts and language more easily. There is also a summary chart of the unit contents at the end of each unit.

As far as possible, classroom learning should be adapted to students’ own day-to-day reality and interests. In other words, it should be meaningful. As such, whenever possible, the contents are presented through real, familiar examples, so that the students become actively and receptively involved in their own learning.


However, the pace at which each student learns varies, depending on his or her cognitive development and social and family environment. As such, attention to diversity amongst students and in their learning environment is a fundamental part of teaching. Many activities (in both the textbook and the teacher's resources) are designed to meet the needs of an inevitably diverse classroom.
Section 5 of this document (Programmes of study) sets out the contents of each unit, dividing them into the categories of concepts, procedures and attitudes. Although the contents are not classified as such in the legislation, they figure in this form in the school curriculum and can be used to support and document different teaching and learning strategies. We think that it is important that students continue to learn concepts, procedures (skills) and attitudes, so that they can use all of these to acquire the basic competences.
The course contents are divided into 12 teaching units (6 Geography and 6 History). Each is presented here, divided into a series of sections to demonstrate how the teaching and learning process will take place:

  • Unit objectives

  • Unit contents (concepts, procedures and attitudes)

  • Assessment criteria

  • Basic competences/subcompetences linked to the assessment criteria and learning activities

The textbook used is Social Sciences 1 (Oxford CLIL, Oxford EDUCACIÓN, 2011), written by Celia Carrasco Márquez, M.ª Dolores Figueira Moure, Genaro González Carballo, Juan Luis González Carballo, Alfredo Marcos Martínez, Guadalupe Sierra Padilla and Francisco Torres Escobar and adapted for CLIL by Cathy Myers. Other components for teachers include the Teacher's Book, which contains the answers to activities and Photocopiable materials (reinforcement and extension activities (reading comprehension, map-reading, games), Tests and Assessments of basic competences).



2. METHODOLOGY
At the heart of the methodology employed in the Oxford CLIL series lies a dual aim: to cover all of the subject requirements prescribed by the curriculum, whilst also catering to the needs of students studying in a foreign language. This is achieved using a CLIL-based approach, the core principles of which are as follows:

  • The subject comes first.

  • Long, dense texts and complex sentence are avoided.

  • Presentation of content is supported by visual aids: photos, flow charts, diagrams, tables, and labelled drawings, for example.

  • Learning is guided and structured.

  • Comprehension tasks are used more frequently than in a native language context to reinforce assimilation and processing of content and provide more language practice. �� Learning is active whenever possible.

  • Greater emphasis is placed on the process of learning.

  • The four skills are crucial for presenting and learning new information.

Despite the fact that the subject is being taught through the medium of a foreign language, many of the methodological considerations are the same as for mother tongue instruction. However, teachers should be aware that the pace of learning may be somewhat slower, especially in the initial stages and more time will be spent on checking understanding and reinforcing linguistic elements. Teachers should address students in English, and students should be encouraged and helped to use English as much as possible, although in the early stages some use of the mother tongue is inevitable.


Apart from the language objectives, the learning objectives of the Social Sciences 1 course range from purely scientific ones (in Geography, the study of the Earth and natural landscapes, and in History, how societies have evolved over time from prehistoric to ancient times) to cross-curricular ones, which help students to understand the social, economic and cultural dynamics of their own community, their country, Europe and the world as a whole, and to participate in that dynamic in their own sociocultural context. In other words, students learn about and understand social phenomena and events and how to interpret today's reality as a human construction developed over time. The emphasis is on the need to understand and explain geographical and historical phenomena, not just know about them. So, schools and the teaching process itself should provide students with the resources they need to understand the complex, ever-changing reality in which they live, in order to play an active role in it.
As well as providing information and knowledge, schools also play an important role in the socialisation of their students. Of all the subjects taught in school, Social Sciences, Geography and History most clearly demonstrates this dual objective. However, this also, paradoxically, makes it more difficult to teach. Students instinctively question the sociocultural reality in which they live. They also have access to the media and information and communication technologies, which compete with teachers for the role of educator and provide a lot of information, which is not always accurate or useful.
Students often already have an opinion about many social facts and phenomena, which can hinder their ability to take knowledge on board but this prior knowledge can actually be used as a starting point for classroom teaching. It is also important to remember that much of the content at this level and in this subject is instrumental: in other words, it transcends the traditional category of knowledge, favouring a propaedeutic approach, which centres on getting students interested in continuing to learn (one of the basic competences) and understanding their complex social reality. Schools must strive to ensure that students take on the values of the democratic society in which they live. In other words, they should turn students into citizens, with all the rights and obligations that this entails. Essentially, this means helping students become mature, both intellectually and personally.
Together, these aspects shape the methodology used for the teaching/learning process (which should be active and participative, giving students the skills required to learn for themselves but also work in a team) and the way in which the contents of the curriculum are organised. Social knowledge can only be constructed by comparing different opinions and hypotheses. Students will learn about a specific social reality (past or present) and be able to compare it with existing ideas they may already have about that reality.
Knowledge of social phenomena and facts alone will not achieve the learning objectives. Students must be trained in basic social research and specific study skills. So, the procedures that appear in each unit and the Social sciences in practice section are vital tools to help students achieve the objectives of this school stage and subject (as well as the corresponding basic objectives) and to develop critical abilities.
Despite the fact that all the Social Sciences are obviously interrelated, Geography and History each have a specific working method based on their objectives. Knowledge and understanding of geographical phenomena require the constant use of maps, pictures, and charts and the ability to describe them and locate them spatially in relation to each other and to other geographical spaces. Knowledge of historical phenomena also requires the use of maps, images, statistics, etc., in order to put them in context both spatially and chronologically. So, the course contents have been organised based on the real location and chronological order in which the social phenomena occurred.
Earlier, we discussed how important it is for students to take an active role in the gradual construction of their own knowledge. As such, any methodological resource (and textbooks are still one of the best) should be used in such a way that students continue to participate in the day-to-day learning process. However, in today's context, where the use of information and communication technologies (digital content) is becoming so widespread, and digital classrooms (interactive whiteboards, video projectors, etc.) are becoming more common due to various national and regional programmes, information and communication technologies are a key part of the teaching and learning process. Not only can they be used to obtain information, they also help the development of the basic competences included in the curriculum (data processing and digital competence, learning to learn, etc.) and have proven to be an effective resource, facilitating learning and thus improving academic results.
Consequently, many of the activities in the course require the use of these technologies. Students exercise a series of intellectual skills, such as finding information, analysis, reflection, comparing sources, etc., using different sources (websites, search engines, etc.). These skills will also be put into practice in other curriculum subjects.
To summarise, the methodological principles on which the curricular materials are based and which teachers should bear in mind in the classroom learning process are:

  • To introduce concepts in a clear, simple and reasoned way, using language adapted to the students' level, and helping to improve their spoken and written expression both in the foreign language and their mother tongue (linguistic competence).

  • To approach contents in a manner that helps students learn in a meaningful, significant way.

  • To analyse geographical and historical texts with a dual objective: to consolidate knowledge of the subject, and to improve reading ability.

  • To use learning strategies that favour a multi-causal analysis of social phenomena in general, and historical and geographical ones in particular.

  • To encourage attitudes that lead students to adopt the values of a democratic system (social competence and citizenship).

Each unit of the Student’s Book has the same structure, and each section aims to meet the various methodological requirements outlined above:




  • An opening page, with a series of initial questions and an illustration to introduce the contents, teach some key vocabulary and raise interest in the topic.




  • Explanatory pages:

  • Explanatory texts are presented in concise, straightforward language, which makes it easy for students to identify and grasp core concepts. Texts are accompanied by photos and illustrations which support the content and aid understanding.

  • Additional information is included in boxes, maps, data tables, drawings, photographs, etc. The history units also include timelines. These help students to put historical events that took place at similar times in chronological order.




  • Key words and core language:

    • Key words on each page have been selected carefully and are highlighted in blue in the text, with simple definitions provided in a key word box in the margin. As well as helping students to understand the material presented, these boxes also provide students with a useful tool for revising the main vocabulary of the unit. All the Key words and their definitions are recorded so that students can listen and repeat the words from a correct model, which will aid their pronunciation and serve as a useful learning aid for auditory learners.

    • As well as understanding the subject-specific language, students learning through the medium of English also have to acquire and use the necessary core language to enable them to express and discuss the concepts in an appropriate, academic style. Through careful choice of language in the texts and the highlighting of this language in selected activities, students gradually build up their proficiency.




  • Activity pages:

- Content pages are interspersed with pages of activities which reinforce the concepts presented in the texts whilst, at the same time, practising the language necessary to express and understand these concepts in English. Activities are divided into three main types:

  1. Activities which focus primarily on comprehension of the concepts presented.

  2. Activities which combine work on the concepts with practice of a specific language area

  3. Activities which highlight a specific area of language difficulty in the unit e.g. word stress, false friends, easily-confused words, spelling, irregular verbs, etc.




  • Reading texts on the Activity pages extend the contents of the unit, highlighting interesting aspects of the topic area.

  • In addition, listening activities are included which help to reinforce vocabulary and pronunciation and develop oral comprehension.




  • A double-page spread of Revision activities at the end of each unit enables students to apply the knowledge they have acquired and teachers to see if any points need to be reinforced. The final section of these Revision activities is called Talking points and consists of oral activities in small groups or pairs, in which students express and exchange opinions or share experiences, do a role-play, have a debate, do a presentation based on their research etc. These activities are designed to develop oral fluency and communication in the foreign language.




  • A summary table of the unit contents for students to complete.




  • Assessment of basic competences:

    • In the Teacher’s Book, there are eight pages of activities for the Geography and History sections, which are designed to assess students' basic competences, i.e. their ability to apply the knowledge acquired in real-life situations.




  • The final sections of the Student’s Book are Social sciences in practice, a section which includes techniques that will help students to observe, understand and analyse, highlighting the importance of procedures in this subject and the appendix of maps: physical and political maps of Spain and the world.

3. BASIC COMPETENCES
The Constitutional Law on Education (LOE) has a new definition of curriculum, which includes not only the traditional components (objectives, contents, teaching methods and assessment criteria), but also an important new component: basic competences. These competences are now one of the linchpins of the curriculum as a whole (it is no coincidence that they are set out in the curriculum before even the objectives). They therefore guide the entire teaching and learning process, especially when in the second year of compulsory secondary education, students must complete a diagnostic test to demonstrate that they have acquired certain competences. Regardless of whether or not the mark for that assessment counts towards the students' grades, the results can be used as a guide so that schools can make decisions about students' learning. This gives us some idea of how the teaching process is affected by this new element, i.e. it becomes much more practical, providing students with transferable skills, not ones that are only applicable in the school context. And of course, students will only achieve the ESO certificate later if they acquire the basic competences at this stage, so these competences now make up the framework for assessment too.
There are many definitions of the concept of basic competences (which can be found in the PISA reports), but they all stress the same thing: instead of an educational model that focuses on the acquisition of mostly theoretical, often unconnected, aspects of knowledge, it is better to acquire competences, leading to the acquisition of essential, practical and integrated knowledge, which students must then demonstrate that they have acquired it (i.e. it goes beyond functional training). In short, a competence is the capacity to integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes to resolve problems and situations in various contexts, and students must prove that they have that capacity by putting it into practice. It has been defined very succinctly as the putting into practice of acquired knowledge - knowledge in action; in other words, the mobilisation of knowledge and skills in a specific situation (a real one, different from the one learnt in the school environment), the activation of resources or knowledge acquired (even if students may think that they have forgotten what they have learnt).
However, there is one aspect worth highlighting, which we could refer to as the combined nature of competences: through what they know, students must be able to demonstrate what they know how to apply, but also what they know how to be. Each competence is made up of the combination of the different types of content learnt in the classroom (concepts, procedures and attitudes), each one forming one of the multifaceted skills that provide students with a well-rounded education. We recognise that schools are not just providing students with technical and scientific knowledge, but also teaching them about citizenship, so they must be able to demonstrate a series of civic and intellectual attitudes that reflect respect for others, a sense of responsibility, teamwork, and so on.
There is another important aspect, and one which is often not stressed enough: if students acquire competences, they are then able to deal with the way that knowledge in any field (and social sciences are no exception) is constantly being renewed and updated. Students' academic training within the school environment takes place over the course of a limited number of years, but their need for personal and/or professional development is lifelong. As such, providing students with the necessary competence in, for example, the use of information and communication technologies means that they will be able to use these tools to gather the information required at any given moment, assessing the quality of that information they find. Given that it is often impossible to cover all of the curriculum contents in great detail over the course of the school year, students need to develop the competence of learning to learn.
The textbook includes teaching and learning activities linked to these basic competences, either implicitly in the explanatory pages, or explicitly in sections like the Assessment of basic competences provided in the Teacher’s Book for each content block (Geography and History).
In the Spanish education system, students must achieve the following basic competences before they finish compulsory education so that they are prepared for the challenges that they will face in their personal and professional lives:

  • Linguistic competence.

  • Mathematical competence.

  • Competence in knowledge and interaction with the physical world.

  • Data processing and digital competence.

  • Social competence and citizenship.

  • Cultural and artistic competence.

  • Learning to learn.

  • Autonomy and personal initiative.

But what do these competences really mean? Below is a summary of the key ways in which each competence influences students' intellectual and personal development, with reference to the most important parts of the school curriculum:



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