Learning and Teaching Sequence for the SS History






S4 The Making of the Modern World The foundations of Western supremacy
Western expansion and the formation of colonial empires
Asia’s reaction to Western expansion
Towards international cooperation

Theme A
Modernization and Transformation in Twentieth Century Asia

Modernization and transformation of Hong Kong Political and institutional changes
Development as an international city
Modernization and transformation of China Early attempts at modernization – reforms and revolutions
Socialist modernization in the Maoist period and the evolution of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” in the post-Mao period
Modernization and transformation of Japan and Southeast Asia Japan
Southeast Asia: from colonies to independent countries

Theme B
Conflicts and Cooperation in the Twentieth-Century World

Major conflicts and the quest for peace International relations from 1900 to 1914
The two world wars and the peace settlements
Major conflicts after WWII and attempts to make peace
The quest for cooperation and prosperity International economic cooperation
International social and cultural cooperation

Elective Part (Students are required to choose ONE of the following electives)
1.      Comparative studies



2.      Issue-based studies



3.      Local heritage studies

Students will work on a topic/theme in different time spans or different territories, and draw valid conclusions about its similarities and differences, and/or change and continuity.

Students will explore a historical issue (e.g. “Terrorism”), and are expected to investigate its origins and development, analyse the controversies underlying the issue, and make reasoned judgments.

Students will decide on a topic relating to the history of the local community and/or heritage, and conduct an investigation by using various approaches or methodologies that they have learnt in the course.


Component Outline Weighting Duration
Public examination* Paper 1 will consist of data-based questions, which will fall within the Compulsory Part. All questions will have to be answered. 50% 1¾ hours
Paper 2 will consist of seven essay-type questions, of which candidates may attempt any TWO. The questions will fall within the Compulsory Part. 30% 1½ hour
Corresponding changes in accordance with the change to SBA (at S4 in 2015/16; 2018 HKDSE):
Paper 1:
– Increase weighting (from 50% to 60%)
– Increase marks (from 50 to 60)
– Increase exam time by 15 mins
Paper 2:
– Increase weighting (from 30% to 40%)
– Incorporate “local heritage” into the compulsory part
School-based assessment (SBA) A two-task course assignment related to the selected elective. The weightings of the tasks are as follows:
Study outline (7%)
Study report (13%)

Not implement SBA (at S4 in 2015/16; 2018 HKDSE)


Relationship between Geography (S1 – 3) Syllabus and SS History Curriculum

History (S1 – S3)

History (S4 –S 6)



Traditional rural life of Hong Kong Modernisation and transformation of Hong Kong
Growth and development of Hong Kong up to the Early 20th Century
International conflicts in the 20th Century: The First World War Introduction: The making of the modern world
Major conflicts and the quest for peace
The quest for cooperation and prosperity