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Smith's Hill High School

Smith's Hill High School

Promoting excellence in a spirit of trust and cooperation

Telephone02 4229 4266

Emailsmithshill-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Human society and its environment

In human society and its environment (HSIE), both subjects of history and geography are mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Students learn specific historical and geographical concepts and skills in history and geography. They also have an opportunity to learn more about people and the societies and environments in which they live through elective subjects in Years 7 to 10 (Stages 4 to 5).

A large number of individual subjects make up the key learning area of HSIE in which students:

  • research, gather and analyse information
  • question and make judgements
  • write for a variety of purposes. 

Stage 4 - Years 7 and 8 - History

Year 7

History is the study of past civilisations, wondrous cities and interesting people. This is explored though the investigation of historical evidence, assessing primary and secondary sources and recognising the perspectives and interpretations of others. Students will investigate Ancient civilisations through the case studies of the Mediterranean and the Asian Worlds.

Year 8

In this course students study two topics: The Asia Pacific World Angkor and the Khmer Empire and Aboriginals and Indigenous Peoples, Colonisation and Contact History. In addition, students are also provided an opportunity to build upon their history skills. They identify and describe the meaning, purpose and context of historical sources and use the evidence from these sources to support historical narratives and explanation. Students also learn to identify, explain and analyse different perspectives in sources.

 NESA syllabus link: https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/history-k-10

Stage 4 - Years 7 and 8 - Geography

Year 7

Students study two topics: Place and Liveability and Water in the World. In Place and Liveability, students discuss factors that influence people’s perceptions of the liveability of places. They investigate features and characteristics of places across a range of scales that support and enhance people’s wellbeing. The study of Water in the World involves students to examine water as a resource and the factors influencing water flows and availability of water resources in different places. Students discuss variations in people’s perceptions about the value of water and the need for sustainable water management.

Year 8

Students study two topics: Landscapes and Landforms and Interconnections. In Landscapes and Landforms, students explore landscapes and landforms using examples from Australia and throughout the world. They explain processes that create landscapes and shape individual landforms and they describe the value of landscapes and landforms to different people. In the topic Interconnectedness, students focus on the connections people have to places across a range of scales. They explain the effects of human activities on places and environments in Australia and across the world and investigate sustainability initiatives and possible futures for these places.

NESA syllabus link: https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/geography-k-10

Stage 5 - Years 9 and 10 - History

Year 9

This course aims to examine the key features of modern world history and key parts of Australia’s story as a nation within that broader context. Students examine brief overviews of issues such as the Industrial Revolution, the mass migration of peoples since the 18th century and new political forces that emerged over the last 200 years. This course provides students with the opportunity to conduct more specific case studies that examine the development of the Australian nation and our involvement in World War One and World War Two.

Year 10

Through their study of this course, students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the experiences of different cultural and social groups in Australia and the United States during the 20th century and their struggle for recognition and civic rights. Students also study the Vietnam war era. Students examine the reasons for Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the social, political and cultural changes that resulted from it.

NESA syllabus link: https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/history-k-10

Stage 5 - Years 9 and 10 - Geography

Year 9

Students study two topics: Sustainable Biomes and Changing Places. The study of Sustainable Biomes, students examine the physical characteristics and productivity of biomes. Students examine the correlation between the world’s climatic zones and spatial distributions of biomes and their capacity to support food and non-food agricultural production. The study of Changing Places involves students to examine the patterns and trends in population movements and the increasing urbanisation of countries.

Year 10

Students study two topics: Environmental Change and Management and Human Wellbeing. In Environmental Change and Management, students develop an understanding of the functioning of environments and the scale of human-induced environmental change challenging sustainability. Students undertake an investigative study of the causes and consequences of environmental change in an environment in Australia and another country and propose ways individuals can contribute to environmental sustainability. In Human Wellbeing topic, students examine the nature of, and differences in, human wellbeing and development that exist within and between countries. They describe ways of measuring human wellbeing and development to reveal spatial variations and develop explanations for differences.

NESA syllabus link: https://www.educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/learning-areas/hsie/geography-k-10

Stage 5 - Years 9 and 10 - Electives

Consumerism

Students learn how to identify and research issues that individuals encounter when making consumer and financial decisions. They investigate laws and mechanisms that protect consumers including the process of consumer redress. Students examine a range of options related to personal decisions of a consumer and financial nature and assess responsible financial management strategies. They also learn how to plan for travel and how to solve problems encountered when travelling.

Economy

Students develop an understanding of the importance, and features of, the economic environment, including markets. They explore the nature, role and operation of businesses in the context of an increasingly globalised economy. Students also investigate Australia’s place in the global economy, measurement of economic performance, trade patterns, the impact of changes in our economy and the implications of these changes for consumers, businesses and broader society.

Law

Students develop an understanding of how laws affect individuals and groups and regulate society, and how individuals and groups participate in the democratic process. Students examine various legal and political systems and learn how strategies are used to resolve contentious legal and political issues. Students also investigate a range of situations in which individuals may come in contact with the law and examine the legal rights and responsibilities of individuals in society and the range of options available for dispute resolution.

Business

Students investigate the contribution of work to the individual and society and the changing nature of work. They examine how individuals may derive an income, and the changing rights and responsibilities of workplace participants. Students analyse a range of perspectives in their consideration of employment and work futures. Students investigate how entrepreneurial attributes and dispositions contribute to business success, and examine the considerations involved when planning and running a business. They investigate key issues and processes related to the various aspects of running a business.

Global Conflict

This course provides the opportunity for the student to study contemporary regional and global issues in a news report format using print, electronic media and the internet. Aspects of environmental, social, cultural, economic and political issues will be examined as they unfold during the period of study.

Physical Geography 2

In this course students study the geographical processes that form and transform the physical world such as plate tectonics, weathering, erosion, deposition and mass movements. Students also study features and importance of the world’s oceans and issues associated with them.

International Studies 1

This course equips students with the capacity to engage with cultures within Australia and beyond. Students will engage ideas, beliefs and practices across a wide range of cultures. There is an emphasis on the cultures of Asia and the Pacific due to Australia’s geographical proximity to Asia and the Pacific, the increasing percentage of Australians with Asian-Pacific backgrounds, the economic growth of China and India, Australia’s growing trade and exchanges with the countries of Asia and Australia’s emerging security and humanitarian interests in the Pacific.

Content: Core – Understanding Culture and Diversity in Today’s World

Option 1: Culture and Beliefs

Option 2: Culture and Media

International Studies 2 – Prerequisite: International Studies 1

This course equips students with the capacity to engage with cultures within Australia and beyond. Students will engage ideas, beliefs and practices across a wide range of cultures. There is an emphasis on the cultures of Asia and the Pacific due to Australia’s geographical proximity to Asia and the Pacific, the increasing percentage of Australians with Asian-Pacific backgrounds, the economic growth of China and India, Australia’s growing trade and exchanges with the countries of Asia and Australia’s emerging security and humanitarian interests in the Pacific.

Content: Core – Understanding Culture and Diversity in Today’s World

Option 1: Culture in film and literature

Option 2: Culture, science, technology and change

Big History

Big History seeks to place the human story within the broader context of the universe’s development. In this course students examine the main developments in the unfolding story of the universe and look at the forces that have shaped the human story as part of the larger story of the universe. In this course, students are required to work with multiple disciplines including physics, biology, anthropology and, of course, traditional history to engage with complex intellectual questions about humanity and its history.

Popular Culture

Popular culture is a term that is constantly used in media today, however, popular culture needs to meet four distinguishing characteristics: be associated with commercial products; have developed from a local to a national to a global level; allow consumers to have widespread access to it; and, be constantly changing and evolving.

Archaeology

Students develop a deep and sophisticated understanding of the practice of archaeology through a range of research, written and practical activities. Students learn about the purpose of the discipline, archaeological methodology, source analysis and ethical and heritage issues.

World War Two

World War Two provides students with an opportunity to explore one of the most important events of the 20th century. Students will investigate the origins, course and consequences of the war through a range of activities, sources and their own research. The course offers students an excellent opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that will complement their mandatory studies in Stage 5 History and HSC Modern History should they decide to pursue this in the senior years.

Stage 6 - Years 11 and 12

Ancient History

Preliminary course

The Year 11 course is structured to provide students with opportunities to develop and apply their understanding of methods and issues involved in the investigation of the ancient past. Through the use of archaeological and written sources, students investigate various aspects of the ancient world, including historical sites, people, societies, events and developments.

HSC course   

The Year 12 course is structured to provide students with opportunities to apply their understanding of archaeological and written sources and relevant historiographical issues in the investigation of the ancient past.

NESA syllabus link: https://syllabus.nesa.nsw.edu.au/ancient-history-stage6/

Business Studies

Business Studies investigates the role, operation and management of businesses within our society. Factors in the establishment, operation and management of a small business are integral to this course. Within these topics students investigate the role of global business and its impact on Australian business. Students develop research and independent learning skills in addition to analytical and problem-solving competencies through their studies.

Preliminary course

Topics covered: Nature of business, Business management, Business planning

HSC course

Topics covered: Operations, Marketing, Finance, Human Resources.

NESA syllabus link: http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/2f9a5382-5446-4dc6-ba39-f90f53469200/business-studies-st6-syl.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID

Economics

Economics provides an understanding for students about many aspects of the economy and its operation that are frequently reported in the media. It investigates issues such as why unemployment or inflation rates change and how these changes will impact on individuals in society. Economics develops students' knowledge and understanding of the operation of the global and Australian economy. It develops the analytical, problem-solving and communication skills of students. There is a strong emphasis on the problems and issues in a contemporary Australian economic context within the course.

Preliminary course

Topics covered: Introduction to Economics, Consumers and Business, Markets, Labour Markets, Financial Markets, Government in the Economy

HSC course

Topics covered: The Global Economy, Australia’s Place in the Global Economy, Economic Issues, Economic Policies and Managements

NESA syllabus link: http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/stage-6-learning-areas/hsie/economics

Geography

The aim of this course is to enable students to investigate the world through accurate descriptions and interpretations of the varied character of the physical environment of the earth and its people. A student will develop the ability to recognise and understand environmental change and thus be able to interact effectively as a citizen.

The HSC course enables students to understand the contemporary world. Through specific studies about biophysical and human resources, interactions and trends. Fieldwork and a variety of case studies combine with an assessment of the geographers' contribution to understanding our environment.

Preliminary course

The Preliminary course studies the processes that form and transform the features of the physical environment using fieldwork and research of geographical issues. The second section of the course examines the global and local forces impacting on the geography of population. Two studies will be selected from Cultural Integration, Political Geography, Development Geography and Natural Resources Use.

Topics covered: Biophysical Interactions, Global Challenges, Senior Geography Project

HSC course

The HSC course enables students to understand the contemporary world. Through specific studies about biophysical and human resources, interactions and trends. Fieldwork and a variety of case studies combine with an assessment of the geographers' contribution to understanding our environment.

Topics covered: Ecosystems at Risk, Urban Places, People and Economic Activity

Additional information: Students complete a senior geography project (SGP) in the Preliminary course and must undertake fieldwork in both the Preliminary and HSC courses. Students will be required to submit both oral and written geographic reports.

NESA syllabus link: http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/stage-6-learning-areas/hsie/geography

History Extension - HSC only

The History Extension course is about the nature of history, how and why historical interpretations are developed from different perspectives and approaches over time. The course offers a higher level of critical thinking than the Ancient History and Modern History courses with greater emphasis on historiography.

HSC course

Constructing History

Four key questions provide a framework for investigating the construction of history with a focus on histiography ideas and methodologies, which have evolved over time, to the investigation of these key questions: Who are the historians?, What are the purposes of history?, How has history been constructed, recorded and presented overtime?, Why have approaches to history changed overtime?

Constructing History – Case Studies: Students develop their understanding of significant historiographical ideas and methodologies by exploring ONE case study, with reference to THREE identified areas of debate and the key questions above. The case study provides for an examination of histiography within a specific historical context.

Additional information: History Project - Students will undertake an individual investigative project, focusing on an area of changing historical interpretation.

NESA syllabus link: http://syllabus.nesa.nsw.edu.au/history-extension-stage6/

Legal Studies

The Preliminary course develops students' knowledge and understanding of the nature and functions of law and law-making, the development of Australian and international legal systems, the Australian constitution and the role of the individual. This is achieved by investigating, analysing and synthesising legal information and investigating legal issues from a variety of perspectives. The HSC course investigates the key areas of law, crime, human rights and a variety of focus studies which consider how changes in societies influence law reform.

Preliminary couse

The Legal System, The Individual and the Law, The Law in Practice.

HSC course

Crime, Human Rights, TWO OPTIONS

Two Focus Studies are chosen from: Consumers, Family, Global environmental protection, Indigenous people, Shelter, Workplace, World order.

NESA syllabus link: https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/stage-6-learning-areas/hsie/legal-studies

Modern History

The Preliminary course is designed to provide students with opportunities to investigate individuals, groups, events, institutions, societies and ideas in a range of historical contexts, as a background for their more specialised HSC studies. The Year 12 course is structured to provide students with opportunities to apply their understanding of sources and relevant historiographical issues in the investigation of the modern world.

Preliminary course

Investigating Modern History, Historical Investigation, The Shaping of the Modern World.

HSC course

The Historical concepts and skills content is to be integrated throughout the course. The topics provide the contexts through which concepts and skills are to be developed. These provide the means by which students are able to engage in historical analysis and argument.

The course comprises a study of: Core Study: Power and Authority in the Modern World 1919-1946, ONE 'National Studies' topic, ONE 'Peace and Conflict' topic, ONE 'Change in the Modern World' topic. Students are required to study at least ONE non-European/Western topic.

NESA syllabus link: http://syllabus.nesa.nsw.edu.au/modern-history-stage6/