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Alexandria Park Community School

Alexandria Park Community School

Community Opportunity Success

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Human society and its environment

In human society and its environment (HSIE), the subjects of history and geography are mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10, where students study specific historical and geographical concepts and skills. 

In HSIE, students explore varied subjects in human society and its environment to learn about history, geography, people, societies and culture.

Students 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. 

In Year 11 and 12, students can choose from a range of HSIE courses. These include:

  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Ancient History Life Skills
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History Extension
  • Legal Studies
  • Modern History
  • Modern History Life Skills
  • Society and Culture
  • Studies of Religion.

Geography (Mandatory)

Geography is a mandatory course and is a requirement for completion of Stage 5.

Geography allows students to develop an enjoyment of and an interest in the interaction of the physical and human environments. Students will develop geographic knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes in order to engage in the community as informed and active citizens.

The syllabus has two key dimensions that form the basis for the study of all content in Geography:

  • The spatial dimension – where things are and why they are there
  • The ecological dimension – how humans interact with environments.

What will students learn about?

Global Geography consists of four focus areas in which students learn about the geographical processes and human interactions that shape global environments. They also learn about geographical issues and the responses to them including appropriate methods of citizenship for their management.

Students of Australian Geography learn about the interaction of human and physical geography in a local context. They examine Australia's physical environments and communities and explore how they are changing and responding to change. Students also look at Australia's roles in its region and globally and how individuals and groups are planning for a better future. An important feature of the Australian Geography course is to allow students to become more informed and active citizens.

What will students learn to do?

Students learn to gather process and communicate geographical information from a variety of primary and secondary sources. The study of Geography also provides opportunities for students to learn to use a wide range of geographical tools including information and communication technologies.

Early Stage One

By the end of Early Stage 1, students identify familiar places and recognise why some places are special or important to people and how they care for them. They recognise that places can be represented on maps.

Stage One

By the end of Stage 1, students describe the natural features of different places, including the weather and seasons, and recognise that places exist across a range of scales. They describe human features of places, including how spaces can be arranged for different purposes. Students investigate how places are managed and cared for and discuss the connections people have to different places.

Stage Two

By the end of Stage 2, students examine the characteristics of places in different locations from the local to the national scale. They describe interconnections between people and the environment. They identify simple patterns in the distribution of the features of places. Students recognise the importance of the environment and examine how different perceptions influence people’s responses to a geographical challenge.

Stage Three

By the end of Stage 3, students describe the diverse characteristics of places in different locations across local and global scales. They explain interactions between people, places and environments and identify factors influencing interconnections. Students compare spatial distributions and patterns among phenomena. They explore how people respond to a geographical challenge and investigate reasons for differing perspectives.

History (Mandatory)

History is a mandatory course and is a requirement for completion of Stage 5.

History develops in young people an interest in and enjoyment of exploring the past. A study of History provides opportunities for examining events, people and societies from ancient, medieval and modern times, including twentieth century Australia.

What will students learn about?

Students explore the nature of history, how historians investigate the past and the importance of conserving our heritage. Aspects of the ancient and medieval world are studied, including origins and daily life of the ancient world and beliefs and values of medieval societies. The nature of colonisation and contact history is also examined.

Students develop an understanding of significant developments in Australia's social, political and cultural history including Federation, the Vietnam War era and the social history of one decade in depth. Australia's international relationships are examined through World War One and Two and our role as a global citizen. The changing rights and freedoms of Aboriginal peoples and other groups in Australia are also studied.

What will students learn to do?

Students learn to apply the skills of investigating history including analysing sources and evidence and sequencing major historical events to show an understanding of continuity, change and causation. Students develop research and communication skills, including the use of ICTs, and examine different perspectives and interpretations to develop an understanding of a wide variety of viewpoints. Students also learn to construct a logical historical argument supported by relevant evidence and to communicate effectively about the past to different audiences.

Early Stage One

By the end of Early Stage 1, students communicate stories of their own family heritage and the heritage of others. They identify similarities and differences between families and recognise how important family events are commemorated.

Stage One

By the end of Stage 1, students identify change and continuity in family and daily life using appropriate historical terms. They relate stories about their families’ and communities’ past and explore a point of view within an historical context. They identify and describe significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time. Students describe the effects of changing technology on people’s lives over time.

Stage Two

By the end of Stage 2, students explain how and why there has been change and continuity in communities and daily life. They identify traces of the past in the present and can explain their significance. They identify celebrations and commemorations of significance in Australia and the world. Students describe and explain how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time. They describe people, events, actions and consequences of world exploration. Students identify the importance of Country to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and explain the impact of British settlement in Australia.

Stage Three

By the end of Stage 3, students describe and explain the significance of people, groups, places and events to the development of the Australian colonies and then Australia as a nation. They describe and explain different experiences of people living in the Australian colonies and then in Australia as a nation. Students identify change and continuity and describe the causes and effects of change in Australian society. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and trace experiences of democracy and citizenship over time, including the struggles of various groups for rights and freedoms including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Students engage with global connections through stories of various migrant groups and their contribution to Australia’s economic and social development.