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Prairiewood High School

Prairiewood High School

Per Ardua - Through Striving

Telephone02 9725 5444

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. 

What subjects/courses do we offer?

The HSIE faculty offers a wide range of subjects and courses that vary depending on which year the student is in at school.

  • Stage 4 Mandatory (Years 7 and 8) – Geography and History
  • Stage 5 Mandatory (Years 9 and 10) – Geography and History
  • Stage 5 Elective – Commerce, Elective Geography, History’s Mysteries (Elective History), International Studies, Philosophy, Work Studies
  • Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) – Ancient History, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Legal Studies, Modern History, Society & Culture and Work Studies.

Depending on which year the student is in, they will follow the HSIE curriculum designated to best suit them. These may be mandatory (compulsory) or elective (choice) courses.

What will students learn about in the mandatory HSIE curriculum?

The study of HSIE encompasses people and environments (human and natural) over time.

In Geography, students study four focus areas in which students learn about the geographical processes and human interactions that shape global environments. Students examine Australia's physical environments and communities and explore how they are changing and responding to change. An important feature of the Australian geography course is to allow students to become more informed and active citizens. Students achieve this by examining Australia's roles in its region and globally, and how individuals and groups are planning for a better future.

In History, students examine events, people and societies from ancient, medieval and modern times, including twentieth-century Australia. The students will develop a love for history as they explore the nature of history, how historians investigate the past and the importance of conserving our heritage. Students develop an understanding of significant developments in Australia's social, political and cultural history. They study Federation, the Vietnam War era and the social history of one decade in-depth. They examine Australia's international relationships through study of the two World Wars 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?

During the study of HSIE, students learn to gather, process and communicate information from a variety of primary and secondary sources. Learning is supported by a specifically designed excursion program involving field work and specialised site visits and a variety of extension activities. Across both courses, students develop significant skills in the use of information and communication technologies.

In Geography students learn to use a wide range of geographical tools including maps, graphs, statistics, photographs and fieldwork to assist students to gather, analyse and communicate geographical information in a range of formats.

In History, 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. They examine different perspectives and interpretations, developing an understanding of a wide variety of viewpoints. Students learn to construct a logical historical argument supported by relevant evidence and to communicate effectively about the past to different audiences.