Cessnock High School

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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. 

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

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

The primary function of the Human Society and Its Environment Faculty (HSIE) faculty is to help instill in students key values seen as important by contemporary Australian society.

We do this by helping students to understand that in order to determine our future we must first understand the world in which we live and the events that have helped to shape that world.

The HSIE faculty was formed from the amalgamation of the old History and Social Sciences faculties. As a result a broad range of subjects are taught within the HSIE faculty that basically encompass what is known as the Humanities.

The benefits of (mandatory) HSIE

The study of history equips students with the knowledge and skills essential for their future roles as active, informed citizens and advocates for a fair and just society. Historical skills in critical thinking and independent inquiry-based learning enable and encourage students to become engaged in lifelong learning.

The study of Geography enables students to establish their sense of place in their community and world, critically assess the ideas and opinions of others and to form and express their own ideas and arguments. In so doing it forms a basis for active participation in community life, ecological sustainability, creating a just society, promoting intercultural understanding and lifelong learning.

Through the study of civics and citizenship students develop knowledge of the decision-making processes that exist at a variety of scales, which informs them of ways they can participate as responsible and informed members of society.

Society and Culture 31 March 2020 letter to parents