The philosophy and objectives of Studies of Humanities and Society and Environment (HaSS) are consistent with the Site Learning Plan of Parafield Gardens High School. It is based on Quality Learning, Quality Futures, with the foci on Pathways, Learning and Well Being. The learning curriculum sets challenges and high expectations for our students to achieve success, regardless of their economic, social and demographic background.
As a key learning area, HaSS centres on the human fascination with the way people interact with each other and their environment. It involves investigations of sometimes controversial but always challenging issues and promotes critical thinking in the development of optimistic future visions. This key learning area encourages students to be active participants in their world. Students bring to HaSS their understandings about what it means to be young at this time, whilst appreciating and applying different perspectives to deepen their understanding.
The key learning areas of HaSS help students to understand how people's life experiences are the results of particular social, cultural, economic and environmental relationships that characterise communities at particular times and places. The values, concepts and skills of the learning area are drawn from a variety of methods of inquiry.
Students studying HaSS develop the ability to study and explain patterns of change and continuity over time by studying the causes and impact of significant historical and geographical events. They look at the roles played by individuals, groups and natural forces in shaping the world and its history, and reflect on the role that they themselves play in this rapidly changing world. Students engage in discussions and debates about significance, exploring how values are embedded in the curriculum and our broader society. They learn that history is often contestable, and look for the impacts of different perspectives on our understanding of different historical events and the contexts that inform these perspectives. They learn about objective facts and processes in geography, and begin to study the ongoing human impact on the world.
However, students do not form these opinions and understandings without evidence! In HaSS, the use of evidence is critical. Students study sources and data, examining them critically for different perspectives, bias, and reliability. They make choices about which sources best inform them about a given historical event, idea, or development. This informs quality research, in which students ask questions to guide their own curiosity in the subject. They make connections between diverse sources and use these connections to fill in the gaps of history. They progressively develop strong literacy skills and demonstrate their learning through the development of informed argument: students are encouraged to form active opinions and justify them through their study. They develop a comprehensive, mature vocabulary using subject-specific terms and concepts fluently, and begin to reference their sources accurately and according to formal conventions, which is excellent practice for tertiary studies.
The HUMANITIES and SOCIAL SCIENCES curriculum at PGHS allows students to develop understanding and critical thinking across a broad range of concepts.
These concepts explored throughout student study of the National Curriculum provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts, including:
The use of EVIDENCE in constructing historical arguments
Explorations of CONTINUITY and CHANGE
Links between historical CAUSE and EFFECT
Active study of different PERSPECTIVES
Development of historical EMPATHY
An understanding of the SIGNIFICANCE of certain historical events, people and perspectives and
The CONTESTABILITY in many different types of historical evidence.
Studies in HaSS enables students to reflect on these values and to make critical decisions about these issues and their personal lives. Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of critical content knowledge, but to use this understanding to develop their own perspectives and inquire about, debate and reflect on their perspectives with increasing complexity. Students develop cultural capital that can allow them to enrich their learning across a broad range of secondary and post-secondary pathways.
HaSS acknowledges that students are faced with a range of societal demands, and seeks to provide appropriate scaffolding in preparation for active participation and wellbeing in a global society.
Students will be given opportunities to achieve their learning outcomes in a variety of verbal and non-verbal forms of communication to ensure that they are all provided with inclusive pathways for quality, life-long learning.
Students with special educational needs working within Humanities and Social Sciences.
As with all students, those with special educational needs have a diverse range of experiences, understandings, skills, needs, interests and learning styles, which need to be acknowledged when planning for learning assessment. Staff in the HaSS faculty are guided by expert practitioners and have developed unique skills in differentiating the curriculum for students with special education needs. All students will be exposed to the rigorous demands of the curriculum, and students with educational needs will be assessed across the most developmentally appropriate standard for their success.
The Year 8 curriculum provides a study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650-1750 AD (CE). This was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period when the modern world began to take shape. Students at PGHS will study:
Vikings or the Medieval World;
Shogunate Japan; and
The Spread of the Black Death or the Mongol Expansion.
In Term 3, students begin their studies of Geography. This includes the units:
Landscapes and Landforms;
Changing Nations and Urbanisation.
In Term 4, students begin their studies of Civics and Citizenship
This includes the topics:
Citizenship at PGHS, in Australia, and as part of the rapidly changing Globalised World;
Rules, Laws, and Democracy at PGHS and in Australia
The Year 9 curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I (1914-1918), the war to end all wars. Students at PGHS will study:
The Making of the Modern World (Industrial Revolution);
Making a Nation (Federation of Australia)
World War One
Students in Term 4 will be able to negotiate their curriculum with their teacher, and may choose from the existing National Curriculum topics:
Geography (including Biomes and food security) OR
Civics and Citizenship (including Legal and Political studies); OR
Economics (the Global Economy).
The Year 10 curriculum provides a study of the history of the modern world and Australia from 1918 to the present, with an emphasis on Australia in its global context. The twentieth century became a critical period in Australia?s social, cultural, economic and political development. The transformation of the modern world during a time of political turmoil, global conflict and international cooperation provides a necessary context for understanding Australia?s development, its place within the Asia-Pacific region and its global standing. Students at PGHS will study:
World War II;
The Civil Rights Movement; and
The use of Popular Culture as a driving force in Society.
In semester 2, students undertake their Personal Learning Plan (PLP), which is the first compulsory 10-credit SACE curriculum subject. In PLP students are supported to:
Develop the seven General Capabilities essential to their personal development
Research and plan for tertiary, trade and career opportunities
Set strategic personal and learning goals
Select future Stage 1 and 2 SACE subjects appropriate to their individual pathways
The PLP consists of four unique assessment tasks delivered throughout the semester, closely linked to their term three work experience programs as well as other possible interactions with community support organisations.