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Humanities and Social Sciences at high school

In high school, the study of Humanities and Social Sciences (Humanities) provides students with a broad understanding of the world in which we live, and how they can participate as active and informed citizens in the 21st century.

The Humanities curriculum encourages students to think about and respond to world issues – building an understanding of key historical, geographical, political, economic, and societal factors, and how they relate. Students develop key skills to help them engage in the real world including communication, research, analysis, teamwork, and critical thinking.

Class structure and opportunities in Humanities

Year 7

All students take a Humanities class four times a week.

Year 8

All students take a Humanities class four times a week.

Year 9

All students take a Humanities class four times a week.

Optional elective:

  • Finance Management (two times a week).

Year 10

All students take a Humanities class four times a week.

Optional electives:

  • Applied Law & International Security (two times a week)
  • Business & Entrepreneurship (two times a week)
  • Law: Criminal Investigation (two times a week)
  • Psychology in Action (two times a week)
  • Critical Thinking (one time a week)
  • International Tourism (one time a week for one semester only)

Year 11 and 12

Year 11 and 12 students may choose to study one or more of the below courses and will attend each course four times a week:

  • Accounting & Finance (ATAR)
  • Business Management and Enterprise (General)
  • Economics (ATAR)
  • Geography (ATAR)
  • Modern History (ATAR)
  • Politics & Law (ATAR)
  • Psychology (ATAR and General)

Humanities in Years 7 to 10

Humanities coursework divided into four major strands, ‘History’, ‘Geography’, ‘Economics and Business’, Civics and Citizenship’.

In Year 7 through to Year 10, students learn about History, Geography, Economics and Business, Civics and Citizenship – developing their ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions, and adapt to change.

Key ideas covered in Humanities from Year 7 to Year 10

Within each subject strand, students develop knowledge and understanding relating to the broader ideas of the Australian Humanities Curriculum.

Key ideas include:

  • Who we are, who came before us, and traditions and values that have shaped societies.
  • How societies and economies operate and how they are changing over time.
  • The ways people, places, ideas and events are perceived and connected.
  • How people exercise their responsibilities, participate in society and make informed decisions.

Key skills taught in Humanities from Year 7 to Year 10

Within each subject strand, students apply a range of skills to investigate events, developments, issues, and phenomena, both historical and contemporary.

Key skills include:

  • Questioning.
  • Researching.
  • Analysing.
  • Evaluating.
  • Communicating.

Humanities in Year 11 and Year 12

Seven course options for Humanities in Year 11 and Year 12

In Year 11 and Year 12 there are seven courses of Humanities study available:

  • Modern History;
  • Geography;
  • Economics;
  • Politics and Law
  • Business Management and Enterprise
  • Psychology; and
  • Accounting and Finance

Extracurricular opportunities in Humanities

Beyond regular classes, Rossmoyne’s Humanities staff also run a variety of exciting extracurricular programs that enrich the Humanities learning experience.

Optional extracurricular Humanities activities include:

  • Sydney-Canberra Tour: Students tour key social, political, historical and economic places across Sydney and Canberra. Held bi-annually, the tour is a fantastic opportunity for senior Humanities and Social Science students to immerse themselves in real-world communities and contexts where decisions that impact all Australians are made.
  • The Premiers ANZAC Tour: Students present on an ANZAC related topic to a panel of Rossmoyne Senior High School Humanities and Social Sciences teachers. One student from each age category has the possibility of being selected for a trip of a lifetime to a World War I or World War II location with other state winners.
  • Australian Geography Competition: Students complete a multiple-choice test which can qualify them for further interstate or international competition.
  • The UNSW Economics Competition: Students to test their Economics skills against other students in a nation-wide competition with the opportunity to win monetary prizes.
  • National History Challenge (NHC): Acting as historians students investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past, or a explore major event based on the annual NHC theme. Students them present their project in their chosen style.
  • Mock Trials: Students take part in simulated court cases in which teams contest a fictitious WA legal matter presented in the West Australian court system. Cases are presented by two student groups, taking the roles of a prosecution/plaintiff team and a defence team. Students play the roles of barristers, solicitors, witnesses, and court officials.
  • ASX School Share Market Game: Students participate in an online virtual share market game, developing a range of skills including decision making in an ever-changing environment.
  • The Public Speaking Program: Students learn and acquire public speech presentation.

More information

Learning content and opportunities

Read about what content is covered in classes, and what opportunities are available within each Learning Area in the Curriculum Handbooks.

Curriculum in Western Australia

Read more about the curriculum in WA on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s webpages for Pre-primary to Year 10 and Year 11 and Year 12.