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Edmund Rice College. Introducing the Social Science Department. About this Department at ERC. Many independent schools and most State High schools have retained a traditional model of having separate History and Geography departments – as has this school.

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edmund rice college
Edmund Rice College

Introducing the

Social Science Department

about this department at erc
About this Department at ERC
  • Many independent schools and most State High schools have retained a traditional model of having separate History and Geography departments – as has this school.

The Geography centred group of subjects is known at our school as the Social Sciences. It includes:




Business Studies and

Legal Studies.


Social Science as a subject on its own has been out of usage since the development of KLA’s and particularly HSIE since the Education Reform Act of 1990.


Both Geography and History are the main subjects of the HSIE KLA (Human Society and its Environment Key Learning Area).

Interesting, Studies of Religion also belongs to this KLA but has been regarded as a separate and distinctive subject area.

hsie human society and its environment stage 4 6
HSIE (Human Society and Its Environment) Stage 4 - 6
  • Aboriginal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Business Studies
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • History Extension
  • History Elective
  • Legal Studies
  • Modern History
  • Society and Culture
  • Studies of Religion
  • Work Education
bos requirements for hsie
BOS requirements for HSIE
  • To be studied substantially throughout each of Years 7–10. 
  • 400 hours to be completed by the end of

Year 10.

  • Must include 100 hours each of History and Geography in Stage 4 and 100 hours each of Australian History and Australian Geography in Stage 5.
our model at erc
Our Model at ERC
  • One semester (two terms) of Geography and History in Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10.
  • Students will have 7 or 8 lessons per fortnight – equating to about 60 hours of Geography in each year – meeting the minimum 100 hours in each subject comfortably over the Stage.
other possible models
Other possible models
  • All Geography in Year 7 and all History in Year 8 (or vice versa)
  • Alternate Geography and History every term or every few weeks
the national curriculum agenda for geography k 12 f 12 geography
The National Curriculum Agenda for GeographyK–12 (F-12) Geography

Implementation of the Australian curriculum for History has already begun.

Geography has been slower getting its act together (perhaps beginning 2015)


No mention is made of time allocation for course or units for National Geography

  •  Mapping skills are embedded into content
  • An ‘Economics and Business Course(Years 5 – 10)’ is also currently in the writing phase.
commerce at erc
Commerce at ERC
  • Done as a one year Elective (100 hours) in either Year 9 or Year 10
  • One Core area to be studied (40 hours) (Consumer choice + Personal Finance)
  • plus a minimum of three (3) options adding up to 60 hours (such as Law in Action, Investing, running a business, e commerce, political involvement)
  • Have proved problematic for most schools.
  • Consequently there has been a gradual dismantling of the Geography excursion program due to:

Relative isolation of Wollongong for day trips

  • Disruptive to rest of school if half the Year group is out on an excursion
  • Lack of quality venues (especially locally);
  • Lack of venues that can cater for up to 90 students at one time
  • Observance/compliance of risk assessment
  • Staff have been trying to lead excursions but they are not ‘experts’ and much of the knowledge that comes with developing an excursion is lost if staff leave or are ill on an excursion day;
  • The high quality of ‘virtual’ excursions provided by websites
  • The relatively high cost of excursions (on a cost-benefit analysis);

our current use on Minnamurra Rainforest for Year 7 Geography classes will involve 3 separate days (to cater for 6 classes);

  • the use of 4 teachers on each day; the employment of up to 2 casual teachers on each day to cover classes left behind by a teachers presence on the excursion,
  • the hire of 3 buses (to transport 6 classes) at approximately $700 each and
  • entry fees to the Rainforest Education Centre at $10 per student.

Total budgeted cost for 180 students to Minnamurra (entry + buses + printing + extra staffing)

= $5000

ipads in the social science
Ipads in the Social Science
  • Current environment favours moving to e-learning
  • To access PDF or online versions of the textbook
  • To access on line resources that access the textbooks
  • Google maps
  • Moodle & Google Drive (movie clips, on line quizzes which allow for self pacing and self correcting and opportunities to re-test)
  • Showbie
  • Sharemarket Game