John Edmondson High School

Virtus et Integritas

Telephone02 9825 9815

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.

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.

Course information

Business studies

Business activity is a feature of everyone's life. As consumers and producers, employees, employers or self-employed, savers and investors, and as importers and exporters, people throughout the world engage in a web of business activities to design, produce, market, deliver and support a range of goods and services.


Money makes the world go around! Learn how to make money work for you!

In commerce, students will learn how to make money, save money and spend money. Students will be provided with skills to make wise choices, get the best deals when shopping, manage finances, understand how banking works around the world.

Students can choose to learn about investing, marketing, setting up and running a business etc.


The study of economics can help individuals, groups and societies make choices that assist them to improve quality of life.

The course focuses on aspects of the economic behaviour of consumers, business and governments. Students learn about the two key markets, the labour market, and the financial market, as well as the external framework in which the Australian economy operates and the global economy.


Students complete an introductory unit on history which involves learning about the process of historical inquiry. Students will also study how ancient and medieval societies lived and the legacies that they have left for future generations. These studies will further develop skills in historical inquiry

History ancient

Enables students to acquire knowledge and understanding, historical skills, values and attitudes essential to an appreciation of the ancient world. Students are encouraged to develop a lifelong interest in the study of ancient history and to become prepared for informed and active citizenship in the contemporary world.

History extension

The history extension course enables capable and interested History students to build on their experience in Stage 6 courses in ancient and/or modern history by extending their learning in two key areas - historiography and historical inquiry.

History extension will achieve this through the investigation of JFK as a case study and investigation of various historians through time such as Herodotus, Livy, Bede, Reynolds, and Windshuttle. Students will also complete a major research project on any area that is of historical interest to them. Past examples include questions based on Joan of Arc, Jack the Ripper and the Bielski Brothers.

The syllabus assumes that students have achieved a good standard in the preliminary course for ancient or modern history, have developed sound critical thinking skills and the capacity to work independently.

History modern

The study of modern history Stage 6 has a distinctive role into eh school curriculum as it challenges students to consider the great social, technological, economic, political and moral transformations from the late eighteenth century to the present. It requires students to analyse the causes, progress, and effects of these transformations and, finally, to make judgments about them. Modern history Stage 6 is especially relevant to the lives of students, as the events and issues that form its content are, in many cases, still current.

The study of Modern History stage 6 also contributes to the development of skills that are of great importance in today's workforce. The fluent communication of thoughts and ideas gleaned from the critical analysis of primary secondary sources in a sought after skill. The ability to deconstruct texts and narratives, pose intelligent questions, test hypotheses and make critical use of information technologies is essential to living and working in the twenty-first century.


Students study a number of introductory topics that examine the nature of geography and the world around us. Focusing on the relationship between the human and physical elements of the environment, students study the major types of global environments including ecosystems and communities. These units will further develop the students’ understanding of the relationships between human and physical elements of the environment, as well as the specific geographical skills involved in reading maps that represent our world.

Language – Japanese

Studying a second language helps improve literacy skills. It also promotes the development of cross-cultural understanding, diversity, respect, and acceptance. Students become more aware of the problems faced by those around them with language difficulties

By studying Japanese students will be improving their future job prospects. In any job where you need to talk to people, being able to speak another language is an advantage.

Legal studies

Designed to foster critical thinking about the role of law and legal institutions in society. This is achieved through a review of selected legal rules, institutions and processes at the domestic and international level, a demystification of terminology and a focus on change, effectiveness, dispute resolution, and justice.

Work studies

Provides you with an opportunity to develop your knowledge in the world of work, education, employment, and training. You will be able to select an area of interest to gain further experience.

By the end of the course, each student will have a completed resume, which can be presented to any prospective employer. Students will be equipped with the knowledge and strategies needed to make the correct choices in life.

Society and culture

The study of society and culture helps students understand the interactions between persons, societies, cultures, environments and time. By drawing on anthropology, communication, cultural studies, media studies, philosophy, psychology, social ecology and sociology; students develop an understanding of themselves, their own society and culture, and the societies and cultures of others.