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Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School

Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School

Aspire the Heights through Care, Opportunity and Success.

Telephone02 4728 7200

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.

Years 7 – 10 Geography

The aim of the Years 7–10 Geography Syllabus is to stimulate students' enjoyment of and interest in the interaction of the physical and human environments. Students achieve this as they develop geographic knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes and engage in the community as informed and active citizens.

The study of Geography develops a wide range of skills such as gathering, organising and evaluating geographical information from a variety of sources, including fieldwork. Through the spatial dimension, geography enables students to identify and analyse the physical, social, economic, political, legal and technological factors that influence where things are and why they are there. The ecological dimension requires students to identify and analyse the ways humans interact with environments and in so doing develops students' skills in evaluating arguments and problem-solving. Culture is a key determinant of people's lives and worldview and through the study of Geography students develop knowledge and understanding of different cultures and develop perspectives that enhance their understanding of the world.

The study of Geography enables students to 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.

Students at our school are invited to enter the National Geography Competition each year and engage in regular field work activities. All interested students should see their Geography Teacher or a teacher from the HSIE faculty.

Years 7 – 10 History

History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that allows students to locate themselves in the broad continuum of human experience. It enables students to appreciate and enjoy the human endeavours and achievements of the past, both for their own intrinsic interest and for their legacy to later generations. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions in a range of historical contexts and encourages them to develop understanding of motivation, causation, consequence and empathy.

The study of history provides the intellectual skills to enable students to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations, hypotheses about the past and a rational and informed argument. History also enables students to understand, deconstruct and evaluate differing interpretations of the past. The cognitive skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis underpin the study of history and equip students with the ability to understand and evaluate the political, cultural and social events and issues that have shaped the world around them.

Our school offers a History elective in Years 9 and 10. Students explore historical themes such as heroes and villains and myths and legends. This is a popular course that students thoroughly enjoy.

Senior Subjects

The HSIE faculty offer a number of challenging and enjoyable subjects in the senior curriculum. These courses include:

Aboriginal Studies

Aboriginal Studies is designed to foster intellectual, social and moral development by enabling students to think critically about the historical and contemporary experiences of Aboriginal peoples. Through this study students will develop a heightened understanding and appreciation of the concepts of social justice and shared histories, and will critically examine their role as active and informed citizens.

Ancient History

The study of history is an inquiry into past experience that helps make the present more intelligible. A study of the past is invaluable, for to be unaware of history is to be ignorant of those forces that have shaped our social and physical worlds. Through the study of ancient history, students learn about the interaction of societies and the impact of individuals and groups on ancient events and ways of life. The study of ancient history gives students an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of comparing past to present and present to past by exposing them to a variety of perspectives on key events and issues. It also gives students opportunities to develop their own perspectives on the origins and influence of ideas, values and behaviours that are still relevant in the modern world. 

Business Studies

As a course, Business Studies is distinctive in that it encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business in contexts which students will encounter throughout their lives. Conceptually, it offers learning from the planning of a small business to the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resources in large businesses. Through the analysis of contemporary business strategies the course also provides rigour and depth and lays an excellent foundation for students either in tertiary study or in future employment.


The discipline of economics has a theoretical basis and economists often debate the relative merits of different theories when assessing economic issues and proposing solutions to economic problems, including economic modelling. Discussion of economic issues dominates the media and politics. By understanding economics, students can make informed judgements about issues and policies and participate responsibly in decision-making.

Marine Studies

Marine Studies provides an opportunity for the future custodians of this environment to study it and to appreciate its value. It gives them the opportunity to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to use and protect its unique ecosystems, and at the same time communicate their appreciation to the community. It provides an opportunity to instil in students an acceptable ethical code towards use of the marine environment, increasingly demanded by the community and their governments. While this course is focused on oceans, it provides scope for the study of the full range of waterways.

Modern History

The study of Modern History Stage 6 has a distinctive role in the 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 judgements 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.

Society and Culture

The central concern of Society and Culture Stage 6 is the interaction of persons, societies, cultures, environments and time. Society and Culture draws on cross-disciplinary concepts and social research methodologies from anthropology, communication, cultural studies, media studies, philosophy, psychology, social ecology and sociology.