Armidale High School

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Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) & Languages other than English (LOTE)


The HSIE/LOTE Faculty at Armidale High School are a dynamic staff and offer a diverse range of subjects that cater for all learning styles. Our teaching staff includes:

                           Head Teacher:               Mrs Tammy Cameron

                           Teaching Staff:     Mr Ross Cain

                                                         Mrs Louise Drielsma

                                                         Mr Scott Howey

                                                         Mrs Deborah Moore

                                                         Mr Tim Polson

                                                         Mr Dylan Worley





Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)

HSIE is a broad Key Learning Area that encompasses the teaching of numerous subjects. The salient focus of HSIE is on the study of people, cultures, societies and environments and how they interact. By studying a range of HSIE subjects at Armidale High School, students will become informed, global minded citizens  


Stage 4 & 5 Mandatory Subjects

In the Junior School (7-10), students must complete a mandatory study History and Geography. From 2015, students in Years 7-10, will be studying units from the new National Curriculum delivered through the NESA syllabi.  



In Years 7-10, Geography allows students to develop interest and skills in the interaction of the physical and human environments. Students develop geographic knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes in order to engage in the community as informed and active citizens.


History develops in young people an interest in and enjoyment of exploring the past. A study of History provides opportunities for examining events, people and societies from ancient, medieval and modern times, including twentieth century Australia. Students learn to apply the skills of investigating History including analysing sources and evidence and sequencing major historical events to show an understanding of continuity, change and causation.


Stage 5 Elective Subjects

In addition to the above mandatory courses, from Year 9 students have the option to choose from 3 HSIE subjects as part of their pattern of study for the RoSA. These include:


Big History

Big History is a course that has been developed by Dr David Christian and funded by Bill Gates. Big History is the attempt to understand, in a unified and interdisciplinary way, the history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity. Big History is ambitious - it seeks understanding by bringing together and linking the knowledge available in many different scholarly disciplines. Big History is a fully on-line course, which offers a mode of study which appeals to students who like looking at big ideas and concepts rather than isolated events.



Commerce enables students to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and values that form the foundation on which they can make sound decisions about consumer, financial, legal, business and employment issues. The study of Commerce builds student capacity to research information from a range of sources, apply problem-solving strategies and evaluate options in order to make informed and responsible decisions as individuals and as part of the community.


Work Education

The Work Education course provides students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and a contemporary understanding of the world of work, the diverse sectors within the community, and the roles of education, employment and training systems. Both paid and unpaid work will be explored through a range of contexts and issues.


HSIE and the HSC

In the Senior School, students may pursue their passion for the humanities by choosing to study a number of subjects for the HSC. Below is a brief outline of the subjects students can elect to include as part of their HSC pattern of study.


Aboriginal Studies

The Preliminary course focuses on Aboriginal peoples' relationship to the Land, Aboriginal heritage and identity, and an historical examination of colonialism, racism and prejudice from pre-contact times to the 1960s. The course also includes the development of skills in culturally appropriate research and inquiry methods. It involves case studies.

The HSC course provides for in depth study of legislation, policy, judicial processes and current events from the 1960s. During the course, students will undertake consultation with Aboriginal communities and will study the course through the experiences of national and international Indigenous communities. Students apply research and inquiry methods through the completion of a major project.


Ancient History

The Preliminary course is structured to provide students with opportunities to investigate past people, groups, events, institutions, societies and historical sites from the sources available, by applying the methods used by historians and archaeologists.

The HSC course provides the opportunity for students to investigate in depth the range and nature of archaeological and written sources that provide evidence for a life in Pompeii and Herculaneum. They also study the key features and sources of an ancient society, historical period and ancient personality.


Business Studies

Business activity is a feature of everyone's life. The Business Studies syllabus encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business in ways students will encounter throughout their lives. It offers learning from the planning of a small business to the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resource in large businesses.

Contemporary business issues and case studies are embedded in the course to provide a stimulating and relevant framework for students to apply to problems encountered in the business environment. Business Studies fosters intellectual, social and moral development by assisting students to think critically about the role of business and its ethical responsibilities to society.



Economics provides understanding for students about many aspects of the economy and its operation that are frequently reported in the media. It investigates issues such as why unemployment or inflation rates change and how these changes will impact on individuals in society. Economics develops students' knowledge and understanding of the operation of the global and Australian economy. It develops the analytical, problem-solving and communication skills of students. There is a strong emphasis on the problems and issues in a contemporary Australian economic context within the course.


Geography (11-12)

The Preliminary course investigates biophysical and human geography and develops students' knowledge and understanding about the spatial and ecological dimensions of geography. Enquiry methodologies are used to investigate the unique characteristics of our world through fieldwork, geographical skills and the study of contemporary geographical issues.

The HSC course enables students to appreciate geographical perspectives about the contemporary world. There are specific studies about biophysical and human processes, interactions and trends. Fieldwork and a variety of case studies combine with an assessment of the geographers' contribution to understanding our environment and demonstrates the relevance of geographical study.


History Extension

HSC History Extension involves the study and evaluation of the ideas and processes used by historians to construct history. In Part I of the course, students investigate the question 'What is history?' through a selection of readings and through one case study. In Part II, students design, undertake and communicate their own personal historical inquiry.


Legal Studies

The Preliminary course develops students' knowledge and understanding of the nature and functions of law and law-making, the development of Australian and international legal systems, the Australian constitution and law reform. It examines an individual's rights and responsibilities, how disputes are resolved and examines a contemporary issue concerning the individual and technology. Students have the opportunity to investigate issues that illustrate how the law operates in practice. This is achieved by investigating, analysing and synthesising legal information and investigating legal issues from a variety of perspectives.

The HSC course investigates the key areas of law, justice and human rights through a variety of focus studies which consider how changes in societies influence law reform.


Modern History

The Preliminary course is structured to provide students with opportunities to investigate the role of key features, issues, individuals, groups, events and concepts from the C19th to the present using the methods of historical inquiry.

The HSC course provides the opportunity for students to investigate in depth a source-based study of World War I. They also study key features and issues in the history of one country during the 20th Century, one personality and one international study in peace and conflict.


Society & Culture

Society and Culture develops social and cultural literacy and a clear understanding of the interactions of persons, society, culture, environment and time, and how these shape human behaviour. The course draws on cross-disciplinary concepts and social research methods, and students undertake research in an area of particular interest to them. The research findings are presented for external assessment in the Personal Interest Project (PIP).



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