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Willoughby Girls High School

Willoughby Girls High School

A Leader in Girls Education

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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. 

Configure Accordion Component

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


At Willoughby Girls High School, the history program for junior history involves a variety of enjoyable activities and learning experiences.

 In Year 7, students study the ancient and medieval worlds, building literacy and source work skills in their history portfolio and developing their research abilities. These students also enjoy a rollick through medieval times on Medieval Day when, apart from other activities, they dress up in middle ages garb and enjoy a feast reminiscent of the times. 

In Year 9, students study the movement of peoples including slaves and convicts, as well as the examination of the World Wars.

 In Year 10, students explore rights and freedoms to First Nation Peoples in Australia as well the Cold War and Vietnam War event.

History Options for the Senior Years

 In the senior years, students have the opportunity to further their studies in history through undertaking Modern, Ancient or Extension History. Students can also select to study a sociological and cultural studies course called Society and Culture. The history faculty offers the potential for senior history students to participate in a Historical Studies excursion to Europe, specifically Pompeii and the battlefields of World War I.


At Willoughby Girls High School the Social Science faculty provides the mandatory geography course to students in Years 8, 9 and 10.  Students will take regular field trips in geography to enrich their experience of learning. Excursions will include the local sites of Hawkesbury River and the Chatswood CBD as well as the Palm Beach area.  


Students can choose to study commerce as an elective in Years 9 and 10.  Commerce increases financial literacy and challenges students with real world problems from the economic, commercial, legal and political domains. 

Social Science options for  the Senior Years

In Years 11 and 12, the Social Science faculty offers a diversity of subjects including Geography, Business Studies, Economics and Legal Studies.

In Social Science, students will develop key skills in questioning, researching, analysing and making judgements based on evidence. Students will also learn to write for a variety of purposes.