Human Society & Its Environment

In HSIE we seek to engage students in formative learning experiences that foster their civic engagement and critical understanding of the physical, political, and historical context in which they live.

Geographical fieldwork

At the end of August, our Year 8 students visited Manly Dam to undertake geographical fieldwork as part of their study of ‘Water in the World’.

Throughout the day students worked in teams to assess water turbidity and pH at various sites in the Manly Dam catchment area, comparing their findings to examine the impact of landscape and urban development on waterway pollution.

Students were fortunate to participate in a water species and microinvertebrate catch in Manly Dam Creek to examine the health of the waterway by considering the prevalence of indicator species including stonefly nymphs, Smooth Sydney Crayfish, Spiny Crayfish, freshwater prawns, water spiders and tadpoles.

Students ended the day by developing field sketches and competed in teams to design the most effective water filtration system. It was clear to Mr Fallon, Mr O’Connell, and Ms McLean that Year 8 has a few budding engineers!

Debating club

During Term 3, we launched our Senior School debating club for Year 10 and 11 students. This joint initiative of the HSIE and English faculties aims to enrich student’s critical and creative thinking skills, engaging them in the dynamic and artful practice of formal debating. Next term will see the launch of the College’s internal debating competition, with students participating in interschool debating competitions in 2023.

Preparation for the HSC

In preparation for the HSC our Business Studies, Legal Studies and Modern History teachers have been working overtime, maximising the opportunities to consolidate, enrich and extend student learning in advance of their final HSC Examinations, commencing in October.

In addition to after school and holiday workshops, students have had the opportunity to participate in several HSC preparation seminars throughout the term.

Midway through Term 3, our HSC Modern History class ventured to the University of Sydney campus to attend the History Teachers’ Association HSC Study Day.

Later in the term, Business Studies students attended the Economic Literacy Centre’s Student Conference, directed by Tim Riley. Presented by academics, experienced HSC markers and teachers, these seminars provided students with valuable preparation to enhance their HSC performance.

History Week

Last term we also celebrated NSW History Week with various hands-on history moments throughout our Primary and Secondary classrooms. Responding to the theme of ‘hands-on history’, several Year 10 students begun developing artistic responses to our history study rights and freedoms, with works exploring the significance of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These works will be displayed later in the year.

A highlight of history week was Mrs Kohler’s interactive talk to the Year 8 cohort on the College’s history – tracing our journey from humble beginnings in the former Arnott’s family home in Beresford Rd to our current grounds on George St. Students relished the opportunity to handle artefacts from the College’s past, in particular the original College uniform including the College kilt and tam o’shanter hat. Who knows, perhaps the kilt may one day return.