Humanities and Social Sciences


Humanities and Social Sciences


At Murray Bridge High School, the HASS learning Area currently comprises the Australian Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences subjects, History and Geography in years 8-10. An additional Year 9 subject offering, Cultural Studies, provides an indigenous perspective on Year 9 History and Geography and a Ngarrindjeri language component.

As further phases of the Australian Curriculum are implemented, this subject range may extend to include Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business.


South Australian Certificate of Education offerings within this learning area include:


History Stage 1 and 2,
Geography Stage 1,
Tourism Stage 1
Legal Studies Stage 1 and 2. 


Year 8 - 10


“History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. Awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and others. It promotes the understanding of societies, events, movements and developments that have shaped humanity from earliest times.

An understanding of world history enhances students’ appreciation of Australian history. It enables them to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their identity and the continuing value of their culture. It also helps students to appreciate Australia's distinctive path of social, economic and political development, its position in the Asia-Pacific region, and its global interrelationships. This knowledge and understanding is essential for informed and active participation in Australia's diverse society.”

(From Rationale for the Australian Curriculum F – 10 History)


History is organised into the  two interrelated strands of  Historical Knowledge and Understanding and  Historical Skills. These two strands frame the set of Achievement Standards by which students' work is assessed.



Geography is a structured way of exploring, analysing and understanding the characteristics of the places that make up our world, using the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change. It addresses scales from the personal to the global and time periods from a few years to thousands of years.

Geography integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build a holistic understanding of the world. Students learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for that world, and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future.
(from the ACARA Rationale for the Australian Curriculum: Geography)

Australian Curriculum: Geography is organised in two related strands: Geographical Knowledge and Understanding, and Geographical Inquiry and Skills.


History in Years 8 - 10

Distinct periods of world history are studied at each year level, via a course structure which includes an overview of the historical period and three depth studies taken from a range of elective topics.

Year 8 Level Content
The Ancient to the Modern World: the study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650 AD (CE) – 1750.

Year 9 Level Content
The Making of the Modern World: the study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918.

Year 10 Level Content
The Modern World and Australia: study of the history of the modern world and Australia from 1918 to the present, with an emphasis on Australia in its global context.

Geography in Years 8-10

Two units of study comprise the Geography content for each year level, with one sequence focusing on environmental geography and the other on human geography.

Year 8 Level Content:

Landforms and landscapes focuses on investigating geomorphology through a study of landscapes and their landforms.

Changing nations investigates the changing human geography of countries, as revealed by shifts in population distribution.

Year 9 Level Content:

Biomes and food security focuses on investigating the role of the biotic environment and its role in food and fibre production.

Geographies of interconnections focuses on investigating how people, through their choices and actions, are connected to places throughout the world in a wide variety of ways, and how these connections help to make and change places and their environments.

Year 10 Level Content:

Environmental change and management focuses on investigating environmental geography through an in-depth study of a specific environment.

Geographies of human well-being focuses on investigating global, national and local  differences in human well-being between places.


Geography and History

Years 11 - 12


Geography is offered at SACE stage 1.

Students undertake a more advanced study and application of geographical methods and skills in the senior years, including collecting information from primary and secondary sources such as field observation and data collection, mapping, monitoring, case studies and reports.


Students’ communication abilities are enhanced through Geography by extending skills in spatial and visual representation, and interpretation, through the use of maps, diagrams, graphs, photographs and multimodal forms. They communicate geographical conclusions by traditional written and oral forms as well as multi-modal forms.

History is offered at stage 1 and 2, and concentrates on Modern European History at stage 2 and the development of history skills and concepts at stage 1.

Legal Studies

SACE Stages 1 & 2

Legal Studies at Stage 1 provides students with an insight into how the Australian Legal System operates. The focus is on the impact of the Legal System on young people, their families and all Australian citizens.

At Stage 2, the Legal Studies course develops the students' understanding of the Australian Legal System. Topics covered include Types of Law, The Basis of Government in Australia, Constitutional Government, Law-making and Justice Systems.

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