Killarney Heights High School

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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. 

Courses offered

Junior courses

In Years 7 to 10, the HSIE faculty offers the following subjects:

  • history
  • geography
  • commerce
  • history elective
  • geography elective.

The study of history and geography is mandatory and culminates with an external school certificate examination at the end of Year 10. Commerce, geography and history are also offered as an elective course of study in Years 9 and 10.

Senior courses

In Years 11 and 12, the HSIE faculty offers the following subjects:

  • business studies
  • economics
  • geography
  • modern history
  • ancient history
  • history extension
  • legal studies
  • society and culture
  • studies of religion.

All these subjects are offered as 2 unit higher school certificate (HSC) courses of study. This faculty provides a rich e-learning environment with smartboard access and multimedia facilities, which enhance the faculty's learning programs.


A mandatory requirement for all geography students is fieldwork. This can involve practical research of such diverse issues as coastal management on the northern beaches to studies of communities and urban decay and renewal in inner suburban Sydney.

Both commerce and business studies students are also given the opportunity to experience the realities of the business world when they undertake an investigation of a fully operational business.

Enrichment activities

Meaningful learning within the HSIE faculty can never exist solely in the classroom and students are exposed to a number of different enrichment experiences to supplement classroom learning. Commerce students have won and lost fortunes as entrants in the Australian stock exchange game.

Students also participate in a variety of national and state competitions such as the Australian economics and business studies competition run by the University of NSW, the plan your own enterprise competition, the national financial literacy competition, Australia my country history writing competition and the Australian geography competition.

Focus on academic success and continuous improvement in student achievement

The HSIE faculty encourages all students to reach their full potential and places great emphasis on achievement in external examinations. Over recent years, results in higher school certificate examinations have been outstanding with students in all subjects performing at a level above the state average.

Students studying subjects within the HSIE faculty are undoubtedly gaining meaningful educational and learning experiences in a number of ways. We are nevertheless very much concerned with continuous improvement and will continue to seek even better learning outcomes for the students placed in our care.

Courses overview

Stage 4

Stage 5

Stage 6