Riverside Girls High School

Facta Non Verba

Telephone 02 9816 4264

Emailriversideg-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Human society and its environment

Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) is the study of how humans interact with the world, how society operates and how it is changing.  Through the study of HSIE, students develop skills that prepare and encourage them to participate as informed citizens in our contemporary world.

Teachers in the HSIE Faculty are committed to:

  • Providing stimulating and intellectually challenging courses
  • Encouraging students to be inquisitive, creative thinkers and independent learners
  •  Strengthening each student’s ability to understand the process of decision making and connected impacts, in both contemporary and historical contexts, and
  • Empowering students to understand their role in constructing the society they inhabit


Opportunities exist for all students to achieve their potential through a range of subjects and activities.

In Years 7-10, students study the core subjects of History and Geography. 

During Years 9 and 10, students can elect to study:

  • Commerce
  • Elective History
  • Elective Geography
  • Big History

In Year 11 and 12, students can choose from a range of HSIE courses.  These include:

  • Ancient History
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History Extension
  • Legal Studies
  • Modern History
  • Society and Culture

Many of these subjects involve investigation, fieldwork excursions, critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, information literacy, forming judgements and report writing. 

Students will have multiple opportunities to show how well they understand what they are learning.  Some ways students may do this include group discussions, project-based learning and depth studies, presentations and written work.

Opportunities exist for all students to achieve their potential through a range of activities such as the Australian Stock Exchange Share Management Competition, ESSI Financial Literacy simulation, UN Youth Model United Nations, geography fieldwork to the Southern Highlands and excursions to the Law Courts.  All these activities enrich our teaching programs.

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.

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. 

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.