Human Society and its Environment (HSIE)  delivers 14 courses across the curriculum in Years 7 to 12.

The Sylvania High School HSIE Staff are committed to implementing Quality Teaching and Learning experiences for students. The faculty promotes independent learning to take students’ skills of leadership and inventiveness to outstanding levels of achievement in an intellectually stimulating, engaging and supportive environment. The HSIE faculty encourages student centred learning through group work, inquiry learning and individual research in a stimulating, supportive and caring environment.


The Stage 4 course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the world and its environment. Global environments such as tropical rainforests and polar lands are explored. Students investigate the functioning of these environments and consider Global Issues and threats to these natural features.


The Stage 4 History course focuses on the history of Indigenous peoples both in Australia and in North and South America. Students also study an Ancient Society exploring the events and personalities within this unique civilisation. The course continues with a study of the medieval period where students undertake a project to create and present a Medieval Model which is increasingly creative and demonstrates students’ vast communication skills.


The aim of Geography is to stimulate students’ engagement and interest in the interaction of the physical and human environment. Students achieve this as they develop geographic skills and knowledge of global environments, appreciation of the inherent value of environments and knowledge of civics that enable them to exercise citizenship and implement ecologically sustainable practices in the future.


In Stage 5 the historical attention is placed on Australia. In particular, the course examines the history of the Twentieth Century as it impacted on the lives of Australians. The students have an opportunity to investigate significant individuals, events or political developments from the past. The social and cultural history of the country is considered in the light of war and peacetime.

History, Mystery & Forensics

History Mystery & Forensics gives students the opportunity to become the Crime Scene Investigator, the Detective, the active Australian citizen and the Forensic Archaeologist. Students investigate topics such as: Who was Jack the Ripper?, Unsolved Australian Mysteries- Azaria Chamberlain, The Pyjama Girl, The Strange Deaths of the Ancient Egyptian Rulers, Shipwrecks and Maritime Archaeology.


Commerce is a practical, academic, highly challenging subject. The study of Commerce allows students to be better prepared for the study of Economics and Business Studies in the senior years. Economics and Business Studies are very important subjects in the Higher School Certificate and help students understand real life issues concerning Running a Business and contemporary Economic issues.

Work Education

Students learn about the world of work and the changing nature of the workplace. They explore both paid and unpaid work and the range of education, employment and training opportunities available to them in the future. Students identify their interests, abilities and values to help work out future goals as they develop their individual career path.

Eco Rangers

Eco Rangers is an inspiring course which develops practical leadership skills in students through service learning and engages students in a wide variety of student led projects. Projects include working with local retirees, mulching waste and worm farming, expanding the school garden to include bush tucker plants and fund raising for Cambodian orphans. These projects help students become active, responsible future citizens. Practical learning approaches include fieldtrips, guest speakers and the opportunity to develop ICT skills.

Ancient History

Ancient History encourages students to examine a variety of archaeological and written evidence and formulate opinions based on their investigations. Students have the opportunity to inquire into Ancient Societies, Events, Groups and Personalities drawn from a wide range of case studies, civilisations and time periods.

Business Studies

Through the study of Business Studies students will be able to more effectively and responsibly participate in the decision making processes of running a business. They will develop skills, which will enhance their understanding of the dynamic nature of business and the global world within which it operates.


Economics allows students to understand and appreciate the structures, institutions and processes of economic systems. They will develop an appreciation of the alternative approaches to decision-making processes and develop a continuing interest in contemporary economic problems and aspects of their social and political environment.

Legal Studies

Through the study of Legal Studies students will be able to interpret and evaluate legal issues in an informed and rational manner. They will further be able to communicate effectively about the law and their understanding of its impact on individuals and society.

Modern History

Within the study of Modern History students will be able to understand the process of change over time and sharpen their ability to think and argue logically. The course is designed to help students to better understand some of the forces and influences that have shaped the modern world.

Society and Culture

Through the study of Society and Culture students will acquire skills in social research and skills in interpreting the society and culture of contemporary Australia and the society and culture of other countries. They will develop an awareness of the continuity and change in the world and have an understanding of personal and social futures.

Eco-Rangers  (Service Learning Projects)

  • Clever Climate Kids
  • Green Biz Audit
  • Carbon Kids
  • Fundraising Group- Kipepeo -Biggest Slum in Africa
  • Helping Hands- Orphans, Retirees
  • WOW- Wipe Out Waste
  • Garden- Sustainability, Bush Tucker & Medicinal Plants
  • Recycling
  • Pay It Forward Project- Good Citizenship
  • Environmental Team

Work Education Initiatives

  • Learning Generation Project
  • Eggogram Project
  • Work Experience
  • Barister Course
  • Careers Expo
  • Mock Interviews
  • Pathway Planning
  • Be Real Game

Stage 5 History Project – Sylvania High School Australian History Day

To engage students in Australian History, Year 10 creates, develops and then produces and presents a decade study for the School. Aspects such as major events, entertainment, social history, trends, clothing language and trivia are all explored in this presentation to the school.

The Sylvania Australian History Day is a cross curricular project. In the morning, Year 10 participate in workshops involving the studied decade. Faculties have volunteered to contribute their time and expertise which helps to encapsulate the spirit of the day.

The Performing Arts Department also contribute with the School’s Band, Drama and Dance Ensembles playing an active role in the performance. Students throughout the school gain an understanding of not only their former generations but also the enjoyable nature of history and their role as active citizens of the future.