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Humanities

 

​Welcome to the Humanities faculty at William Ross State High School.

Humanities includes Geography and History in Junior Secondary, and Ancient History, Modern History and Geography in Senior Secondary.

The Humanities teaching team are experienced, knowledgeable, and highly motivated to support your child in achieving the best possible educational outcome. To further develop the capacity of our team, each Humanities teacher also has a mentor, and they participate in whole school professional learning circles (PLCs). 

The Art and Science of Teaching (ASOT) underpins pedagogical practice for all teachers at William Ross State High School.  The Humanities curriculum is developed and co-ordinated within teaching teams across each year level, and each team is led by an experienced subject-area expert.  Each teacher within the team, also differentiates the curriculum to meet the learning styles and needs of your child in their class(s).     

Our curriculum is governed by Australian National Curriculum in Junior Secondary for History and Geography, and by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) in Senior Secondary.    This year, students studying Humanities have a Semester-based profile sheet in their daily workbook.  This document can be viewed at any time by students and their parents/guardian.  The profile indicates the students’ progress in the subject after each assessment piece, term-based and Semester results.    It also identifies the student’s strengths and areas for improvement, across all criteria assessed. 

 

Junior Secondary

History

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. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day. History, as a discipline, has its own methods and procedures which make it different from other ways of understanding human experience. The study of history is based on evidence derived from remains of the past. It is interpretative by nature, promotes debate and encourages thinking about human values, including present and future challenges. The process of historical inquiry develops transferable skills, such as the ability to ask relevant questions; critically analyse and interpret sources; consider context; respect and explain different perspectives; develop and substantiate interpretations, and communicate effectively.

The curriculum generally takes a world history approach within which the history of Australia is taught. It does this in order to equip students for the world (local, regional and global) in which they live. 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.  (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015)

 

Geography

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.

Geography uses an inquiry approach to assist students to make meaning of their world. It teaches them to respond to questions in a geographically distinctive way, plan an inquiry; collect, evaluate, analyse and interpret information; and suggest responses to what they have learned. They conduct fieldwork, map and interpret data and spatial distributions, and use spatial technologies. Students develop a wide range of general skills and capabilities, including information and communication technology skills, an appreciation of different perspectives, an understanding of ethical research principles, a capacity for teamwork and an ability to think critically and creatively. These skills can be applied in everyday life and at work.  (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015)

For more information about our curriculum offered in each semester, please select the link to the relevant year level.

 

Senior Secondary

In senior secondary students elect to study OP (tertiary) subjects including: Geography, Ancient History and Modern History.

Geography

Geography is the study of the human and natural characteristics of places and the interactions between them. Geography is a rich and complex discipline which includes two vital dimensions:

  • the spatial dimension, which focuses on where things are and why they are there
  • the ecological dimension, which considers how humans interact with environments

 

Geography prepares students for adult life by developing in them an informed perspective. This perspective should be developed across the two-year course of study through a range of scales, including local, regional, national, and global scales. Geographically informed citizens understand the many interdependent spheres in which they live, and make informed judgments to improve their community, state, country and the world.

To meet the challenges of the future, a geographically informed citizen should be able to:

  • know and understand facts, concepts and generalisations about Geography
  • apply geographic skills to observe, gather, organise, present and analyse information
  • use geographic perspectives to evaluate, make decisions about, and report on issues, processes and events.
(Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2007)
 

Ancient History

Studying Ancient History can help us live more effectively as global citizens. To live purposefully, ethically and happily with others, we must be able to make wise decisions. Studying Ancient History can help us develop the knowledge, skills and values needed to make those decisions.  Through the study of Ancient History, we can understand how the peoples and achievements of the distant past have influenced the modern world. Through a study of early peoples and cultures, we can understand the processes of change and continuity that have shaped today’s world, their causes, and the roles people have played in those processes. We develop these understandings through processes of critical inquiry, debate and reflection, and through empathetic engagement with the standpoint of others.

There is a special focus on values in historical studies where we encounter different values, investigate their origins and study their impact on human affairs. We begin to decide which values might guide us in building a more democratic, just and ecologically sustainable world for all people. Studies of the distant past are equally as valuable as those of the not-so-remote past, although the fragmentary nature of the existing evidence provides unique challenges for the student of Ancient History. Most of the evidence has disappeared with time and the studies of Ancient History are influenced by the inevitable mystery surrounding these fragments of information. Determining the values and standpoints of ancient peoples from this limited and tantalising evidence is part of the unique nature of historical studies into the ancient past.

In our everyday lives, including in our work, we need to understand situations, place them in a long-term perspective, identify causes of change and continuity, acknowledge the perspectives of others, develop personal values, make judgments and reflect on our decisions. These are the skills developed in a study of Ancient History. We also need the communication skills that are developed and practised in all phases of historical study.  (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2004)

At William Ross State High School, students explore the key themes of archaeology, everyday lives of ancient people, power, conflict and personalities in history. 

Modern History

Through the study of Modern History, we can understand why our modern world is the way it is. We can understand the processes of change and continuity that have shaped today’s world, their causes, and the roles people have played in those processes. We can understand that there are relationships between our needs and interests and a range of historical issues, people and events. We develop these understandings through processes of critical inquiry, debate and reflection, and through empathetic engagement with the standpoint of others.

There is a special focus on values. In historical studies, we encounter different values, investigate their origins and study their impact on human affairs. We begin to decide which values might guide us in building a more democratic, just and ecologically sustainable world for all people. (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2004)

At William Ross State High School, students immerse themselves in studies of conflict, diversity, power and hope.