YEAR 9 HUMANITIES
In Year 9 Humanities, students explore a variety of topics including history, geography and economics. In history, students begin with a study of both world wars and the social and political upheavals that occurred in the first half of the 20th Century. Students then move on to study our contemporary society and the global economy. Within this unit they complete an in-depth ‘guided inquiry’ task which asks them to explore the causes of wealth disparity between nations.
In Geography, the focus is the natural world and the challenges facing the environment. Students learn about the physical Earth, the dynamic nature of its systems and the impact of natural disasters. They then complete their second guided inquiry of the year by exploring the future prospects for the Earth’s natural environments.
Students further their studies of Humanities through a variety of economic and social activities during ‘City Week’ and their studies of Australia’s history are further enhanced by a visit to the War Memorial to commemorate Anzac Day in April.
YEAR 10 HUMANITIES
In Year 10, students are required to choose two semester length courses from the following options:
Modern History: The ‘Age of Terror’
History is not simply about dates and facts. Rather it is about new ways to interpret and understand the past. History explores the origins of institutions and ideas that continue to shape our lives. In so doing, it tells us where we came from, who we are and gives us insight into the future. Modern History, ‘The Age of Terror’, explores the rise of terrorism in the world today. The course takes students back through history in search of clues to explain modern conflicts; the political, the religious and the economic. Students are encouraged to try to understand the big ideas: what drives people to commit acts of terror, what the consequences are, what the alternatives approaches are and have been, and what these can mean for future generations.
Modern History: The ‘Swinging Sixties’
The ‘Swinging Sixties’ was a revolutionary decade that changed the social, political, cultural and ideological landscape of the world. Students examine this time period critically, paying particular attention to key events, figures, ideologies and movements including the Cold War and its hotspots in Vietnam, Korea and Cuba, the quest for civil rights seen in the African American Civil Rights Movement as well the rise of feminism and gender equality movements.
Furthermore, students scrutinize growing political and cultural trends including hippie counterculture that defied the stringent, conservative social norms of the 1950s and established a revised status quo.
Students develop skills in constructing a substantiated argument, which assists them in writing more effective and cogent essays. Moreover, they participate in an inquiry-based learning task that allows them to become specialists in an area of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ they are most interested in. Finally, they are exposed to a range of primary and secondary documents which they evaluate and analyse for usefulness in contributing to our fixation and understanding of this fascinating era in 2014.
In Year 10 Geography students describe global patterns of development from a range of perspectives and identify and describe the factors that cause these patterns. In this course issues relating to human impact on the natural environment, the potential for innovative change in how we use raw resources is explored and future-proofing of our farming practices is reviewed. They analyse development issues and formulate and evaluate comprehensive policies, including those for sustainable use and management of resources, to alter development patterns at a range of scales. They use evidence based on their inquiries and geographical language and concepts. They accurately interpret information on different types of maps and photographs at a range of scales, and use map evidence to support explanations, draw inferences and predict associated outcomes. They collect and collate information gathered from fieldwork observations and present their findings observing geographical presentation conventions.
Philosophy is like gymnastics for the mind, and students are introduced to this challenging discipline through a semester-length elective. The course explores such concepts as the nature of reality, the origins of morality, and some of the major schools of normative ethics. Philosophy encourages students to think about problems and issues in a new way, while at the same time refining their writing and reasoning skills. Students will also be exposed to some of the philosophical terms that underpin many different academic disciplines. They will also be asked to apply their newfound skills to a variety of challenging ethical issues such as cloning and human rights.
The study of law at year 10 introduces students to the notion of civic responsibility. Through engagement with local, state, national and global issues and the laws that exist to protect rights and encourage responsibility, students develop a sense of their place in manifesting positive change. Students will develop strong research and analysis skills and present their views and understanding of the law and its relevance to youth in a variety of media. Students will also visit the Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court and see the law in action. They will have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of the Regional Magistrate and Coroner, Lawyers, the Police Prosecutor and members of the court network and services program.
In this course students are involved in studies related to economics, business management, personal budgeting and ethical consumption. The course considers how markets, government policies, enterprise and innovation affect the economy, society and environment in terms of employment, economic growth, the use of resources, exports and imports, and ecological sustainability.
Students explore how the community defines, classifies and uses resources. They learn about the processes of consumption, production and distribution in meeting needs and wants, and the role of consumers, workers and producers in the economy. They consider factors affecting their spending and why it is important to be an informed consumer when making spending decisions. They investigate the importance of personal money management and the role of banking, budgeting and saving.
VCE Modern History
History gives students a greater understanding of the world we live in and the ideological forces that have shaped it. Through studying the past, we can better understand how to approach the future. By understanding the successes and failures of past generations, we can make more informed decisions about the future, and formulate better solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. The focus in Stage 1 & 2 Modern History is on the 20th Century – a time when the great advances of technology and human discovery lifted millions out of poverty yet at the same time condemned millions more to the most horrific conflicts we have ever seen. Stage 1 focuses on the World Wars and the social and political forces that led to the rise of political extremism. Stage 2 looks at the ‘Cold War’ and the implications of the nuclear arms race, as well as the rise and fall of the Soviet Empire. Students will learn many of the core skills inherent to historians, as well as developing their own formal writing and research skills.
VCE History of Revolutions
Revolutions are the great disjuncture of modern times and mark deliberate attempts at new directions. They share the common aim of breaking with the past by destroying the regimes and societies that engender them and embarking on a program of political and social transformation. As processes of dramatically accelerated social change, revolutions have a profound impact on the country in which they occur, as well as important international repercussions. Because revolutions involve destruction and construction, dispossession and liberation, they polarise society and unleash civil war and counter-revolution, making the survival and consolidation of the revolution the principal concern of the revolutionary state. In defence of the revolution, under attack from within and without, revolutionary governments often deploy armed force and institute policies of terror and repression. The process of revolution concludes when a point of stability has been reached and a viable revolutionary settlement made.
The focus of our study of the History of Revolutions centres on both the Russian and Chinese Revolutions. All revolutions have certain key elements in common. They all:
- involve some form of change
- involve relatively sudden or abrupt happenings or accelerations of previously existing rates of change
- have significant and far-reaching effects
It is these elements which form the foundation of our study along with an examination of the characteristics of revolution including violence and terror, leadership, ideology, organisation and international influence. Class work will focus on the interpretation of primary and secondary sources and the use of videos forms an integral part of course.
Philosophy is a challenging, academically rigorous course that is a must for all students with serious academic ambitions. Even students who plan careers in the Sciences or Engineering fields will benefit from the creative-thinking and problem solving skills that Philosophy fosters.
Students who decide to pursue this subject at VCE level will study some of the most fascinating and complex topics in modern philosophy. In Unit 1, students study the topics of Free Will, Mind & Body, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Time. In Unit 2, students will make an in-depth study of meta-ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics, as well as turning their attention to the fields of Aesthetics, Political Philosophy and Religion. In Unit 3, students will study the Philosophy of Mind in greater depth as well as the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘identity’ by reading the original texts from key thinkers in each field. In Unit 4, students will examine what both Western and Eastern Philosophy can teach us about leading a good life.
Not only are many of these topics fascinating to young adults, but they help develop more concise written and verbal reasoning skills, and encourage students to be more disciplined in constructing their own arguments or articulating their ideas – such skills will serve them well in any occupation.
VCE Legal Studies
Legal Studies is an ideal subject for students considering studying law at university. Students with Law degrees these days have a distinct advantage and are in high demand by employers. These students may opt to pursue a career as a barrister in a legal firm. Employers also seek those with Law Degrees in many fields, including Commerce, Business, Finance, Accounting and Economics. This is due to the ability of legal students to think clearly, solve problems, negotiate deals and seek solutions to a wide range of challenges confronting organisations and industries today.
At Units 1 and 2, the course focuses on how laws are made, the role of the criminal and civil law and the importance of human rights in a global context. Students investigate, discuss and debate many controversial issues confronting law makers, such as euthanasia and human cloning. At Units 3 and 4, the course explores the effectiveness of the legal system and the context to which its structures achieve justice. It focuses on the role of parliament, the courts, our constitution and criminal and civil procedures. During the course of their studies students develop a well-rounded view of the legal system through authentic learning experiences, including visits to the Melbourne courts, Victorian Parliament and one of Victoria’s prisons. Students also have the opportunity to partake in the inter school mooting competition conducted by Bond University.
Economics underpins every decision made by all consumers, businesses and governments. Through a study in Economics, students are able to explain what is happening with current events in inflation, interest rates, inflation rates and unemployment. By investigating different market systems, students can analyse the significance of supply and demand in effecting prices, and how fiscal and monetary policy can improve the current economic conditions of different countries. Students are able to show why there is a gap between the rich and poor and what can be done to improve this situation.
Students have the ability to demonstrate their knowledge through the completion of the Australian Economics and Business Studies Competition run through the University of New South Wales, as well as the participation in a number of school-based activities.
As the language of business, VCE Accounting equips students with a valuable skill set. Accountants are strategic advisors who must demonstrate an understanding of core issues and processes in the integral role of business decision making. VCE Accounting equips students with the understanding of the financial structures of an organisation. Students develop skills in recording, reporting, analysing and interpreting financial data and information which can then be communicated to internal and external users of the information. These skills play an integral role in the successful operation and management of a business.
Students learn about the preparation and presentation of financial statements as governed by Australian Accounting Standards and guided by the Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements (AASB Framework). Students will study both theoretical and practical aspects accounting through the collection financial data and recording and reporting of financial information using both manual systems and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
VCE Business Management
Business Management provides students with relevant, real life experiences which can be transferred to their professional lives. During units 1 & 2, students gain an understanding of small businesses, the relevant decision making that is necessary to run a business, business communication techniques and public relations. Students also investigate the importance of being socially responsible and ethical.
In order to gain a thorough understanding of business, students develop their own business and complete all aspects including market research, business plans, marketing and evaluation. This is showcased during the Nossal Market Day where students have the opportunity to sell their product/service and all profit raised is donated to charity.
In Units 3 and 4 students develop an understanding of the complexity and challenge of managing large-scale organisations and have the opportunity to compare theoretical perspectives with practical applications. Students will also learn about the key aspects of strategies used to most effectively manage human resources. To conclude their studies, students will analyse the management of change. Students learn about key change management processes and strategies and are provided with the opportunity to apply these to a contemporary issue of significance.