Oran Park 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.

Oran Park High School's Human Society and Its Environment – HSIE Faculty

  • Ms Rachel Berry - Head Teacher
  • Ms Janelle Kirkman
  • Mr Omar Sabih - Year 11 Advisor
  • Ms Natasha Buttigieg -  VET Coordinator
  • Ms Siobhan Cranney
  • Ms Sheridan Boyd - Year 8 Advisor
  • Ms Amanda Harding - Year 8 Advisor
  • Ms Claudia Jones - Year 7 Advisor
  • Mr Patrick Scott
  • Ns Sarak Krepp
  • Mr Joseph Mansour 
  • Mr Aaron McElhinney
  • Ms Seema Shalini
  • Ms Rianna Dayoub & Mr James Na - Languages 

HSIE draws upon several disciplines with students exploring varied subjects in human society and its environment. Students learn about history, geography, people, societies and culture. At OPHS, the HSIE faculty delivers the mandatory subjects of History and Geography in Stages 4 and 5. To satisfy the requirements of a Record of School Achievement (RoSA), students must complete 200 hours of History and 200 hours of Geography throughout Years 7-10.


Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. It is a discipline that integrates knowledge from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build a holistic understanding of the world. Through the study of Geography, students are encouraged to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with, and responsibilities for the world, and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future.

Students are involved in geographical inquiry and use a variety of strategies to locate, gather, select, organise and communicate geographical information, through the application of geographical skills and tools. OPHS students are fortunate to attend school in an area undergoing significant change on Sydney’s urban-rural fringe. This provides for dynamic and exciting fieldwork opportunities in the local area.

Topic outline for Geography at OPHS

Stage 4 Geography

Year 7

  •  Place and Liveability
  • Landscapes and Landforms

Year 8

  •  Water in the World
  •  Interconnections

Stage 5 Geography

Year 9

  • Sustainable Biomes
  • Changing Places

Year 10

  • Environmental Change and Management
  • Human Wellbeing


History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence.

Students develop knowledge and understanding by undertaking historical inquiry. This includes posing questions about the past, and applying skills associated with locating, evaluating and using sources as evidence to develop an informed argument or interpretation. OPHS is situated in an area rich in Aboriginal, colonial and car racing history. Aboriginal scarred trees are located in the region that had been dominated by colonial estates, a characteristic of European settlement. In more recent recent times Oran Park was home to the Oran Park Raceway, closing in 2010 to make way for residential development. There are a variety of historical inquiry studies that can be undertaken in the local area.

Topic outline for History at OPHS

Stage 4 History

Year 7

  • Overview + Investigating the Ancient Past (including ancient Australia)
  • The Mediterranean World: Egypt
  • The Asian World: China

Year 8

  • The Western and Islamic World: Medieval Europe
  • Expanding Contacts: The Spanish conquest of the Americas
  • The Asia-Pacific World: Polynesian Expansion in the Pacific 

Stage 5 History

Year 9

  • Overview + Making a Better World?: Movement of peoples
  • Mandatory Study: Australians at War (World Wars I and II)

Year 10

  • Mandatory Study: Rights and Freedoms (1945-present)
  • Australia in the Vietnam War era
  • School developed option: The holocaust


Elective subjects in HSIE

As OPHS grows to full capacity, the HSIE faculty will offer a range of elective subjects for Years 9 and 10. These may include:

HSIE Elective Subjects

  • Commerce
  • Elective History
  • Work Education
  • Elective Geography
  • Aboriginal Studies 7-10

Stage 6 HSIE


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. 

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
  • Studies of Religion.