Year 8 Humanities and Social Sciences Courses:

  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Economics and Business
  • Geography
  • History


Civics and citizenship examines how Australians can work together to shape our nation into one that is fair and just. Students will have opportunities to build on their understanding of the Westminster system, democracy and participation, as well as the responsibilities and freedoms of citizens. The concept of active citizenship will be prevalent in the course as students explore the ways in which Australians can participate in democracy within the bounds of law through exercising democratic freedoms of speech, assembly, movement and religion. The course content contains an outline of how Australian citizens can actively become involved in the political arena including elections, lobby groups, and non-violent resistance. Students will learn the nature of Australian law in regards to how common and statute laws are made, and the essential difference between civil and criminal law. The course aims to encourage students to form  their own informed opinions while accepting the differing views of others.

Unit Focus:  Democracy and law in action


Economics is the study of how people choose to use the limited resources on Earth to satisfy their needs and wants. In building upon their understanding of the concept of the economic problem, the introduction of markets and how they operate in the economy enables students to further examine the interaction between buyers and sellers. The functions and types of economic systems are investigated, including the essential differences between market and command economies. This extends to the debate regarding the degree to which governments should play a role in the economy, primarily through taxation and spending on public goods and services. Students can explore the concept of work and the influences on the way people will work in the future, as well as the types of businesses and how they respond to opportunities in Australia. The course aims to arm students with the knowledge and skills needed to fully understand the complex economic reality of being an adult in modern society.

Unit Focus:  Participation and influence in the market place


Geography helps students to understand how the Earth works, including natural processes and human activities. Students will be given the opportunity to inquire into the significance of landscapes to people and the spatial change in the distribution of populations. The distinctive natural features and landforms of landscapes are investigated as well as an appreciation for the spiritual, cultural and aesthetic values of our environments for all Australians, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Students further explore the concepts of place, environment and change, in particular the geographical processes that produce landforms such as mountains. The interrelationship between humans and the natural environment are studied in the context of geomorphic hazards, and the growth of urbanisation in Australia and the world, including the push and pull factors which influence internal and international migration. The course aims to provide students with a greater understanding of global natural environments and its interrelationship with the people of the world.

Unit Focus: Landforms and landscapes

                     Changing Nations


History is the study of the past and how it pertains to the present and the future. Students continue their chronological examination of key human events as the focus shifts away from the ancient past towards the middle ages. With a focus on Europe, students examine the key features of the medieval world including roles and relationships of different groups in society, significant developments and achievements, and crime and punishment. Students further develop their historical understanding of continuity and change as they distinguish medieval societies from ancient civilisations previously studied. The investigation into the cause and effect of the Black Death that plagued Europe gives students the opportunity to examine how living conditions, religious beliefs, trade and changing populations impact on civilisations. The course aims to continue the search into how past events have shaped our present and influence the choices we make in the future.

Depth Study 1:  Investigating Medieval Europe (c.590-c.1500) 

Depth Study 2:  Investigating the Black Death in Europe (14th century plague)