Fairvale High School

Focused. Aspiring. Inclusive. Respectful.

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Social Sciences

Head Teacher: Ms S. Te

In Years 7-10, all students undertake the mandatory Geography course to learn about the world in which we live and the major issues facing this world. Throughout the course, student learning will focus on the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, scale, sustainability and change.

Throughout Stages 4 and 5 geography, students will be encouraged to develop the skills to become an informed and active citizen with an ability to investigate the world through geographical inquiry.

Stage 4

In Years 7 and 8, students will undertake learning that centres around:

  • Landscapes and Landforms
  • Place and Liveability
  • Water in the World
  • Interconnections

​Stage 5

In Years 9 and 10, students will undertake learning that centres around:

  • Sustainable Biomes
  • Changing Places
  • Environmental Change and Management
  • Human Wellbeing

​Stage 5 electives

In Years 9 and 10, students are given the opportunity to study commerce and work education as elective subjects.


Commerce provides students with the knowledge, skills, understanding and values that form the foundation to make informed decisions on consumer, financial, business, legal, economic and employment issues. Student learning in commerce is supplemented through excursions, guest speakers and entry into external competitions.

Work education

Work education provides students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and a contemporary understanding of the world of work and the roles of education, employment and training systems. Content focuses on both paid and unpaid work including volunteer work, casual or part-time employment, changes in industry, the changing nature of work, workplace legislation and employee/employer rights and responsibilities. Classroom learning is enhanced through excursions, guest speakers, entry into external competitions and PBL activities such as 'Market Day'.

Stage 6

​In the senior school, the social sciences faculty gives students the opportunity to select a variety of courses. The subjects offered are all dynamic, and as a result, draw upon current social issues to enhance learning. Our faculty draws upon the vast and diverse experiences of staff to offer:

  • Business studies

Business studies encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business. It offers learning from the planning of a small business to the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resources in large businesses. Contemporary business issues and case studies are embedded in the course to provide a relevant framework for students to apply to problems encountered in the business environment. The course aims to develop student’s research, decision-making, critical thinking and communication skills.

  • Economics

Economics investigates issues such as why unemployment or inflation rates change and how these changes will impact on individuals in society. Economics develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the operation of the global and Australian economies with a strong emphasis on the problems and issues in a contemporary Australian economic context. Economics develops the analytical, problem-solving and communication skills of students.

  • Geography

Geography investigates concepts of place, space, environment, interconnections, scale sustainability and change to develop students’ knowledge and understanding about the human and physical dimensions of our world. Inquiry methodologies are used to investigate the unique characteristics of the globe through fieldwork, geographical skills and the study of contemporary geographical issues. Fieldwork and a variety of case studies combine to assist students to develop an understanding of our environment and the relevance of geographical study.

  • Legal studies

The legal studies course develops students’ knowledge and understanding of the nature and functions of law and law-making. It examines a contemporary issue concerning the individual and technology. Students have the opportunity to investigate issues that illustrate how the law operates in the real world. This is achieved by investigating, analysing and synthesising legal information and investigating legal issues from a variety of perspectives. Legal studies students investigate the key areas of law, justice and human rights through a variety of focus studies which consider how changes in societies influence law reform.

  • Society and culture

Society and culture develops knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes essential to an appreciation of the social world. How the interaction of persons, society, culture, environment and time shape human behaviour is a central theme of study. Students develop an understanding of research methodologies and undertake research in an area of particular interest to them. The research findings are presented for external assessment in the Personal Interest Project (PIP) which contributes 40% of student’s HSC external assessment.