New Lambton Public School

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Human society and its environment

In human society and its environment (HSIE), the subjects of history and geography are mandatory from Kindergarten to Year 10, where students study specific historical and geographical concepts and skills. 

In HSIE, students explore varied subjects in human society and its environment to learn about history, geography, people, societies and culture.

Students also have an opportunity to learn more about people and the societies and environments in which they live through elective subjects.

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. 


The History K–10 Syllabus provides opportunities in K–6 to learn about Change and Continuity. Students investigate their connections with the past through personal, family and local community history. They examine significant events and people that shaped Australian colonies and the nation.

Cultures is represented in both the History K–10 Syllabus and the Geography K–10 Syllabus. In History and Geography K–6, students learn about the diverse cultures of Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Students learn about the importance of intercultural understanding through examining the perspectives, beliefs and values of people, past and present.


Environments is predominantly represented in Geography K–6 Syllabus, where students explore the natural and human features of a range of places, across local and global scales. Students continue to learn about how and why places and environments change and how they can be cared for and managed in a sustainable way. Learning opportunities for Social Systems and Structures are provided through the content of the History and Geography syllabuses and through learning across the curriculum content. Students will learn about the roles, rights and responsibilities people have within society and the development of Australian democracy. In History K–6, students examine the contribution of individuals and groups to Australian society in areas such as the economy, education and the arts.

Students explore how key figures and events influenced Australia’s system of law and government and they examine local, state and federal government structures and responsibilities. In Geography K–6, students investigate the diversity of places, including economic, demographic and social differences across countries. They explore business activities and trade connections across local and global scales and the effects of technologies and economic activities on people’s lives. Students examine how local and state governments organise and manage places