Humanities and Social Science

Humanities and Social Science is the study of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business. At Mount Stromlo High School students develop the ability and skills to become inquiring learners. This is done through developing their ability to question, think critically, solve problems and communicate. Students are encouraged to not only consider the topic at hand but also its relationship with and implications for the present and the future.

In year 7 and 8 students are given the opportunity to study all four subjects. In year 9 and 10 students study History in semester 1. In semester 2 they are offered a range of HASS electives.


If you don't know your past, how can you understand the present or imagine the future? History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. Awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and others. It promotes understanding of societies, events, movements and developments that have shaped humanity from the earliest times. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day. (The Australian Curriculum: History)

Each year students complete one semester of History.

  • Year 7 The Ancient World 60 000 BCE – c. 650 AD
  • Year 8 The Ancient to the Modern World c.650 AD (CE) – 1750.
  • Year 9 The Making of the Modern World  1750-1918
  • Year 10 The Modern World and Australia


Geography is a structured way of exploring, analysing and understanding the characteristics of places that make up our world, using the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change. It addresses scales from the personal to the global and time periods from a few years to thousands of years.  Geography integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to build a holistic understanding of the world. Students learn to question why the world is the way it is, reflect on their relationships with and responsibilities for that world, and propose actions designed to shape a socially just and sustainable future. (The Australian Curriculum: Geography)

  • Year 7 ‘Water in the world’ and ‘Place and liveability’
  • Year 8 ‘Landforms and landscapes’ and ‘Changing nations’

Civics and Citizenship

The Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship provides students with opportunities to investigate political and legal systems, and explore the nature of citizenship, diversity and identity in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on the federal system of government, derived from the Westminster system, and the liberal democratic values that underpin it such as freedom, equality and the rule of law. The curriculum explores how the people, as citizens, choose their governments; how the system safeguards democracy by vesting people with civic rights and responsibilities; how laws and the legal system protect people’s rights; and how individuals and groups can influence civic life. (The Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship)

  • Year 7  Key features of Australia’s system of government
  • Year 8 Responsibilities and freedoms of citizens and how Australians can actively participate in their democracy

Economics and Business

As mass global flows of people, resources, finances and information produce social, economic, political and environmental complexities and challenges, Australia needs enterprising individuals who can make informed decisions and actively participate in society and the economy as individuals and more broadly as global citizens. Young Australians will also face a number of social, economic and moral challenges in their lifetimes that will impact on their lives and choices. It is critical that students are equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills that will empower them in the face of such challenges. (The Australian Curriculum:  Economics and Business)

  • Year 7 Economics and business concepts by exploring what it means to be a consumer, a worker and a producer in the market
  • Year 8 Exploring the ways markets work within Australia, the participants in the market system and the ways they may influence the market’s operation.