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Woonona High School

Woonona High School

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Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10)

Stage 5 History

The Year 9 and Year 10 History syllabus are closely linked. The focus for stage 5 is the 'Making of the Modern World and Australia', with major focus areas for study taking place between 1750 and the present. This covers the period of industrialisation and the many changes it brought to the world. Focus is also given to imperial expansion and colonisation, world wars I and II and the position of Australia within the global context. The foundation work in History, established in stage 4, is continued in the stage 5 curriculum, with a focus on further refining students' skills in analysing and using historical sources. Students are afforded many opportunities to engage with technology, including the use of students' own laptop devices within lessons. A strong emphasis is placed on developing students' higher-order thinking and formal writing skills, with class tasks and formal assessments designed to target these specific areas. Scaffolded answers, explicit marking criteria's and sample responses are frequently used to improve students' responses as these are proven to enhance student outcomes and understanding of topics studied.

The main topics studied include

Year 9

  • Movement of Peoples- slavery and colonisation
  • World Wars I and II

Year 10

  • Rights and Freedoms
  • The 'Globalising' World or school developed topic

Additional studies may completed at the teachers' discretion

Forensic Archaeology

Forensic Archaeology has proved to be a popular and engaging elective unit for students in years 9 and 10. This course is an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and understanding of a range of historical periods; to develop the skills required to be successful at both Modern History and Ancient History at the HSC level and to further their enthusiasm for History.

Throughout this course students are able to examine a variety of non-traditional history-based topics, often with a focus on forensics and their use in solving crimes and helping us understand aspects of the past. Topics currently studied include

  • Forensics and Crime Scene Analysis- an introduction to forensics and their use in solving crimes and uncovering the past
  • Jack the Ripper
  • Film as History
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Terrorism and the media
  • Blood Diamonds - an investigation into slavery and the use of child soldiers in Africa
  • Personal Research Project

Stage 5 Geography

Stage 5 Geography incorporates learning related to Australian geography and the interaction of human and physical geography in a local context. A considerable focus is placed on developing a wide range of skills such as gathering, organising, evaluating and communicating geographical information from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including fieldwork. Students are afforded opportunities to utilise ICT within the classroom setting and are encouraged to bring their own laptop devices to help them complete set work. As in History, a strong emphasis is placed on developing higher-order thinking and writing skills, with explicit marking criterias, sample responses and scaffolds regularly used to enhance understanding and maximise student outcomes. Topics currently studied in stage 5 include

  • Investigating Australia's physical environments
  • Changing Australian Communities
  • Issues in Australian Environments
  • Australia in its Regional and Global Contexts.

Fieldwork and field trips play an important role in allowing students to view geographical and commercial processes in action. Field trips include Sandon Point, Minnamurra Falls, Sydney Aquarium, Wollongong Council, Wollongong District Court, Downing Street, and Supreme Law Courts, NSW Parliament House, as well as local sites for environmental monitoring.

Other activities include

  • The NSW Geography Competition
  • The UNSW PwC Australia and NZ Economics Competition
  • The UNSW PwC Business Studies Competition
  • The ASX Australian Sharemarket game
  • The AsiaWise Competition.


Commerce is studied as a 200 hour elective at Woonona High School throughout years 9 and 10. It provides the knowledge, skills, understanding, and values that assist the students to make sound decisions on consumer, financial, legal, business and employment issues. Through this course students develop practical skills to assist problem-solving and decision-making, using ethical and socially responsible strategies.

Main topics covered inĀ 

Year 9

  • Consumer choice
  • Personal finance
  • Travel
  • Investing

Year 10

  • Law and society
  • Law in action
  • Towards independence
  • Running a small business
  • Optional topic