Social Sciences


Head of Department: Dr Glenn Davies

A good understanding of Social Sciences makes for a well-rounded citizen and someone who can actively engage with the world around them.




Year 7 History
(Semester 1) – The Ancient World

The Year 7 curriculum provides study of history from the time of the earliest human communities to the end of the ancient period, approximately 60 000 BC (BCE) – c.650 AD (CE). It was a period defined by the development of cultural practices and organised societies. The study of the ancient world includes the discoveries (the remains of the past and what we know) and the mysteries (what we do not know) about this period of history, in ancient Australia and ancient Rome.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How do we know about the ancient past?
  • Why and where did the earliest societies develop?
  • What emerged as the defining characteristics of ancient societies?
  • What have been the legacies of ancient societies?​

Depth Studies

  • Investigating the ancient past
  • The Mediterranean World - Rome 

Excursion / Competition

  • Living History Australia “Ancient Rome Day”
  • Australian History Competition (all students) 

Year 7 Geography

(Semester 2) – Water in the World / Place and Liveability

Water in the world focuses on water as an example of a renewal environmental resource. This unit examines the many uses of water, the ways it is perceived and valued, its different forms as a resource, the ways it connects places as it moves through the environment, its varying availability in time and across space, and its scarcity. 

Place and Liveability focuses on the concept of place through an investigation of liveability. This unit examines factors that influence liveability and how it is perceived, the idea that places provide us with the services and facilities needed to support and enhance our lives, and that spaces are planned and managed by people.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How do people’s reliance on places and environments influence their perception of them?
  • What effect does the uneven distribution of resources and services have on the lives of people?
  • What approaches can be used to improve the availability of resources and access to services?

Year 8 History
The Ancient to the Modern World

The Year 8 curriculum provides study of history from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern period, c.650 AD (CE) - 1750. This was when major civilisations around the world came into contact with each other. Social, economic, religious, and political beliefs were often challenged and significantly changed. It was the period when the modern world began to take shape.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How did societies change from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern age?
  • What key beliefs and values emerged and how did they influence societies?  

Depth Studies

  • Japan under the Shoguns (c.794-1867)
  • Spanish Conquest of the Americas
  • Medieval Europe (c.590-c.1500) 


  • Living History Australia “Medieval Day” 

Year 8 Geography
Landforms and Landscapes / Changing Nations

Landforms and Landscapes focuses on investigating geomorphology through a study of landscapes and their landforms. This unit examines the processes that shape individual landforms, the values and meanings placed on landforms and landscapes by diverse cultures, hazards associated with landscapes, and management of landscapes.

Changing Nations investigates the changing human geography of countries, as revealed by shifts in population distribution.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How do environmental and human processes affect the characteristics of place and environments?
  • How do the interconnections between places, people and environments affect the lives of people?
  • What are the consequences of changes to places and environments and how can these changes be managed?


  • Australian Geography Competition (all students)

Year 9 History
The Making of the Modern World

The Year 9 History curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I 1914-1918, the ‘war to end all wars’.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
  • What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?
  • What was the significance of World War I?
  • What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?

 Depth Studies

  • The Industrial Revolution (1750-1914)
  • Making a Nation (1750-1918)
  • World War 1 (1914-1918)



  • Living History Australia “Making of Modern Australia” performance

​Year 9 Geography
Biomes and Food Security / Geographies of Interconnections

Biomes and food security focuses on investigating the role of the biotic environment and its role in food and fibre production.
Geographies of interconnections focuses on investigating how people, through their choices and actions, are connected to places throughout the world in a wide variety of ways, and how these connections help to make and change places and their environments.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • What are the causes and consequences of change in places and environments and how can this change be managed?
  • What are the future implications of changes to places and environments?
  • Why are interconnections and interdependencies important for the future of places and environments? 


  • Australian Geography Competition (all students)  

Year 10 History
The Modern World and Australia  

The Year 10 History curriculum provides a study of the history of the modern world and Australia from 1918 to the present, with an emphasis on Australia in its global context. The twentieth century became a critical period in Australia’s social, cultural, economic and political development. The transformation of the modern world during a time of political turmoil, global conflict and international cooperation provides a necessary context for understanding Australia’s development, its place within the Asia-Pacific.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How did the nature of global conflict change during the twentieth century?
  • What were the consequences of World War II? How did these consequences shape the modern world?
  • How was Australian society affected by other significant global events and changes in this period?

 Depth Studies

  • World War II (1939-1945)
  • Popular Culture in Australia (1945-Present)
  • Rights and Freedoms in Australia (1945-Present) 


  • Brisbane during World War II: Anzac Square, St John's Cathedral and Macarthur Museum


Year 10 Geography
Geographies of Human Wellbeing / Environmental Change and Management

Geographies of Human Wellbeing focuses on investigating global, national and local differences in human wellbeing between places. This unit examines the different concepts and measures of human wellbeing, and the causes of global differences in these measures between countries.
Environmental Change and Management focuses on investigating environmental geography through an in-depth study of a specific environment. The unit begins with an overview of the environmental functions that support all life, the major challenges to their sustainability, and the environmental worldviews that influence how people perceive and resopnd to these challenges, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Key Inquiry Questions

  • How can the spatial variation between places and changes in environments be explained?
  • What management options exist for sustaining human and natural systems into the future?
  • How do world views influence decisions on how to manage environmental and social change?  


  • Australian Geography Competition (all students)  

Ancient History

Ancient History provides opportunities for students to study people, societies and civilisations of the past, from the development of the earliest human communities to the end of the Middle Ages. 

Students analyse and interpret archaeological and written evidence. They develop increasingly sophisticated skills and understandings of historical issues and problems by interrogating the surviving evidence of ancient sites, societies, individuals and significant historical periods. They investigate the problematic nature of evidence, pose increasingly complex questions about the past and formulate reasoned responses.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1 - Investigating the Ancient World
  • Unit 2 - Personalities in their times
  • Unit 3 - Reconstructing the Ancient World
  • Unit 4 - People, power and authority 

  • Abbey Museum archaeological dig (Year 11)
  • RD Milns Antiquity Museum and white gloves workshop (Year 12) 

Modern History

Modern History provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and understanding about some of the main forces that have contributed to the development of the Modern World and to think historically and form a historical consciousness in relation to these same forces.

Modern History enables students to emphathise with others and make meaningful connections between the past, present and possible futures. Students learn that the past is contestable and tentative. Through inquiry into ideas, movements, national experiences and international experiences they discover how the past consists of various perspectives and interpretations. 

Course Outline

  • Unit 1 - Ideas in the Modern World
  • Unit 2 - Movements in the Modern World
  • Unit 3 - National Experiences in the Modern World
  • Unit 4 - International Experiences in the Modern World 

  • Queensland  History Teachers' Association MHS student seminars (Year 11)  

Philosophy and Reason

Philosophy and Reason provides opportunities for students to investigate philsophical ideas that have shaped and continue to influence contemporary society, including what it means to be human, how we understand the role of reason in our individual and collective lives and how we think about and care for each other and the world around us. 

students recognise the relevance of various philosophes to different political, ethical, religious and scientific positions.

Students learn to understand and use reasoning to examine and analyse classical and contemporary ideas and issues, make rational arguments, espouse viewpoints and engage in informed discourse. 

Course Outline

  • Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Reason
  • Unit 2 - Reason in Philosophy
  • Unit 3 - Moral Philosophy and Schools of Thought
  • Unit 4 - Social and Political Philosophy


  • Philosothon, University of Queensland (Year 11)
  • Queensland Schools Constitutional Convention (Year 11)


Tourism (Applied Subject)

Tourism studies enable students to gain an appreciation of the role of the tourism industry and the structure, scope and operation of the related tourism sectors of travel, hospitality and visitor services. Students examine the socio-cultural, environmental and economic aspects of tourism, as well as tourism opportunities, problems and issues across global, national and local contexts.

Students develop and apply tourism-related knowledge and understanding through learning experiences and assessment in which they plan projects, analyse issues and opportunities, and evaluate concepts and information.

Last reviewed 19 April 2022
Last updated 19 April 2022