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Robert Townson High School

Robert Townson High School

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Social Science

Social Science at Robert Townson High School

The Social Science Faculty is committed to opening the minds of its students to the world around them. Each subject offered allows students to create connections between content and the real world. We believe that our students are the leaders of the future and work hard to ensure that opportunities exist to maximise their learning potential.

Students undertaking courses in the Social Science faculty are provided with many opportunities to further their understanding and enhance their experiences. Some of these include- field work activities, Commerce market days, school excursions, academic competitions and involvement in whole school activities.

Staff Contact

Mr M Kapitanow Head Teacher HSIE



Mr H Sharan


Mr K Prasad


Mr K Crockett


Ms S Narayan


Subjects offered at Robert Townson High School

Stage 4 (Mandatory)

·        Year 7 Geography

·        Year 8 Geography

Stage 5

·        Year 9 Geography (mandatory)

·        Year 10 Geography (mandatory)

·        Year 9 and 10 Commerce (elective)

Stage 6

·        Business Studies

·        Legal Studies

·        Society and Culture

·        VET Business Services

·        Senior Geography

Subjects in Detail

Stage 4

Year 7 Geography (Mandatory)
Landscapes and Landforms

This unit focuses on students exploring landscapes and landforms using examples from Australia and throughout the world. They explain processes that create landscapes and shape individual landforms and they describe the value of landscapes and landforms to different people. Students examine issues of landscape degradation and ways to manage and protect landscapes and landforms. Students also investigate a natural hazard associated with landscapes and people’s responses to that hazard. 

Places and Liveability

This unit enables students to discuss factors that influence people’s perceptions of the liveability of places. They investigate features and characteristics of places across a range of scales that support and enhance people’s wellbeing such as community identity, environmental quality and access to services and facilities. Students assess the liveability of places and propose strategies to enhance the liveability of a place in Australia.

Year 8 Geography (Mandatory)
Water in the World

This unit focuses on developing student understanding of water as a resource and the factors influencing water flows and availability of water resources in different places. They investigate the nature of water scarcity and assess ways of overcoming it. Students discuss variations in people’s perceptions about the value of water and the need for sustainable water management. Students also investigate processes that continue to shape the environment including an atmospheric or hydrologic hazard.


This unit explores the connections people have to places across a range of scales. They examine what shapes people’s perceptions of places and how this influences their connections to places. Students explore how transport, information and communication technologies and trade link people to many places. They explain the effects of human activities, such as production, recreation and travel, on places and environments in Australia and across the world and investigate sustainability initiatives and possible futures for these places.

Stage 5

Year 9 Geography (mandatory)
Sustainable Biomes

This unit of work has been constructed to examine the physical characteristics and productivity of biomes. Students examine the correlation between the world’s climatic zones and spatial distributions of biomes and their capacity to support food and non-food agricultural production. Students analyse the impact humans have on biomes in an effort to produce food and increase agricultural yields. They examine population trends and projections from Australia and across the world and forecast future food supply-and-demand issues. Challenges to food production are explored and management strategies investigated.

Changing Places

The unit is concerned with examining the patterns and trends in population movements and the increasing urbanisation of countries. They discuss the reasons for internal and international migration patterns and the consequences of population movements, including the increased concentration of populations within countries. Students examine strategies to create liveable and sustainable urban places, propose solutions and suggest opportunities for active citizenship.

Year 10 Geography (mandatory)
Environmental Change and Management

This unit focuses on developing an understanding of the functioning of environments and the scale of human-induced environmental change challenging sustainability. They explore worldviews influencing approaches to environmental use and management. Students undertake an investigative study of the causes and consequences of environmental change in an environment in Australia and another country. They compare and evaluate the management responses in both countries and propose ways individuals can contribute to environmental sustainability.

Human Wellbeing

This unit focuses on exploring the nature of, and differences in, human wellbeing and development that exist within and between countries. They describe ways of measuring human wellbeing and development to reveal spatial variations and develop explanations for differences. Students investigate examples from Australia and across the world of issues affecting development, the impact on human wellbeing and the consequences of spatial variations across scales. Local, national and global initiatives to improve human wellbeing are also examined.

Year 9 and 10 Commerce (elective)

Commerce is a course that provides lifelong skills and knowledge. It is suitable for students with diverse interests such as law, finance, travel and advertising and also prepares them for independent living in the future.

This subject enables young people to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to research and develop solutions to consumer, financial, legal, business and employment issues in order to make informed and responsible decisions as individuals and as part of the community.
This subject is one that teaches the fundamental skills and knowledge beneficial for the following subjects in years 11 and 12- Business Studies, Legal Studies and Society and Culture. 

Course topics include:

Consumer Choice

Law and Society


Promoting and Selling

Personal Finance

Employment Issues

Running a Business

Law in Action

Towards Independence

Stage 6

Business Studies

Business Studies is the most popular elective chosen by students in NSW.

Students interested in running their own businesses or careers in finance, marketing, human resources, training and development, operations, accounting, public relations and international business would benefit from this course.

Year 11

·        What is Business?

·        How do businesses run?

·        What is a business plan?

Year 12

·        Four Key Business Functions- Operations, Marketing, Finance and Human Resources. 

Legal Studies

Legal studies promotes empowered and responsible citizens. The course suits students who are interested in:

Learning about the Australian legal system,

Discussing contemporary legal issues and cases and

Enhancing their knowledge, understanding and critical thinking skills,

A career in social work and the legal system (Police force, lawyers, solicitors, forensics etc. )

Year 11

The Legal System

The Individual and the Law

Law in Focus:  Women and Migrants

Year 12


Human Rights

Family Law

Environmental Law 

Society and Culture

Society and Culture is a course that promotes positive attitudes to the diversity of our community and the world around us.

The course suits students interested

Learning about other people, their cultures, traditions, festivals, and way of life,

Discussing and investigating societies past, present and future,

Enhancing their worldview and knowledge of contemporary issues

Improving their writing and research skills to enhance future opportunities

Year 11

The Social and Cultural World

Personal and Social Identity

Intercultural Communication

Year 12

Personal Interest Project (PIP)

Social Continuity and Change

Popular Culture AND Belief Systems

VET Business Services

VET Business Services is a course that offers a practical approach to the world of business for students interested in real estate and business careers.

The course offers students the opportunity to achieve a Certificate 2 or 3 in Business which can be used for small business management and administration and as a stepping stone for business and law degrees at university.  

Business Services is an ATAR subject, but as a VET subject students are required to complete mandatory work placement.

Senior Geography

Senior Geography is a course that investigates the varied character of the earth and its people, understanding environmental change and the interactions which take place in our world.

It suits students interested in:

Learning about environments, people, ecosystems, urban places and economic activity

Ecological sustainability, social justice, ethical research practices, active and informed citizenship and responsible, autonomous lifelong learning.

Year 11

Biophysical Interactions,

Global Challenges

Senior Geography Project.

Year 12

Ecosystems at Risk,

Urban Places,

People and Economic Activity

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