Human Society in its Environment (HSIE)

The key learning area of Human Society in its Environment (HSIE) includes those subjects that are defined as the humanities. They aim at examining the role people play in the environment, history, in the commercial world and in society in general.


This broad area known as HSIE encompasses many subjects that all aim to enhance students' desire for lifelong learning. This is achieved by helping students to understand and apply a variety of analytical and creative techniques to solve problems that enable our students to deal with contemporary issues.

The development of critical thinking skills is also important within this key learning area. We teach our students to understand and appreciate social, cultural, geographical and historical contexts, and to participate as active and informed citizens.

The teaching and learning activities of the HSIE Faculty at St Joseph’s Catholic College ensure that the students experience a variety of classroom and co-curricular activities that fulfil syllabus requirements. 

The HSIE faculty is a very experienced and dedicated group of teachers with a commitment to high quality teaching practices.

Year 11 and 12 Fragile Environments field trip - Mt Kosciuszko National Park

In Stages 4 and 5 students undertake mandatory courses in History and Geography. 

Stage 4: Years 7 and 8

In Stage 4, History students study the nature of history and look specifically at the ancient and medieval worlds.

Stage 4 Geography incorporates learning related to global geography and the interaction of human and physical elements of the environment in a global context.


Year 7 Geography site study trip - Shortland Wetland Centre

Stage 5: Years 9 and 10

Stage 5 History incorporates the study of the modern world from 1750 to the present and Australia's place in the modern world from 1945 to the present.

Stage 5 Geography incorporates learning relating to Australian geography and the interaction of human and physical geography in a local context.

Commerce is also offered to students as an elective in Years 9 and 10.

HSIE 2960   HSIE 2956 

Year 10 History site study trip to The Rocks and Circular Quay area, Sydney. 

Stage 6: Years 11 and 12

Students in Stage 6 may select from the following HSIE courses: Ancient History, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History Extension, Legal Studies, Modern History and Society and Culture.  These courses cover a range of areas providing opportunities for students to develop knowledge and understanding that will assist them to become active and informed global citizens.

Fieldwork and Site Studies

The HSIE Department at St Joseph's is committed to exposing students to a variety of learning experiences and we have developed an extensive fieldwork program that provides students with practical learning experiences across all stages. Site studies are also a mandatory component of the Stage 4 and 5 History and Geography syllabuses.  These site studies may be completed 'virtually' or in locations of historical or geographical significance.

Beach Trip 2 inline landscape   Beach Trip

Year 10 Geography field work trip to a variety of local central coast beaches.

In The Spirit of Mary MacKillop

St Joseph's Catholic College

Contact Details

PO BOX 4041
Russell Drysdale St. East Gosford
NSW 2250, Australia
P: 02 43 244022 F: 02 43 233512