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Warners Bay High School

Warners Bay High School

Quality Education for All

Telephone02 4954 9488


Social Science


Social Science Staff

Rachel Noonan - Head Teacher

Natasha Banks 

Toby Husband (HT Admin/VET)

Kendall Dieleman                                                                

Helen Saperas                           

David Lembke 

Ms Donna Weston 

Kim Maher (HT Welfare Rel)
Michael McGarvey

The Social Sciences Faculty at Warners Bay High School strives to be a faculty of excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging independent thinking and encouraging students to engage in the community as informed and active citizens. The faculty enhances the learning outcomes of students by presenting a range of opportunities for them to apply their skills and engage in co-curricular activities such as inter-school competitions, excursions and fieldwork trips. Our HSC results have consistently been considerably above the state average.

The Social Science staff at Warners Bay High School are enthusiastic about contemporary issues and are dedicated to stimulating students' enjoyment of and interest in the interaction of the physical and human environments, promoting intercultural understanding and lifelong learning.

Studying Social Sciences will give students fascinating insights and equip them with important transferable skills for a wide range of careers. Students develop general and specific work-related skills, including research, analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, teamwork and communication.

We offer a wide range of subjects such as:

Junior School (7-10)

- Mandatory Stage 4 and 5 Geography - Stage 4 Geography incorporates learning related to global geography and the interaction of human and physical elements of the environment in a global context. Stage 5 Geography incorporates learning related to Australian geography and the interaction of human and physical geography in a local context.

Elective Geography (9 and 10) – Students are given an opportunity to learn about their favourite parts of Geography in depth and through case studies. More fieldwork and excursions are provided than the mandatory course such as trips to Glenrock Lagoon, the Hunter Wetlands, Port Stephens and participation in the Hunter/Central Coast Geography Trivia Competition. Students become part of a Student Environmental Education Council for Warners Bay High School that will actively seek to improve environmental awareness and conduct water, waste and electricity audits as well as run a recycling program.

 - Commerce/Legal Studies (8, 9 and 10)- Commerce provides the knowledge, skills, understanding and values that form the foundation on which young people make sound decisions on consumer, financial, business, legal and employment issues. Students learn real-life skills such as budgeting, voting, writing job applications and constructing resumes, how to do tax, how to protect yourself as a consumer, renting or buying a house and how to get your driver's licence. Students participate in a Bizfair where they work in small groups to produce, market and sell a product. They participate in exciting competitions such as the ASX Sharemarket Game and the Office of Fair Trading's Money Stuff Competition. Students learn about interesting legal issues and cases and apply legal knowledge in class mock trials. Excursions include trips to Maitland Gaol, Local Court House, Police Museum and Luna Park.

- Marine Studies (8, 9 and 10)- Students learn hands-on about fish biology, marine environments and develop skills in fishing and cooking seafood. They develop an appreciation and understanding of the local environment (i.e. the ocean, mangroves, coastline and Lake Macquarie). A range of excursions are offered and include trips to the Barramundi Farm, the Shark and Ray Centre, the Sydney Aquarium, the IMAX theatre, Canoeing and fieldwork at the Hunter Wetlands and Whale Watching at Port Stephens.

- International Studies (9 and 10) - Students investigate the beliefs and practices across a wide range of cultures, including their food, religions, sports, family life and customs. They learn about cultural issues through the media, guest speakers and by visiting places of cultural significance. Students are involved in organising a host of cultural activities, such as Harmony Day, to enhance cultural awareness at WBHS and have the opportunity to visit the Sri Venkateswara Hindu temple and stay overnight in the Nan Tien Buddhist Temple in Wollongong. A Japan trip is currently being organised for September 2013.

Senior School (11 and 12)

HSC courses in Business studies, Economics, Geography, Society and Culture and Legal Studies are offered to students for study in Years 11 and 12.

-  Business Studies - Business Studies is a course designed to enable students to participate effectively in a changing business world. The course provides students with an opportunity to bridge the gap between school and work and develop a range of business related skills. The Preliminary course is based on a study of three compulsory topics (Nature of Business, Business Management, and Business Planning) and the completion of a Business Research Task. The HSC course is based on a study of four compulsory topics (Operations, Marking, Finance, Human Resources). 

-  Legal Studies - Legal Studies develops students' knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the legal system and its effectiveness in promoting a just and fair society, with a view to empowering students to participate effectively as citizens at the local, national and international level.  In the Preliminary course, students study two broad topics of the basics of the legal system and the Individual and the State. They then perform a focus study of two marginalised groups and their position in the law. In the HSC course, students engage in the topics of Law and Society and a number of focus studies on Crime (compulsory) and two other general themes in law. Students are given the opportunity to learn court procedures by participating in the Inter-school Mock Trial competition.

-  Geography - Geography is a unique subject because it is capable of looking at the world from many viewpoints. It gives students a general knowledge of the world and contemporary issues.  In the Preliminary course, students undertake study of topic areas: Biophysical Interactions and Global Challenges. They also undertake a major Geography Project to complete their Year 11 assessment. In the HSC Course, students study three topic areas: Ecosystems at Risk (The Great Barrier Reef and Stockton Bight), Urban Places and People and Economic Activity (viticulture). Fieldwork is a compulsory component of Geography and Year 12 Geography students will enjoy fieldwork trips to Port Stephens or the Great Barrier Reef, Pyrmont/Ultimo in Sydney and the Hunter Valley Vineyards. Fieldwork gives students first- hand knowledge of the world around them and an appreciation of the environment.

-  Economics - The Preliminary course is essentially microeconomic in nature, focusing on aspects of the economic behaviour of consumers, business and governments. Much of this behaviour is influenced by the operation of markets. Two key markets, the labour market and the financial market, are examined in detail. The HSC course focuses on the management of an economy and is therefore essentially macroeconomic in nature. It examines the external framework in which the Australian economy operates. The course investigates the impact of the global economy on the Australian economy and the link between economic issues and the management of an economy, with specific reference to the Australian economy.

-  Society and Culture - It helps students to develop a means to understand and analyse both overseas and local cultures by equipping them with an understanding of concepts, methodologies and values related to a range of human issues. Students will develop empathy with people of different societies and cultures. Personal experiences will be integrated with public knowledge through all kinds of research, writing and media. In the Preliminary course students study the topics of the Social and Cultural World, Personal and Social Identity and Inter-cultural Communication. The HSC course focuses on the Personal Interest Project (PIP) which is worth 40% of the final HSC mark, Social and Cultural Continuity, Popular Culture and Belief Systems.