Social scientists continued to be focused on creating an engaging learning environment that fosters critical thinking and encourages student-led learning. Teachers embraced a variety of teaching methods, providing opportunities through research, projects and experiences designed to foster discussion and debate.
Stage 5 Geography Fieldwork
Both Social Science teachers and students alike were excited to get outside again and engage in fieldwork to reinforce how natural processes and human activity affect the environment. In 2022, we planned new experiences, went to Port Stephens and explored Fingal Beach and Birubi Beach, documenting observations and conducting scientific measurements of wind, soil, vegetation and the natural processes that took place on the beach.
As part of the topic Promoting and Selling, Year 8 Commerce classes worked in small groups to produce a comprehensive Market Research Portfolio. The project was based around the production of a healthy breakfast cereal, designed to help address the issue of childhood obesity. There were lots of elements to the task. The cereal boxes were a great opportunity for students to show off their creativity as well as their understanding of labelling and other consumer protection legislation. Great work everyone.
It was with great pleasure that Social Science was again able to offer Marine Studies students the opportunity to engage in learning opportunities outside the classroom. Over fifty students from both Years 9 and 10 Marine and Aquaculture attended the Whale Watching at Port Stephens. Students were able to see humpback whales up close on our own private charter.
A visit to Sydney Sealife saw fifty Year 8 Marine and Aquaculture students engage with animals in the hands-on interactive pools and learn about marine species in detail. The dugong was a huge hit.
The Bizfair in Commerce
Bizfair has been successfully running at Warners Bay High School for many years and provides a great opportunity for students to be involved in the establishment and operation of a small business. Students worked collaboratively to design a product that is suitable to sell on a market day in the Year 7 COLA during lunch. On the Bizfair Market Day, students needed to successfully run their stall demonstrating communication, teamwork, and entrepreneurial skills. Students were required to complete a report as part of a formal assessment task where each group member took on a specific role: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Finance manager, Operations Manager, Marketing Manager and Legal advisor. Bizfair is integral to students deep understanding and knowledge of the "Running a Business" topic in Stage 5 Commerce. Students' feedback on this experience is always very positive and the whole school community actively supports this Commerce project. There was a real buzz of excitement leading up to and during the market day. It is a highly anticipated event that engaged all students in the class and developed strong relationships within the class and across the school.
Focus on feedback in Stage 6 – Society and Culture
In the Society and Culture course, online applications were utilised as a powerful tool for encouraging and improving student learning and performance. Providing recorded verbal feedback enabled each student to listen to teacher feedback a number of times to maximise their understanding and improvement.
Learning Technology and FFL Classroom
Business Studies completed the first year of trialling of the new CANVAS platform, successfully transitioning from Google Classroom. Student and parent feedback was positive and this platform enabled the use of mastery learning, differentiation and self-paced assessment. Teaching was assisted through stronger data analysis and timely academic progress reports after each stage of formative assessment.
Business Studies students have also benefited from the use of the Future Focused Learning space which encouraged collaboration and engaging activities.
Exciting news coming out of 2022 Subject Selection:
- Planning was underway for all five of our Stage 6 courses to be up and running for 2023.
- The International Studies elective will be re-introduced back to Stage 5.
- The school’s first Accelerated Program - we attracted top students from Year 9 Geography in 2022 to participate in an accelerated program for senior Geography.