This year I have been privileged to take over as Dean of
Humanities at a time of great change. In 2012 the Faculty
has continued the review of the History curriculum to meet
the requirements for the Australian Curriculum in 2013.
This will be followed by the next phase, the Geography
curriculum.Within Ruyton we are continuing to develop a
more responsive approach to teaching which will lead to an
even more personalised learning experience for students.
Traditionally Year 7 Humanities students begin the year
creating their own personal time capsule to be opened in
at the end of their secondary education. They learn
skills of mapping and interpretation of visual information
as well as being involved in simulation activities for Ancient
Civilisations and Archaeology.
In Year 8 the History course introduces them to the world
of medieval Europe through the Battle of Hastings to
the Black Death and the ever-popular medieval feast.
Geography tackles global issues, such as the future of
Antarctica,Weather and Climate Systems, and Rainforests.
In Years 9 and 10 courses include Year 9 Australian History,
as well as a range of electives such as Protest and Conflict,
World Religions, Disasters, Beaches and Coasts and You
and Your Money. Each of these electives provides students
with an in-depth body of knowledge but, more importantly,
with a range of skills that lead to the higher- order thinking
required in later education and life. Students are introduced
to concepts such as political systems, conflict and religion,
disaster and resource management, and financial literacy.
Outside the classroom History students attended
exhibitions, while the Geography classes completed
fieldwork on the Mornington Peninsula and a pioneering
fire management unit with the Country Fire Authority at
Kinglake. You and Your Money students tried their luck on
the Stock Market in a simulation activity. All these activities
are critically important in connecting what students learn
in the classroom to the world beyond.
A number of Year 9 and 10 Geography students should
also be congratulated on achieving Distinctions and
High Distinctions in the National Geographic Australian
Geography Competition this year. This is always a very
challenging competition that requires students to use
a range of mathematical, observational, literacy and
interpretative skills.
In the VCE curriculum, the enhancement of coursework was
evident in all areas, through activities which ensured the
development of an appreciation of the values, knowledge
and concepts which are integral to these disciplines.
Business Management (Units 1 and 2) students conducted
their own small business ventures, including the production
of fridge magnets, jewellery and cupcakes with varying
degrees of profitability, but highlighting the complexities
of running any type of business. Classics students attended
exhibitions; Legal Studies students completed a Moot Court
while Geography students used the Fitzroy Gardens for
their Unit 3 Resource Management Fieldwork.
One of the highlights was the Justicecountry activity. Under
the guidance of Mr Leo Keegan, the Year 11 girls involved
had the opportunity to simulate the mechanics of the
parliamentary process. Students agreed that this had been
a challenging but exciting, stimulating and satisfying day.
The Humanities Faculty is also responsible for the School
Assemblies that mark Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
The School Assembly presentation to mark Anzac Day
was co-ordinated by Mr Andrew Barnett and highlighted
the relationship between Turkey and Australia, forged at
The Humanities staff of 2012 is to be acknowledged for
their hard work and commitment. New staff to the Faculty
includes Mrs Nicole Barrah in Geography, Miss Emma
Officer in History, Mr Steven Stanecki in Humanities.We
acknowledge the retirement of Mr Andrew Barnett in Term
Mr Barnett was an important part of the Ruyton and
Humanities staff for 12 years and taught Economics, History
and Commerce electives with a passionate zeal that his
students will long remember.We also farewell Ms Timmee
Grinham, who, after taking leave in 2012, has decided not
to return. She was a valued and intellectually stimulating
colleague, as well as a tireless advocate for the cause of
sustainability in the School.We wish them both the very
best as they move on to new challenges.
Through exploration of the Humanities we all, students
and staff, learn how to think creatively and critically, to
reason, and to ask questions. These skills allow us to gain
new insights into our history, politics, business structures
and economy and the geographical organisation and
management of our space. This is the challenge for the
Humanities Faculty in the 21st century.
Ms Margaret Barratt,
Dean of Humanities
Annual Report 2012