2014 has been a year of implementation for the Geography
courses of study. These constitute the second major change
of Australian Curriculum for the Humanities Faculty.
The new Geography electives in Year 9 and 10, entitled
The InterconnectedWorld and Environmental Challenges
s, have been offered in 2014 and will be
reviewed and developed further for next year with an
improved focus on fieldwork and the important skills that it
develops. The increasing use of tools such as Google maps,
integrated with student photographs and data collection
will help to develop more sophisticated fieldwork
presentations at all levels. This year has seen the first
offering of the new Year 7 and 8 Geography courses which
will require review and development. A decision was made
during the year that in the best interests of effective
learning the History and Geography courses at Year 8
should operate on a semester basis from 2015. This will
provide more frequent contact with students and greater
continuity than has previously existed.
In 2014 a new History elective in Years 9 and 10 entitled
Ancient Cultures has been offered for the first time. This
has proved to be popular and is a positive step in
establishing a background for students who may wish, in
the future, to study the new VCE Ancient History course
that is being planned by the Victorian Curriculum and
Assessment Authority (VCAA). The
Money, Law and Politics
elective unit has also been popular this year as the faculty
has had to begin the review of this area of study with the
publishing of the Business and Economics and Citizenship
AusVELs. This review may lead to an expansion of these
offerings as a lead- in to the extensive range of Commerce
subjects available at VCE level.
Subject-based activities run this year include fieldwork
at various levels, incursions by History Box, speakers, and
other activities. Subject competitions are being reviewed to
evaluate their worth as a learning activity. A range of
competitions may be offered as extension activities to
interested students in the future.
Yet again the simulation activity entitled Justicecountry
was a highlight for the Year 11 students who chose to
participate. It provides an opportunity to be involved in an
activity that focuses on the equity of income distribution
and the process of government decision making.
Many Year 11 students found the task enlightening and
Every year the Department is responsible for running
Assemblies on both Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. This
year a number of Year 11 History students were involved in
presenting the Anzac Assembly and are to be commended
on making it such a moving occasion. The incoming 2015
School Leaders did an excellent presentation for
Thanks are due to the staff of the Humanities Department
in 2014 for their continuing hard work and commitment
to their students. They are also to be thanked for their
contribution to the development of many new courses
and the thoughtful approach to the increasing use of
technology in the classroom, particularly at Years 7 and 8.
Staff are also to be commended on their involvement in a
range of professional learning, including subject-based
areas, technology, formative assessment and leadership.
Many of these courses have led to enthusiastic planning
and changes in classroom strategies.
At the beginning of this year we welcomed Ms Emma Forte
(History Maternity Leave Replacement) to the Department.
Ms Forte was a graduate teacher who has made a positive
contribution to History, with great enthusiasm and skill.
We also welcomed Ms Jane Cornelius, although she is a
long-standing member of the French department at Ruyton
The Humanities Department takes pride in the
opportunities it provides in terms of a holistic and
interdisciplinary approach to learning, which has always
been a part of our approach. As the world, through
technology, becomes a more interconnected place,
we see the role of Humanities in equipping students
with this integrated form of knowledge becoming
Ms Margaret Barratt,
Dean of Humanities
Annual Report 2014