The Social Science Faculty strives to become a faculty of excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging independent thinking and creativity in an intellectually stimulating environment.
Junior School Courses
All students study Geography for 1 semester (2 terms) in Years 7 and 8. The Stage 5 Geography and Commerce course is compacted and completed in Year 9. Students may elect to study elective Commerce and elective Geography in Year 10.
The aim of the Geography Years 7–10 program is to stimulate students’ enjoyment of and interest in the interaction of the physical and human environments. Students achieve this as they develop geographic knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes and engage in the community as informed and active citizens.
Geography Elective (Year 10)
Geography is seen as one of the key subjects needed to understand some of the world’s most pressing problems – population, climate change, agriculture, food and water security etc. This course will give you the opportunity of studying some of these aspects in detail and help you make more informed decisions. The Geography (Elective) course provides students with the opportunity for learning through the engagement with a wider selection of Geography content than is offered in the Civics and Citizenship based compulsory course. It provides students with a broader understanding of the discipline of Geography and the processes of geographical inquiry, and enables depth studies in 4 of the topics below (students will have choice in what topics are studied).
Programs will be developed from at least four of the eight focus areas in Geography:
Some students will be offered a more individualized programme.
The aim of the Commerce Years 7–10 program is to enable young people to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to research and develop solutions to consumer, financial, legal, business and employment issues in order to make informed and responsible decisions as individuals and as part of the community.
Senior School Courses
HSC courses in Business studies, Earth and Environmental Science, Economics, Geography and Legal Studies are offered to students for study in Years 11 and 12. Our HSC results in these subjects have consistently been considerably above the state average.
The Preliminary course is based on a study of three compulsory topics (Nature
of Business, Business Management, Business Planning) and the completion of a Business Research Task. The Business
Research Task is a project undertaken throughout the course to support course
concepts. The HSC course is based on a study of four compulsory topics (Operations,
Marking, Finance, Human Resources). The
ordering of the topics is not prescriptive and in practice may be influenced by
students’ needs, interests and access to case study and other resources.
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
Preliminary course provides an essential foundation for the HSC course. 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.
In the preliminary course, students undertake study of two 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, Urban Places and People
and Economic Activity.
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. Studied themes include
Justice, law and society, Culture, values and ethics, Legal processes and
institutions, Conflict and cooperation and the Effectiveness of the legal
system. 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 the 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.
Outcomes and Results
Careers and Tertiary Courses
Tertiary courses in Commerce, Economics, Business and Law are very popular choices for students when they leave Sydney Boys High School.
Consistently, over 35% of students from High selected university courses in Commerce/Economics, Business and Actuarial Studies while 10% of students selected combined Law courses, others entered courses requiring further studies in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Excursions and fieldtrips remain a part of a wider pedagogical framework engaging students beyond traditional subject boundaries.
Participation in national competitions has remained high with a large number of students receiving awards of a credit or higher. Competitions include the National Geographic Australian Geography Competition, the UNSW PwC Australia and NZ Economics Competition, the UNSW PwC Business Studies Competition and the Planning Your Own Enterprise Competition.
Other extra-curricular activities
Social Science students participated in an array of other activities.
Year 7 conduct field study research at school exploring erosion issues around the newly contracted cola. Year 8 visit Bicentennial Park Wetlands as part of their study unit “Investigating Global Environments and Communities”. Stage 5 geographers (Year 9) visit Pyrmont as part of their studies investigating “Sustainable Sydney” and “Urban Dynamics”. Stage 5 geographers (Year 9) also attend Centennial Park as part of their study unit “Land and Water Management”. Stage 6 Geographers conduct a field study in the inner west as part of their study unit “Urban Dynamics”.
All students are also offered the opportunity to participate in the ASX Share Market game each year.