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Hornsby Girls High School

Hornsby Girls High School

Excellence in Girls' Education

Telephone02 9476 5711


Social Sciences

Course Information

Business Studies

Through Business Studies students develop knowledge of the nature, role and structure of Australian Businesses. Business Studies is distinctive in that is encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business and management in contexts which the students will encounter in life.

Business case studies are embedded in the course to provide a stimulating and relevant framework for student learning. Preliminary Business Studies focuses on small to medium enterprises, business plans and the functions, processes and operations of business in Australia. Students are required to investigate a case study or plan their own enterprise.

HSC Business Studies focuses on the operation of global business and looks at effective management strategies. A key skill is the ability to analyse and evaluate business performance.


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. It develops in students an understanding of commercial and legal processes and competencies for personal financial management. Through the study of Commerce students develop financial literacy which enables them to participate in the financial system in an informed way.

Central to the course is the development of an understanding of the relationships between consumers, businesses and governments in the overall economy. Through their investigation of these relationships, students develop the capacity to apply problem-solving strategies which incorporate the skills of analysis and evaluation.


Economic decisions have a crucial influence on the quality of life experienced by people throughout the world. The study of economics can help individuals, groups and societies make choices that assist them to improve their quality of life.

As a subject, Economics Stage 6 is distinctive because of the range of problems and issues that it investigates and the skills that it develops. A student who has completed the Preliminary and HSC courses should have knowledge and skills enabling them to:

•      comprehend the background and implications of contemporary economic issues
•      discuss appropriate policies to solve economic problems and issues
•      understand what a change in interest rates, share values or the value of     the Australian dollar means to individuals and the economy
•      identify fluctuations in the global and Australian economies and their likely effects on business
•      understand reasons for changes in employment patterns
•      identify, using economic thinking, appropriate strategies to protect the natural environment.




Geography underpins "a lifelong conversation with the earth as the home for humankind" UK Geography Association.

Geography is about the study of places-their environments, populations, economies and communities and how and why these places are changing. Geography gives students a holistic view of the world, combining the natural and social sciences. This subject is vital to the education of every young Australian.

Years 7 to 10 investigate Communities and Environments. Students will develop geographic skills to enable these investigations. In Years 7 and 8, the emphasis is upon global patterns, whilst in Years 9 and 10, Communities and Environments are drawn mainly from Australia. Values and attitudes are clarified through considering issues, so that students become better Australian and Global Citizens.


Preliminary Geography investigates issues of people in relation to the biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. There is consideration of population and political geography and the use of natural resources. There is the opportunity to apply skills developed in class in a Senior Geography Project, which is a small scale individual investigation into an area of the student's interest.

HSC Geography looks at the vital and interrelated issues of globalisation, transnational corporations, growth of mega cities and the impact of humans on ecosystems at risk.

Legal Studies

The Legal Studies Stage 6 course offers excellent preparation for life through a study of the legal system, its principles, structures, institutions and processes. The syllabus focuses on the way in which the law is generated, how it is structured and how it operates in Australian and international contexts.

Through Legal Studies students will develop and understanding of:           

  • The nature and institutions of domestic and international law
  • The operation of Australian and international legal systems and the significance of the rule of law
  • The interrelationship between law, justice and society and the changing nature of law

Students will have the opportunity to participate in mock trials and mooting competitions. Through the study of Legal Studies, students gain skills of critical analysis, independent research and effective communication.

Society and Culture

This subject is concerned with the interaction of people, society and culture. It will bring to the student a greater awareness of the rapid changes in Australian society and culture, and of the students' own lives in their social situations. These courses draw key concepts and methods from areas of study to understand human issues and life situations related to the students' immediate, wider and future world. These areas of study that are drawn upon include anthropology, sociology, political studies, legal studies, religious studies, peace and conflict studies, communication studies, future studies and social psychology. The areas from which issues may be drawn include: Coming of age in Today's World Adolescence Decision- making: Power, Authority, Participation Popular Culture Intercultural communication Social inequity, prejudice and discrimination Religion and belief Work and leisure Looking ahead to Tomorrow's World There is a Personal Interest Project on a topic chosen by the student in conjunction with the teacher. This allows students to apply skills they have developed in a practical fashion.

Subjects Studied

The Social Sciences Faculty at Hornsby Girls' High School is responsible for the teaching of:

  • In Years 7 to 10 Geography, including Civics and Citizenship (mandatory in each year).
  • In Years 9 and 10, Commerce may be selected as an option.
  • In Preliminary and Higher School Certificate Years (11 and 12) , the Social Sciences Faculty offers Business Studies, Economics, Geography, Legal Studies, and Society and Culture.


Year 8 Geography Camp Toukley – Rainforest and Coastal Environments
Year 9 Commerce Westfields Shopping Centre – Promoting and Selling
Year 10 Geography- Urban Growth and Decline in Hornsby
Year 10 Geography Narrabeen- Coastal Processes and Management
Year 10 Commerce Hornsby Local Courts- The Law in Action
Year 11 Business Studies Westfields Hornsby- marketing
Year 11 Business Studies and Economics- Flemington Markets- supply and demand
Year 11 Society and Culture- Lecture day on PIP
Year 12 Legal Studies- student lectures on Crime and the law
Year 12 Economics- Student lectures
Year 12 Geography Dairying
Year 12 Geography Home bush wetlands- threatened habitats
Year 12 Business Studies- student lectures

Internet Links

Legal Studies Links:

Australian Legal Information Institute The Institute is a joint facility of the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of New South Wales, Faculties of Law. The site provides access to Australian law resources, legal professions and services. Included is information about Commonwealth and State legislation and case law from various courts and tribunals.
Australian Law on the Internet This site, from the National Library of Australia, provides a comprehensive collection of law links. The resources are categorised by state and federal and also by subject.
Australian Legal Resources International (ALRI) ALRI is an Australian non-profit, non-government coporation dedicated to the promotion of democracy, human rights and justice in the world's developing countries and those seeking to build democracies. The organisation provides assistance in a range of areas from the provision of legal services and advice on parliamentary procedure to the supply of basic resources. The annual report is available from the site, as well as other reports about ALRI's projects around the world.
Federal Human rights and Equal Opportunities Commission  

The High Court of Australia

The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system, establised in 1901 by section 71 of the Consitution. A range of legal documents, case summaries and transcripts, sitting calendar, and speeches can be accessed from the site. Also available is a virtual tour of the court.

EdNA Online Category: Law This collection contains a range of resources on Law and Legal Studies. included are Australian and International law clearinghouses, law journals, reports and legal databases.

Law Portal

A complete online reference to legal resources available on the web, with extensive law indexes, search tools and other resources to assist users in finding the information they need.
LawSearch Online A database which provides fast and simple access to Commonwealth legislation and provides details about Commonwealth Bills, Commonwealth Acts and most Commonwealth subordinate legislation. Entries contain items such as amendments since the last official reprint, relevant government reports, parliamentary reports about the item and gazette notices directly relating to the legislation.
Leo Cussen Institute The institute provides continuing legal education for legal practitioners in Victoria and is the principal provider of legal education and professional development programs in Victoria.
Legal Information Standards Council The council is a coalition of commercial, non-profit and government legal publishing interests. It has been set up to act as a communication forum for organisations publishing and dealing with primary and secondary legal information. Some of the resources found on the site include: best practice guidelines for legal web sites, guidelines for email information and advice, accessibility standards for online publishing, legal metadata standards, and more.
SCALEplus/Student Education Material This resource for secondary schools students has been developed by the Family Court of Australia to provide an introduction to family law in Australia. Included are materials on legal proceedings, law of divorce and child abuse. Examples of court cases are also provided.
Window on the Law, Attorney-General's Department This site is the Australian Government entry point to all Australian Government legal resources. It provides access to information about the Australia legal system and the government organisations that are part of the Australian legal system. You will also find an overview of the Australian legal system, all Australian Commonwealth legislation, most current Commonwealth court and tribunal decisions, some Australian State and Territory legislation and case law and more.