Society and Environment, often referred to as “the humanities" in the Australian Curriculum, includes the traditional academic disciplines of History, Geography, Economics and Politics & Law. The most important focus of these studies is how they provide an understanding of the world’s most precious resource – people. History is the study of people and the past; Geography studies people’s interactions with the earth and its resources; Economics examines how people can develop systems to make the best use of resources; and Politics & Law studies people and their use of power. The curriculum at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School integrates all four of these areas into the core subject of Society & Environment from Year 8 through to Year 10, with students able to select any of these disciplines as separate WACE courses in Years 11 and 12.
In Society & Environment classes, students are encouraged to research information according to recognised academic convention, to synthesise that information to develop understanding, and then to use that understanding to build logical and reasoned arguments. They focus on a range of content from the traditional, such as reasons behind the outbreak of world conflict, to contemporary, like the impact of international relations on food security. Student work is also produced in a variety of formats, from closed book tests to oral presentations to film production. Teachers are frequently surprised and delighted with the extent of intellectual sophistication our students are able to produce as they practice and mature as academic practitioners. Many students have continued their studies of humanities into university, pursuing careers in law, arts, commerce and environmental studies. It is a special feeling to know that the knowledge, skills and experiences students gain through Society & Environment can and will make the world a better place.