Humanities and Social Sciences

Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) is a compulsory subject for all students at Melrose High School. It aims to give students a greater understanding of the world around them. Students are given the opportunity to gain insights into, and an appreciation of, the historical, geographic, economic and political forces which shape life in their own and other societies.

Some students are placed into streamed classes. For example into ACE (Academic Curriculum Extension) classes. Students that require additional assistance may be referred for extra support with our Learning Support team. The core of our students are placed into mainstream classes. All classes follow the same curriculum, but the ACE class has a focus on further extension of the concepts studied. Students are placed into classes according to their level of understanding, literacy skills, ability to acquire necessary HaSS skills, academic record and teacher recommendation. 


The HaSS units are based on the Australian Curriculum and ‘Curriculum Framework for ACT Schools Preschool to Year 10’.  The Australian Curriculum in History has been implemented across all four year levels and the Australian Curriculum in Geography has been implemented in Years 7 and 8. Elements of the Civics and Citizenship and Business and Economics curriculum has been implemented across the four year levels.

Years 7 and 8

In Year 7, all students participate in a program incorporating the disciplines of History (Ancient Civilisations), Geography (Water in the World) and Commerce. In Year 8, students again participate in a similar program, but the Geography unit’s focus is on Landforms and Landscapes and the History unit focuses on Medieval History (from the end of Ancient History to the Modern World). Students in Year 8 also study a Civics and Citizenship unit. 

Years 9 and 10


In Year 9 and 10, students study a variety of units aimed at giving students a deeper understanding and appreciation of issues facing Australia and the world. The units studied include: Australian Curriculum History, Geography, Legal Studies, Financial Literacy and Business Studies. Civics and Citizenship is integrated into some of these units.


In Year 10, students spend three weeks at the end of Semester 1 completing a Careers and Work Unit which incorporates careers, Student Pathways, goal setting, preparation and planning for college as well as the world of work. Students are also encouraged to organise a work experience placement with the Careers Adviser. 


Students are assessed using a variety of methods including: assignments, tests, class work and homework, and oral presentations.


Excursions may be offered as part of some HaSS units. Guest speakers are invited to classes and students are able to access all school resources, such as our Indigenous Studies Centre.



In ACE HaSS students undertake the same courses as their year level, but cover more complex issues related to the topic and at a varied pace. They complete extension activities and differentiated assignments that challenge the students’ thinking at a more intellectual level. There is a focus on developing the students’ skills to allow them to be more independent, investigative and active learners and to improve their written and oral communication skills.


Students selected for the ACE program in HaSS are expected to demonstrate advanced literacy skills for their year level and a good general knowledge of the components that make HaSS the subject that it is; Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, Legal Studies, Financial Literacy, Consumer Education and Business Studies.

Selection is also based on teacher recommendation, information during transition from Year 6 and NAPLAN and HaSS results. Students should also possess well developed research skills and the ability to analyse and process information. It is compulsory for ACE students to sit any state or national competitions that relate to the subjects of study, such as the Australian Geography Competition.

Australian Business Week (ABW)

Students learn about teamwork, deadlines, stress, decision-making, creativity, communication and a range of business issues. 


Melrose High School has run the popular one-week business simulation event called Australian Business Week (ABW) for Year 10 students since 2002. The ABW program is designed to encourage independent and cooperative learning skills and to develop an enterprise mindset prior to entering the workforce or proceeding to further study. It exposes students to the issues of coping with stress and effective time management, both major issues that impact on students in high school and beyond.


During ABW, Year 10 students are divided into teams of 12-14. The teams/companies compete with each other in a simulated business environment and students perform a full range of tasks together over the five days:

  • Manage a business through a computer simulation

  • Learn from guest speakers from business and the community

  • Develop a new product of their own invention

  • Create a video and trade display to advertise their product

  • Give an oral and written report of the week’s activities

  • Interact with business people and teachers as facilitators/mentors


It is a fantastic program that has been embedded in the Year 10 program and has become part of the culture of the school.


The school has developed connections with businesses such as Bendigo Bank, Coordinate Advertising, Woolworths, the Good Guys, Hit1047, Ray White Real Estate, Spectrum Photo Booth Hire, Dominos Mawson and the Raising Hope Education Foundation. These businesses assist the school in making the program real life.