Planning, programming and assessing geography 11-12
Resources to help you plan, program and assess geography in Years 11-12.
Through a study of geography students learn about human interaction with their environments and the impact of, and responses to, environmental change.
As students develop an understanding of the contribution of a geographical perspective they will study the:
- characteristics and spatial distribution of environments
- processes that form and transform the features and patterns of the environment
- global and local forces that impact on people, ecosystems, urban places and economic activity.
Students learn the skills of geographical investigation and communication through a process of geographical inquiry and propose actions for a just society as active and informed citizens.
The new Geography 11–12 Syllabus (2022) is to be taught from 2024.
- Plan and prepare to teach the new syllabus
2024, Term 1
- Start teaching new syllabus for Year 11
- Start implementing new Year 11 school-based assessment requirements
- Continue to teach the Geography Stage 6 Syllabus (2009) for Year 12
2024, Term 4
- Start teaching new syllabus for Year 12
- Start implementing new Year 12 school-based assessment requirements
- First HSC examination for new syllabus
Geography 11–12 Syllabus (2022)
Geography Stage 6 Syllabus (2009)
Geography Stage 6 Syllabus (2009) contains the syllabus and support materials including a sample assessment schedule, information about the HSC, exam specifications and assessment information as well as past papers.
Geography HSC revision resource (79.4KB) - use this to support students in their studies as they prepare for the HSC exam. The included activities can be used as part of classroom learning or set for independent study. The resource is designed to be used in part or in full to fit the contextual needs of your teaching.
Virtual learning resources
As part of a grants project funded by the department, the following resources have been created by Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre and Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre. Use these online resources in part or in full to support student learning in Stage 6 geography.
Urban places – Waitara case study – this site provides students with an opportunity to undertake a detailed case study of an urban dynamic operating in the suburb of Waitara in northern Sydney, NSW. The site provides a virtual tour through the suburb and resources to develop student understanding of geographical skills and the urban dynamic, consolidation. Six learning modules are supplied that include key inquiry questions designed to clearly support student understanding of the topic.
Urban Places – Pyrmont case study – this site provides students with the opportunity to engage in a detailed case study of an urban dynamic operating in the suburb of Pyrmont in Sydney, NSW. The site provides a virtual tour of the suburb and resources to develop student understanding of geographical skills and the urban dynamics of urban decay, urban renewal and consolidation. The site is up to date with recent changes to the suburb urban dynamic and includes six resourced learning modules that support student understanding of the topic and key inquiry questions.
People and economic activity
Sydney Harbour – Sydney YHA case study – this site provides students with an opportunity for a detailed case study of a local economic enterprise within the global tourism industry for the Stage 6 Geography topic people and economic activity. The site provides a virtual tour of the Sydney Harbour YHA and resources that will support students understanding of the nature of people and economic activity. Further the site provides links to other useful and relevant tourism sites and articles.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo – this site provides resources for a detailed case study of a local economic enterprise within the global tourism industry for the Stage 6 Geography topic people and economic activity. The site provides a virtual tour of the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and resources that support the investigation of the zoo as an economic enterprise.
Ecosystems at risk
- Rainforests of NSW – this site offers an easily accessible and comprehensive teaching and learning resource for ecosystems at risk in stage 6 Geography. The site provides a series of informative stimuli, including video tours, learning activities and advice for conducting fieldwork in rainforest environments. The recent threat of bushfire to rainforest has been detailed in the resource with video stimulus and associated learning activities.
Rainforests of NSW (3:17)
Hi, I'm Loretta Coombs. I'm a teacher at Observatory Hill Environmental Ed Centre. And we're a Department of Education School and we provide incursion, excursion and field work programmes.
The resource I have developed in collaboration with Julianne, from the field of Mars Environmental Ed Centre, is a Google website. It investigates the temperate rainforests of New South Wales. The website focuses on that part of the HSC Geography Syllabus, which directs students to examine case studies of an ecosystem at risk.
The website covers each syllabus heading and dot point. That is, the nature and location of rainforests, vulnerability, resilience, and modification. The nature and rate of change, how humans have impacted the ecosystem and how we are managing these impacts. In particular, it investigates the impact of the Black Summer Bushfires. How this event affects the way we think about vulnerability and resilience of these ecosystems and how forest managers have had to adapt.
For each syllabus dot point, the resource contains content, photos and videos of New South Wales rainforests, revision activities and carefully chosen extended response questions, which have been taken from past HSCs to match that part of the content. Importantly, the website provides a base to launch teachers and students outside, to investigate an area of rainforest through field work. So each section of the website covers a point in the syllabus and has corresponding inquiry questions, fieldwork methodologies and refers to the field work equipment required.
We have primarily developed the website for teachers teaching HSC geography students who are looking for a standalone and enhanced case study of an ecosystem at risk. So teachers can use the resource for explicit and whole-class teaching. There's lots of content and short videos, which I think will engage Year 12 students. There are hyperlinks to some excellent third-party websites and hyperlinks to some great online maps, in which students can zoom in and find their field work site and explore the ecosystem.
The website is comprehensive and easy to use. So teachers can allow students to self-direct their learning and navigate through the content and videos and complete the revision questions themselves. Hopefully teachers will find the field work guidelines, methodologies and questions, which are embedded in each section, helpful. So that teachers can run their own field work.
Some of the reasons we wanted to investigate temperate rainforests of New South Wales is that these ecosystems are incredibly diverse and productive. That they were severely effected by the Black Summer Bushfires. And these ecosystems are within reach of many of us that live in coastal and regional New South Wales. So I'm hoping that the website provides enough information on the ecosystem. And enough guidelines on where and how to conduct field work, which is an essential part of the syllabus.
Thank you for listening.
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- Kelp forests of South East Australia – this site focuses on an investigation into how kelp forest ecosystems function, the key threats and management strategies. The site provides engaging stimulus resources that will support student understanding of ecosystems at risk and geographical inquiry.
Kelp forests, ecosystems at risk (3:14)
Hi, I'm Loretta Coombes. I'm a teacher from Observatory Hill Environmental Ed Centre, and we are a Department of education school, and we provide incursions, excursions and fieldwork to schools.
So the resource I have developed is a Google website. It investigates the kelp forest ecosystems off the coast of South-eastern Australia. The website focuses on that part of the HSC geography syllabus, which directs students to examine case studies of an ecosystem at risk. The website covers each syllabus heading and dot point.
That is the unique characteristics, the biophysical interactions, the spatial dimensions, the nature and rate of change effecting the ecosystem, human impacts and traditional and contemporary management practices. In particular, it does investigate the impact of a stronger and warmer east Australian current, and how that is changing the ecosystem and causing some of the large kelp forests to disappear.
For each syllabus heading dot point, the resource contains content, photos, especially some beautiful underwater photos, YouTube videos, questions that students can complete themselves, and importantly, guidelines to structure and undertake fieldwork. I have primarily created the website for teachers teaching HSC geography students who are looking for a new and standalone case study of an ecosystem at risk. Recently, though, I have thought there is scope for the content to be shaped and to fit the stage five geography, topic, environmental change, and management.
So teachers can use the resource for explicit and whole class teaching. There is lots of content, lots of short videos, which I think will engage year 12 students. There are hyperlinks to some excellent third party websites and hyperlinks to some great online maps in which students can zoom down and find a part of the coast they know, and explore that ecosystem.
The website is comprehensive and easy to use, so teachers can allow students to self-direct their learning and navigate through the content and videos and complete the revision questions themselves. Hopefully teachers will find the field work guidelines and questions, which are embedded in each section helpful, so that teachers can run their own field work.
Part of the reason I wanted to investigate kelp forests is not only is this ecosystem incredibly diverse and productive, these ecosystems are within reach of many of us that live within an hour or so off the coast.
So I'm hoping that the website provides enough information on the ecosystem and enough guidelines on where and how to conduct field work, which is in an essential part of the syllabus. Thank you for your attention.
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Immersive environments – an extensive collection of copyright free 360º images made available through the Google Maps platform. This ‘immersive environments’ google site provides teachers with an extensive bank of 360 images that are aligned to Stage 6 Geography topics biophysical interactions, ecosystems at risk and urban places. Use these to enhance teaching and learning activities.
Immersive environments (10:15)
Hi, I'm Julie-Ann and I come from the Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre. We are a centre in Sydney and we are part of 25 of the environmental and zoo education centres across New South Wales [EXEC]. And it's really wonderful to be able to present to you and showcase our project, 'immersive environments'. The name immersive environments is a driving force in what we do. We immerse students into the environment.
Lockdown 1.0 stopped the ability for our students to physically be on a study site and sadly further restrictions on travel during this pandemic will what make this a continued issue. To fill the gap, environmental and zoo education centres offer virtual field work to support students using 360 imagery to record the features of environments. Our project wanted to showcase our study sites and other geographically relevant imagery to make it more accessible to all students across New South Wales. And this is how we did it.
In partnership with EZEC and thanks to the team at T4L, who allowed us to borrow the, 'Jetstar', we travelled across New South Wales, visiting our colleagues and taking amazing images to upload into Google Maps and Google Earth. These platforms have transformed the way geographers can investigate places. The immersive interactivity places exploration in the hands of the students.
Now we're all familiar with Google's interactivity with 360 photos. But what's really cool is when you open your Google Maps app, then you can actually walk into the site and be completely immersed. Here, if you have it on your desktop browser, you use your fingers to scroll around. But, if you have the Google Maps app, you actually get to immerse yourself.
[Image of person holding up and moving a mobile phone to show the environment being studies]
Imagine a classroom of senior students doing this. It really captures the kinaesthetic learners.
Now, let's have a look at the website and see where you can actually access this imagery to use in schools in your classroom. So this is the curriculum HSIE website. You must be familiar with this by now. And in geography under stage six, we can scroll down to new resources that we've been able to put together in partnership with the HSIE curriculum and thank you to Sue for allowing this to happen.
Under the general tab, you can actually go to immersive environments and this is where our project and the 360 images are catalogued and held. Let's go to this now. And here it is.
You will see this site actually divides up into the natural and human environments by physical interactions and ecosystems at risk here at the top. And we can scroll down and we actually investigate the urban places as well. And so if you can see, these are all the different sites that we've been able to photograph and catalogue here under this site. So let's have a little look and see what, let's go and see a site.
I'm going to choose Kitty's Creek because this is a site that actually the Field of Mars operate. The other sites have been put together using, in being in partnership with our EZEC team. So let's have a little look at some of the images. You can click on the image like this. It will actually take you directly to Google Maps. To the 360 photosphere that we've been able to put together.
So if we scroll around, we can take in the whole environment. This is the intertidal wetlands and in this particular spot, we're above the entire zone in the salt marsh, an ecosystem at risk. But if you can scroll around, you get to see the actual zonation within these intertidal area. So we have the Casuarina woodland at the back and if we move around, we can also see the mangroves down towards the lower part of the intertidal zone. And creeping in, we have our mangroves. Obviously showing the changes in this environment over time.
So, now what we're going to do, is we're actually going to use the click arrow here. We're going to click on this back arrow. Where we're now going to actually be able to place this picture into the environment itself. And so this is actually where we can go. Now we can zoom in and we can also change our layers to the satellite imagery using NASA's satellite images as well as aerial photography. And if we zoom in, we can actually see where those photos these are. All you need is peg man over here. Right-click on him. And that will actually then allow us to see all of the images. Both Google Street Cam as well as the public's own photos sees onto the actual site here. And they're really useful to be able to examine this finely more detailed.
This little photosphere here, was the photo we were just having a look at, as you can see in that little box there. However, we're also able to use other sites as well. So here for example. In this particular image, this is not owned by us. This is actually a member of the public. It's not part of our own sort of system. But here we can actually see the creek. The Kitty's Creek that runs out into the Lane Cove River. So it gives you a much greater perspective of the whole environment.
Now if we click back, we should get back to our own immersive brand. Now, this brand is actually, we're providing permission for students to use the images that we've catalogued. If however, you do go into those other sites, like this one back here for example, you will actually, because being a third party, this has copyright. So students wouldn't be able to use this image unless they had permission. As I said, anything under our brand here, you're welcome to use. You have our permission. Hows that.
All right, so now. What's happened here is its also brought up our EZEC 360 immersive environments local guide brand and all of the pictures that we've actually accumulated is quite a number. But let's go Griffith first and we'll have a little look and see what's happening in Griffith.
And so here, the wonderful thing about this is you can actually see urban dynamics and the urban dynamics here. Obviously, carbonization as well as suburbanization, it's occurring here in Griffith. All right, so now let's have a look and see what else we have. I know that with those catalogues we've actually got the, we've got both physical and urban environments and depending on what you're interested in, you might be able to do that.
Here for example, we have Dubbo. And we're obviously looking there at more decentralisation as well as some of the surroundings suburbs. So it's a really great study when you're looking at those urban dynamics of a country town.
So now I'm going to go back to our main website and have a look at some of the other sites that we have here. And so, we might go to. We've been to Griffith. We might go to Cronulla Beach. Here. So here is Cronulla Beach. Here we go. You can click this one. And with this, you can actually, once it's loaded, you can see here at Wanda beach. We're looking at the dune system.
Some of these photos, we actually thought it would engage students to see the EZEC teachers conducting field work. This is the team at Royal National Park you see. And they're conducting field work. You can see we have different equipment. You can zoom in to see what they're doing. We've got a clinometer working over here, for example. So it also engages students with the different types of field work equipment and the different ways that we can conduct field work.
So now heading back to our site. And what's been very exciting is we've able to catalogue hundreds of photos and so, it does take a little bit of time. And if you actually really move out onto New South Wales, you'll see how many different sites we've been able to photograph using, working with our colleagues at EZEC. So you can see that if I scroll to the top here, you'll also notice that we've got nearly 2 million views of these photos and we just hope that some of these photos are actually being used and viewed by our HSC students and preliminary students in their study of geography.
It looks like there is a lot here but I feel there is so much more to go and we've really appreciate the feedback of our geography teachers out there. Essentially see it as a wish list of sites that you would love for us to capture for you. If there's a site, you know, that you don't have a 360 camera, or the technology, or the workflow is just too arduous, perhaps you can contact us here in the team at HSIE and perhaps we can work together and get some more of these amazing images up.
So essentially, I'd like to say thank you to the HSIE team for allowing us to go on lovely travels to work together to be able to put this resource up. And yeah, that's a resource we hope that's useful and we hope you'll be able to use it in your HSC and preliminary geography classrooms.
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The HSC hub contains quality resources aligned to NSW syllabuses. Access resources designed by our curriculum experts to support the delivery of HSIE subjects in the lead-up to the HSC examinations.
Geography-success in the written examination
30min presentation with tips for studying and completing the written examination.