Society & Environment (S&E)
Society and Environment is a compulsory subject in years 8-10, but all subjects under the S&E banner become optional in years 11 and 12. Within all course areas students study those aspects of our past, current and future social and environmental communities. All of the subjects in year 12 are preparation for university, the world of work, living and coping within an increasingly complex society.
YEAR 10 S&E
All students in year 10 S&E complete the same course, slightly modified for the needs of each class. An S&E Academic Extension class is created based on the results of year 9. There are also three classes of advanced nature, one class essentially catering to Students from alternative language groups and the remainder of the classes are of mixed groupings. All students study Australian history of the twentieth century and Australia's place in the International Community, Geography and Economics. There is an emphasis on Australia's place in Asia and the inter-relationships. The achievements in year 10 S&E will determine access to S&E courses in year 11 and 12.
YEAR 10 PSYCHOLOGY
Students in year 10 are able to apply to complete an introductory course in Psychology as an elective. The course is over one semester. Students take the course in either semester 1 or semester 2. This course looks at the individual and developing relationships within groups and the broader society; how we react and why we do so; what is nature verses nurture and scientific principles. They will also look at the variety of jobs available in the Psychology field of study.
This course is NOT a prerequisite for year 11 and 12 Psychology, but a stimulus to interest.
At Mount Lawley Economics is an option WACE subject in year 11 (stage 2) and year 12 (stage 3). This course is externally examinable at the end of year 12 and leads to university. In this subject students learn valuable skills relevant to their future world and jobs. Stage 1 is also offered to both years 11 and 12, however this is not externally examinable.
Economics is the 'study of the factors that influence income, wealth and well-being'. Economics develops the knowledge, reasoning and interpretation skills that form an important component of understanding personal, business and government behaviour at the local, national and global levels
Year 11 Economics focuses on markets and macroeconomics. Markets play an integral role in determining the wellbeing of individuals and society, as well as the limitations of markets. It explores the workings of real world markets with an emphasis on the Australian economy. In Macroeconomics we discuss the issues that concern our economy such as economic growth, inflation and unemployment in the Australian economy. In an ever-changing dynamic world, these issues have gained prominence and a study of these issues will enable you to be better prepared for tomorrow's world.
In year 12 the focus is Australia, the global economy, economic policies and government management. It explores the links between economies and the concepts of globalization, trade liberalization and protection in relation to the Australian economy. Economic actions and policies explores government's economic actions such as fiscal policy, monetary policy and microeconomic reform that operate in the pursuit of the Australian Government's economic objectives. These units enable you to be better prepared for the university courses. Economics is the core subject for many University courses and a sound understanding at school level will give you a head start at university.
ECONOMICS - Stage 1
Stage 1 Economics is for both years 11 and 12 students. The focus is personal economics and finance and business economics. This course enables you to have a better understanding of your finance and helps to develop enhanced decision making skills regarding how to spend, save and invest. The business economics component explores the processes of production and spending and the organizational structures businesses and the strategies that businesses use to promote their products.
Students are encouraged to participate in extra curricula competitions to display their "economic acumen". The National ASX Share market game and the Curtin University "Excelerate programme" are encouraged with all students.
At Mt Lawley Geography is an option WACE subject in year 11 (stage 2) and year 12 (stage 3). This course is externally examinable at the end of year 12 and leads to university. In this subject students learn valuable skills relevant to their future world and jobs. For example they use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate local, national and global places and systems. A valuable tool in the workforce.
Geography is often described as the 'why of where'! In a rapidly 'globalising' world it is important to have an understanding of the places that sustain our daily life, the places we visit on holiday and the places we are connected to in the virtual world of the Internet.
A knowledge of the natural and human processes that shaped these places in the past and those that continue to shape these places today is essential. The 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and the 2011 Icelandic volcano eruption are examples of how geography impacts on our social, economic and even political systems.
Year 11 students focus on the geography of natural hazards and impact minimisation. They also investigate the geography of sustainable resource use. In Year 12, students focus on the geography of planning cities. The focus is on the their own city Perth while comparing to megacities like New York City. They also undertake a study of climate change - perhaps one of the most important issues of our day.
Excursions are an important part of the course. In 2011 MLSHS Year 12 geography students partnered with students from Hedland SHS for a field trip to Ellenbrook in the New Growth Zone of the metropolitan area.
HISTORIES - ANCIENT AND MODERN
So, you think you know it all! We all need to know where we came from and how it affects us…
About 2400 years ago in ancient Athens, Socrates upset a lot of people and was sentenced to death - mainly because he knew too much and asked too many questions. He once said that he was the wisest man in Athens because he knew just how ignorant he was! The old saying that history repeats itself is, sadly, true because we generally do not pay enough attention to the lessons of history. We do not really appreciate our true level of ignorance. The most effective way of dealing with this and the dilemmas, pressures and deceits of modern life is to understand the past because the past is always creating the present.
At Mt Lawley Senior High School we offer two types of History - Ancient History of the "Classical period" and Modern History of the 20th Century.
Students at Mount Lawley SHS are fortunate to have the rare academic opportunity to study Ancient History - Rome in year 11 and Greece in Y12. Our courses focus on the most significant periods in the history of these two fascinating ancient civilisations. They are the cradle of the European cultures, and therefore the heritage of the modern Australian society.
The course in Ancient Rome covers the period of the Late Republic - from Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC to Augustus in 27 BC. We consider important events, political figures, ideas, beliefs and values together with cause and consequence, action and reaction, and trends of continuity and change. Popular topics include the brothers Gracchi and tribunes' role, Marius' extraordinary commands, the civil war between Marius and Sulla and Sulla's dictatorship, Pompey's significance and the civil war against Julius Caesar, the wars against Mithridates, Julius Caesar's dictatorship and death and the Civil War between Mark Antony and Cleopatra against Octavian (Augustus). Students are engaged in many discussions and the most puzzling question is usually why Julius Caesar was assassinated which is further linked to the reasons for the fall of the Roman Republic and the increase of violence in politics.
The Ancient Greece course focuses on the Golden Era of the 5th century BC. We study Athenian democracy and Empire from the creation of the Delian League to the revolt of Samos in 440 BC. This brought about changes in Athenian society and in Athens' role from the leader of the Greek world in the protection against a long-lasting enemy - Persia to the hated and oppressive dictator within the Athenian Empire. The significance of Periclean Athens and radical democracy are some of the most interesting discussion topics. The course continues with a detailed analysis of the most important event - the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens from 440/339 BC to the surrender of Athens in 404/03 BC. It will include the causes of the war, the Archidamian War, Peace of Nicias, Sicilian Expedition, Ionian War, the Oligarchic Revolt and the ideas and individuals who played an important role in the destructive course of the last half of the 5th century BC.
The Year 11 (stage 2) and Year 12 (stage 3) history courses offered at Mt. Lawley Senior High School will help you prepare for the "ever-unfolding present". Both courses lead students to an external exam and university. Your knowledge and understanding of the great dramas of the 20th Century will be developed along with your ability to express your ideas and opinions. History brings clarity to viewing and coping with todays' world.
In Year 11 students focus on the development of two divergent cultures and countries - in The USA between the wars (1919-1941) and the Rise of Nazi Germany (1918 - 1945). Both countries emerged from the devastating war that was "The War to end all Wars", the USA wanting to retreat into Isolationism and Germany was a destroyed economy and society. Studies are of the problems and developments in these societies in the 1920s and 1930s, eventually leading again to another war. Where did they go wrong? Was there equity? What could have been done to prevent this? Did the world learn yet another lesson?
The Great Depression and the Foreign policies did not reflect what many people saw on the surface of society. Students are taught to look at sources and analyse these societies actions, motives and developments.
In Year 12, students continue with the 20th Century with a focus on The Cold War and the influence of The USA and The USSR on the fears and growth in the world. Our focus is mainly Europe. How and why did we get to an arms race, the space race, the ideological conflict that kept the world at the "11th hour". How did local conflicts impact on all others and what place did the UNO develop and maintain? Students are encouraged to analyse sources that were produced at the time and form opinions on actions and reactions of the time. Did anyone really win anything?
Australia and the world post 1945, is the second unit of study. Within the context of Australia, focus is given to the 1920s - 1950s looking at the impact on Australian society of World War 1, the Great Depression, World War 2 and the ensuring Cold War that engulfed the world. How was Australia impacted and why did our allegiences turn from "The mother country of Britain" to the might of The USA? How did Australia develop after World War 2? How wre we embroiled in the Cold War? What were our responsibilities to the world in the 1950s?
Analysis and interpretation are the keys to success in both years of study.
MODERN HISTORY- Stage 1
This is a newly introduced course that is not externally examinable, but is a WACE course for both years 11 and 12 and contributes to students' graduation. Once again the time period is the 20th Century, however our focus is Asia. More importantly it is of Japan, Japan's impact on Asia since 1894, the constant aggression resulting in WW2, the Tokyo trials and Decolonization of Asia after yet another World War.
This in turn leads to the main topic of the growth of Independence movements in Asia, such as the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and subsequently the protracted Vietnam War. What did the French and Americans achieve? Did we (in Australia) have the right to be involved in what was essentially a civil war? Did we learn from the war and the trials in Tokyo? Will we repeat our mistakes in Asia? Analysis of sources is a skills to be developed in this course. How reliable are they?
POLITICS AND LAW
Winston Churchill is famous for saying;
'The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter'
…and even more widely renowned for reflecting;
'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government - except all the others that have been tried'.
At Mt Lawley Politics and Law is an option WACE subject in year 11 (stage 2) and year 12 (stage 3). This course is externally examinable at the end of year 12 and leads to university. In this subject students learn valuable skills relevant to their future world and jobs. As our politicians continue to disappoint us and miscarriages of justice are uncovered with alarming regularity there has never been a more important time for the next generation to be well informed and active citizens, ready and equipped to take on the challenge of leading society in the future.
The Politics and Law course gives students the opportunity to learn about the development of the Australian political and legal system. Students look at the principles of democratic government and consider what it means to live in a society ruled by law. The influence of other countries on Australia and the place of Australia in the international community are also examined. The course requires students to develop their critical thinking skills. Their ability to communicate in written and oral formats prepares them for entry to tertiary level study.
The themes in Year 11 are centered on political and legal systems and representation and justice while in Year 12 the unit's themes are political and legal power and rights and governance
There is the opportunity for Year 11 students to travel to Canberra and undertake a Curriculum Council Endorsed Program on the trip - which contributes towards the student's graduation. In Canberra we stand on the steps where Gough Whitlam uttered those immortal words "well may we say 'God Save the Queen', because nothing will save the Governor General". Students witness Question Time in Parliament House, go to the court where the Mabo decison was handed down, spend time at the Australian War Memorial and unwind by the 'Blue Poles' in the National Gallery.
Other regular excursions include visits to the Law Courts in Perth and the State Parliament House. The school participates in the Law Society of Western Australia's Mock Trial Competition which allows would be lawyers to hone their skills against the best high school teams in the state.
School visits by the local member of State parliament, Michael Sutherland MLA have given students insights into the real experience and demands on politicians, while Stephen Smith is always on hand to meet the students for refreshments at Parliament House on the Canberra tour. Visits to the classes by many other political and legal professionals give guidance and insight to students on future career opportunities and the variety of ways to get there.
Students at Mount Lawley Senior High School have had the unique opportunity to study Psychology at a secondary level since the course was introduced at a WACE level in Western Australia in 2009. It is offered in year 11 (stage 2) and year 12 (Stage 3).
Psychology is the scientific study of how we think, feel and act. It is the study of our mental functions and behaviours. The knowledge is applied to a lot of different areas of human activity, including the family, education, employment, and in the treatment of mental health issues. Psychology provides us with a better understanding of the people around us; our friends, parents, family, co-workers and teachers. It is also used to understand greatness in fields such as politics, music, art and literature.
Learning psychology at school is beneficial to everyone, not just those who want to be psychologists. It helps us to better understand how every human works. Psychology studies such topics as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behaviour, interpersonal relationships and the unconscious mind. The word psychology literally means "the study of the soul". It looks at how we become the people we are and how we interact with others around us and in our society.
The course is divided into three areas of study in both Year 11 (Stage 2) and Year 12 (Stage 3).
- In the area of Self, students learn about themselves through areas such as Biological Influences, Cognition, Developmental Psychology and the Psychology of Personality.
- In Others, they learn about our interactions with other people through Social Psychology, Communication and Relational Influences.
- In the final area of study, Society, students look at the way in which societal factors can be applied to understand how individuals and groups operate in different contexts through the studies of Culture, Social Values and Practices, and Social, Historical and Political Influences.
This course is designed to integrate the understanding of scientific principles, the acquisition of psychological knowledge and the application of these in an enjoyable and contemporary forum. Students learn about major psychological models and theories and the methods used to investigate within the discipline of psychology. Their understanding of how these models and theories are applied in everyday settings will help them understand themselves and their world.
Students also have the opportunity to watch theories of Psychology in action both in class in investigations and on the excursion to Perth Zoo to participate in the Monkey See, Monkey Do program which demonstrates how animals at the zoo are taught through the use of Pavlov's classical conditioning!