Geography

Rationale/Aims

The study of Geography draws on students’ curiosity about the diversity of the world’s places and their peoples, cultures and environments. It enables students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures.

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Structure of Geography

In Senior Secondary Geography, students develop their understanding about themes of immediate relevance to them and which have scope for application at a variety of scales, from the local to the global.

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Links to Foundation to Year 10

The senior secondary Geography curriculum builds on the knowledge, conceptual understandings and inquiry skills developed in the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Geography.

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Representation of General capabilities

The general capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with the Geography curriculum content and the cross-curriculum priorities, will help students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century.

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Representation of Cross-curriculum priorities

While the significance of the cross-curriculum priorities for Geography varies, there are opportunities for teachers to select contexts that incorporate the key concepts from each priority.

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Achievement standards

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Unit 1: Natural and ecological hazards

Unit 1: Natural and ecological hazards Description

Natural and ecological hazards represent potential sources of harm to human life, health, income and property, and may affect elements of the biophysical, managed and constructed elements of environments.

This unit focuses on identifying risks and managing those risks to eliminate or minimise harm to people and the environment. Risk management, in this particular context, refers to prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Prevention is about things we can do to prevent a hazard from happening. Mitigation is about reducing or eliminating the impact if the hazard does happen. Preparedness refers to actions taken to create and maintain the capacity of communities to respond to, and recover from, natural disasters, through measures such as planning, community education, information management, communications and warning systems.

Building on their existing geographical knowledge and understandings, students examine natural hazards including atmospheric, hydrological and geomorphic hazards, for example, storms, cyclones, tornadoes, frosts, droughts, bushfires, flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. They also explore ecological hazards, for example, environmental diseases/pandemics (toxin-based respiratory ailments, infectious diseases, animal-transmitted diseases and water-borne diseases) and plant and animal invasions.

This unit includes an overview of natural and ecological hazards and two depth studies: one focusing on a natural hazard and one focusing on an ecological hazard.

The scale of study for this unit, unless specified, can range from local to global, as appropriate. The potential for fieldwork will depend on the hazards selected.

In undertaking these depth studies, students develop an understanding about using and applying geographical inquiry, tools such as spatial technologies, and skills, to model, assess and forecast risk, and to investigate the risks associated with natural and ecological hazards.


Unit 1: Natural and ecological hazards Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will:

  • understand that places and environments can be influenced by both natural and ecological hazards
  • understand the complexity of human–environment interdependence in relation to natural and ecological hazards
  • demonstrate knowledge of the concept of risk management
  • understand and apply key geographical concepts – including place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change – as part of a geographical inquiry
  • apply geographical inquiry and a range of skills, including spatial technologies and fieldwork, to investigate natural and ecological hazards
  • compare Australian and international risk management policies, procedures and practices
  • evaluate Australian and international risk management policies, procedures and practices.

Unit 1: Natural and ecological hazards Content Descriptions

Geographical Inquiry and Skills

Observing, questioning and planning

formulates geographical inquiry questions (ACHGE001)

plans a geographical inquiry with clearly defined aims and appropriate methodology (ACHGE002)

Collecting, recording, evaluating and representing

collects geographical information incorporating ethical protocols from a range of primary and secondary sources (ACHGE003)

records observations in a range of graphic representations using spatial technologies and information and communication technologies (ACHGE004)

evaluates the reliability, validity and usefulness of geographical sources and information (ACHGE005)

Interpreting, analysing and concluding

analyses geographical information and data from a range of primary and secondary sources and a variety of perspectives to draw reasoned conclusions and make generalisations (ACHGE006)

identifies and analyses trends and patterns, infers relationships, and makes predictions and inferences (ACHGE007)

Communicating

communicates geographical information, ideas, issues and arguments using appropriate written and/or oral, cartographic and graphic forms (ACHGE008)

uses geographical language in appropriate contexts to demonstrate geographical knowledge and understanding (ACHGE009)

Reflecting and responding

applies generalisations to evaluate alternative responses to geographical issues at a variety of scales (ACHGE010)

proposes individual and collective action, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors; and predicts the outcomes of the proposed action (ACHGE011)

Geographical Knowledge and Understanding

Overview of natural and ecological hazards

An overview of the nature of natural hazards (atmospheric, hydrological, and geomorphic) and ecological hazards (ACHGE012)

The concept of risk as applied to natural and ecological hazards (ACHGE013)

The temporal and spatial distribution, randomness, magnitude, frequency and scale of spatial impact of natural and ecological hazards at a global scale (ACHGE014)

The role of spatial technologies in the study of natural and ecological hazards (ACHGE015)

Students complete both depth studies which are to be taught with the requisite geographical inquiry and skills described as part of this unit:

Depth study of a natural hazard

A depth study, using fieldwork and/or secondary sources, to investigate one natural hazard, and how the risks associated with the hazard are being managed. The scale of study is determined by the nature of the natural hazard selected.

Students select ONE natural hazard to investigate:

the nature and causes of the selected hazard and explain how the activities of people can intensify its impacts (ACHGE016)

the magnitude, frequency, duration, temporal spacing and effects of the hazard (ACHGE017)

the spatial distribution of the hazard, and how an understanding of biophysical and human processes can be used to explain the patterns that are identified (ACHGE018)

the physical and human factors that explain why some places are more vulnerable than others (ACHGE019)

the environmental, economic and social impacts of the hazard in a developed country such as Australia compared with at least one developing country or region (ACHGE020)

the sustainable risk management policies, procedures and practices designed to reduce the impacts of the hazard through preparedness, mitigation, prevention and adaptation. (ACHGE021)

Depth study of an ecological hazard

A depth study, using fieldwork and/or secondary sources, to investigate one ecological hazard, and how the risks associated with the hazard are being managed. The scale of study is determined by the nature of the ecological hazard selected.

Students select ONE ecological hazard to investigate:

the nature and causes of the selected hazard and how the activities of people can intensify its impacts (ACHGE022)

the magnitude, frequency, duration, temporal spacing and effects of the hazard (ACHGE023)

the diffusion and resulting spatial distribution of the hazard, and how an understanding of biophysical and human processes can be used to explain its spread (ACHGE024)

the physical and human factors that explain why some places are more vulnerable than others (ACHGE025)

the environmental, economic and social impacts of the hazard in a developed country such as Australia compared with at least one developing country or region (ACHGE026)

the sustainable risk management policies, procedures and practices designed to reduce the impacts of the hazard through preparedness, mitigation, prevention and adaptation. (ACHGE027)