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A great week for Social Sciences

With a visit from a senior police officer and a trip to Canberra to listen to Question Time for our Year 11 Legal Studies students, and a fantastic HSC workshop for our Year 12 Business Studies students, it's been a huge week of learning for Social Sciences.

On Tuesday, Senior Constable Darren Cairnes from Chatswood Police dropped in to Wenona to chat to Ms Isbel and Ms Campbell’s Year 11 Legal Studies students about the role, responsibilities and powers of the police.

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He discussed how police can act as a deterrent against crime, how they investigate criminal activities and the powers of the police in the criminal process. For the students, it was an invaluable opportunity to consider crime from a different point of view.

Grace said, “I found it particularly interesting to a see the perspective of an individual who holds power and authority in terms of the legal system, speaking about important issues our society is facing today and how this is affecting my generation. I learnt that it is becoming particularly common for certain drugs such as weed to be mixed with stimulants such as ice. In regard to the legal system’s response to the use of drugs in society, such as legalising marijuana or pill testing, I learnt that there are many stakeholders and parts to consider around the issue. I am particularly interested in how the coronial inquest into the death of teenagers will affect the laws around drug use in New South Wales, and whether the recommendations will be beneficial to combatting the social issue.”

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Sophia said, “Senior Constable Cairnes was both informative and engaging in his presentation to our Legal Studies class today. Personally, his talk allowed me to develop a greater depth of knowledge surrounding the role of the police force in our criminal justice system, and how this can translate to other areas such as drugs and alcohol. As well as this, Senior Constable Cairnes informed us of the position of the New South Wales police force on certain topical issues such as pill testing and opened these views up for discussion and class contribution. Overall, the talk was a valuable and enriching experience for all involved and we are very grateful to him for taking the time to speak to us.”

This week, our Year 11 Legal Studies students also had the opportunity to visit the High Court in Canberra, along with Ms Isbel and Ms Campbell. This insightful experience gave students an opportunity to experience courts in real life, as opposed to their portrayal by the media through film and television.

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The students then went to Parliament House, where they were lucky enough to see the Prime Minister himself in action during Question Time! Mr Trent Zimmerman MP generously spent time with the students, giving them an in depth view of Parliament and taking time to answer their questions.

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Overall, it was an eye-opening excursion that brought Legal Studies to life. But one of the highlights was an unscheduled stopover in the tiny village of Collector, where the girls had an opportunity to meet a 2-day-old lamb.

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Annie said, "After a long drive, with a stopover in the small town of Collector, and the added highlight of an interaction with a baby lamb, we finally reached the High Court, all of us eager to explore and get off the bus. Our guides were both every knowledgeable, providing us with crucial information regarding the creation of the Australian Constitution. We visited both courtrooms 1 and 2, where pivotal cases such as the Eddie Mabo Native Title decision may have been held. Then it was off to Parliament House, with the prospect of seeing 'ScoMo' at the front of our minds. For me, witnessing Question Time in both the Senate and the House of Representatives was an invaluable experience as we were able to recognise many politicians, such as Pauline Hanson, Penny Wong and Gladys Liu. We could also watch the discussion of Australian issues unfold, like the controversy surrounding Liberal MP Gladys Liu, the drought and the crisis unfolding in Iran. This was followed by a talk from our local North Sydney member, Trent Zimmerman MP who recognised issues close to our hearts. Overall, it was an incredible experience to be able to visit Canberra and I am sure we have all learnt a lot from our short trip."

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Cordelia said that the Canberra trip enabled them to "get an understanding and visual insight to the structure of the High Court and Parliament House. In the High Court, we learnt about the structure of the Court of the Constitution and the High Court of Appeal, unfortunately missing out on witnessing a case. We still got to enjoy learning about the cases that had previously been heard there such as the Mabo v Queensland native title case. When we arrived at Parliament House, we were privileged to be able to listen to Question Time in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, learning about the structure of the parliament in both levels."

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Sarah said, "The day was filled with excitement as we got a tour of the High Court and sat in courtrooms.... This was followed by a delicious lunch at Parliament House after which we viewed Question Time in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It allowed us to watch our parliamentary representatives in action as they debated key issues prevalent in our current society. It was clear the day was a huge success as most girls struggled to keep their eyes open on the bus ride home." 

Grace said, "Question Time was extremely interesting, as we were able to see members of the Opposition raise important questions to the Coalition around global warming, tax emissions and the current controversy surrounding MP Gladys Lui. From seeing the High Court and the Parliament first hand, I believe I have gained valuable knowledge surrounding key components of the Australian legal system."

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Sophie said, "I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Canberra and felt that the various activities we completed were relevant to the content from class and it was exciting to see the practical applications of our learning." And Zara said, "Overall, the trip equipped us with indispensable skills that we will certainly be able to apply to our future endeavours in Legal Studies."

Earlier, Mr David Broadbridge, the highly respected author of Qantas - a Business Case Study, dropped in to Wenona and gave an incredibly useful revision lecture to our Year 12 students.

In order to better prepare for the HSC, students need to understand and appreciate contemporary case study examples for modern businesses. As Mr Broadbridge has conducted extensive research on the impact of internal and external business influences on Qantas, he was able to share his knowledge with our students and help them maximise their understanding for their upcoming HSC examination. Students had an opportunity to ask questions and gained clarity on how to interpret HSC examination questions and formulate their answers.

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Jacqueline said, “The HSC Business Studies Qantas lecture was an invaluable opportunity to learn from a highly experienced educator. David Broadbridge has an outstanding depth of knowledge surrounding everything about Qantas. His engaging, interactive and highly effective lecture style broadened our knowledge of our Business Case Study, Qantas, in relation to current statistics, evaluation of strengths and weaknesses, examining their success and effectiveness over time, while improving our recall of the case study links to the Business Studies curriculum. An in-depth knowledge and application of case studies is a key element for unlocking success in Business Studies and this lecture provided us with this depth to an extensive level, increasing the opportunity for success as a cohort. Not only did we learn every detail about Qantas, but also gained crucial information to improve our performance in the HSC exam overall, through examining past exams and key strategies to improve our exam technique in Business Studies. Each student was engaged with questions, real-life applications and succinct information recall due to David Broadbridge’s dynamic nature and ability to connect with students and help us maintain concentration. The lecture left our Business Studies cohort with a great advantage and a level of confidence going into the HSC." 

Mia said, “Information gained from the lecture from David Broadbridge was invaluable. His talk was incredibly engaging and his depth of knowledge about Qantas has undoubtedly helped me to understand complicated concepts such as Qantas’ financial position and strategies used that have resulted in them being a leader in their industry. Not only were we able to get insights into Qantas, he taught us useful exam techniques, which by applying, will assist me greatly during the HSC. Overall, his talk was extremely beneficial to our whole cohort and will assist us in improving our business writing.”

All in all, lots of great learning in Social Sciences. A huge thank you to our guest speakers for generously sharing their time and expertise with our students, and to our teachers for their organisation and support.