Casey Patterson | Humanities and Social Sciences Learning Area Leader

When recalling their time at school, adults often reminiscence about their time out of the classroom, whether it be on excursions, camps, or even on the school grounds. Spending time beyond the classroom walls can provide students with a real world context to their learning, renew a sense of enthusiasm and can offer the opportunity for pupils to develop new skills.

The Humanities Learning Area at Cornerstone College has taken the opportunity for students to learn beyond the classroom in various contexts.
The first annual Year 12 Tourism venture to Kangaroo Island took place this year and provided students with the chance to examine the Tourism Industry of a reliant location in a real-life context. Students took photos, interviewed locals and tourists, made observations and judgements and compared secondary sources of information with primary evidence to determine the sustainability of the industry on the island.

Geography fieldwork is an important element of the College’s Geography curriculums. Fieldwork opportunities begin at Year 9, where students visit a local farm to examine the changes made to agricultural practises to combat changing climates. Year 10 students visit the coast to examine the effectiveness of management strategies. These skills culminate in Year 12 where students choose their own topic for their Field Study, which they complete independently.

There are many other instances where excursions occur in Humanities classrooms at the College, and others that are being investigated for the future. Of course, it is excellent for students at Cornerstone to continue to develop skills outside of the classroom, but what really inspires our staff is the excitement and sheer joy experienced by ‘our kids’ when they are out and about, as well as the knowledge that they are generating memories they will retain for a lifetime.