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11–12Geography Life Skills 11–12 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation from 2024

Course overview

Some students with intellectual disability may find Years 11–12 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 6. Before deciding that a student should undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the outcomes of the equivalent Stage 6 course. Students with disability can access syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways, including through a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the equivalent Stage 6 course. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

The Geography Life Skills 11–12 Syllabus aligns with the Geography 11–12 Syllabus to provide opportunities for integrated delivery.

Course structure and requirements

Course numbers:

  • Geography Life Skills (Year 11, 2 units): 16626
  • Geography Life Skills (Year 12, 2 units): 16626


  • Geography (Year 11, 2 units): 11190
  • Geography (Year 12, 2 units): 15190
  • Human Society and its Environment Life Skills (Year 11, 2 units): 16699*
  • Human Society and its Environment Life Skills (Year 12, 2 units): 16699*

*Where Geography is undertaken within the course.

The following diagram (Figure 1) provides an illustrative representation of elements of the course and their relationship.

Course overview diagram for the Geography 11–12 Life Skills syllabus.
Figure 1: Course structure and requirements for Geography 11–12 Life Skills

Image long description: This is a diagram outlining the organisation of outcomes and content for the Geography Life Skills 11–12 Syllabus. Along the top are the focus areas Earth’s natural systems, People, patterns and processes, Human–environment interactions, and Geographical Investigation. At the bottom are the focus areas Global sustainability, Rural and urban places, and Ecosystems and global biodiversity. In the middle is Geographical concepts, Geographical inquiry skills and Geographical tools. These 3 are connected by a line labelled ‘Thinking and working geographically’ at the top and ‘Knowledge, understanding and skills’ on the bottom.

The Geography Life Skills Stage 6 course provides students with opportunities to develop their understanding of the geographical concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, scale, sustainability and change.

Students have an opportunity to use geographical tools and apply geographical inquiry skills throughout the course, including a geographical investigation at a local scale.

The following focus areas can be studied throughout Year 11 (120 hours) and Year 12 (120 hours).

  • Earth’s natural systems
  • People, patterns and processes
  • Human–environment interactions
  • Geographical Investigation
  • Global sustainability
  • Rural and urban places
  • Ecosystems and global biodiversity.

For Geography Life Skills Stage 6:

  • Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Geography Life Skills Stage 6 outcomes.
  • Outcomes and content should be selected to meet the particular needs of individual students.
  • The focus areas provide possible frameworks for addressing the Geography Life Skills Stage 6 outcomes and content, and are suggestions only. Teachers have the flexibility to develop focus areas that will meet the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of their students.
  • Examples provided in the content are suggestions only. Teachers may use the examples provided or use other examples to meet the particular needs of individual students.
  • The geographical inquiry skills and tools content has been integrated throughout the course. The various focus areas provide the contexts through which inquiry skills and tools may be developed and applied.
  • Fieldwork may be integrated within an individual focus area or across focus areas as appropriate. Students may undertake a whole fieldwork investigation or parts of fieldwork activities.

Geographical inquiry skills and tools

The geographical inquiry skills and tools content is to be integrated throughout the course. The various focus areas and studies provide the contexts through which inquiry skills and tools can be developed and applied.

Students have opportunities to apply their geographical skills and use geographical tools during an inquiry process to collect, use and communicate geographical information to suggest actions and, where appropriate, act upon them. Inquiries may vary in scale and geographical context. A broad range of geographical tools should be integrated within each focus area as appropriate. Examples of tools are included within individual focus areas to demonstrate various ways in which they can be applied.

If required, selected tools should be accessible for students with disability, eg tactile maps, accessible choropleth maps for colour-blind students, tactile photography.


Fieldwork provides opportunities for students to be involved in an active inquiry outside the classroom. Some students with disability may require adjustments and/or additional support to engage in fieldwork.

When conducting fieldwork that involves people, ethical practices such as adherence to intellectual property (IP) rights must be considered. If fieldwork is proposed for Aboriginal sites, or is about Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and cultural heritage, Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP) is an ethical consideration.

In such cases, participants should be familiar with a range of cultural protocols for working with Aboriginal communities and ensure appropriate consultation occurs with local communities and education consultants. For more information refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander principles and protocols.

Earth’s natural systems

Students investigate distinctive features of the Earth’s surface and recognise diversity, uniqueness and the intrinsic value of the natural world. They explore the physical processes which form and transform environments and the location of diverse landscapes across the Earth using spatial technologies and other geographical tools. Students identify that natural systems change over time, transforming physical features of the Earth’s surface.

People, patterns and processes

Students explore human patterns and processes over a range of scales. They explore evidence of human diversity across the Earth to build an understanding of the spatial patterns, extent of the human footprint on the Earth’s surface, and the human transformations shaping those patterns. Students investigate the population characteristics of different places and the processes responsible for the size and distribution of Earth’s population. They explain how population processes lead to population change and suggest actions to address challenges. Students explore the link between human population and resource consumption patterns. They explore economic, technological, political and/or social/cultural processes to describe the characteristics of a place.

Where appropriate, students can undertake a study to develop an understanding of the role of people in changing places and environments, the processes involved, and the various ways they respond to change.

Human–environment interactions

Students use geographical inquiry skills and tools and apply their knowledge of human and environmental interactions, including how land use and land cover has changed over time due to these interactions. Students investigate challenges for humans in an environment and the range of responses to these challenges. Students identify opportunities for future responses to geographical challenges.

Where appropriate, students can undertake a study of a geographic region, a hazard or climate change to investigate the interactions between Earth’s natural systems and people.

Geographical Investigation

A geographical investigation is an opportunity to apply geographical concepts, skills and tools through practical research. Students individually or collaboratively participate in the inquiry process to investigate a contemporary issue. Students may undertake a complete inquiry process or parts of the process. For example, a student may participate in collecting and recording geographic information. Local fieldwork activities may be undertaken in the investigation.

Some students with disability may require adjustments and/or additional support to engage in the inquiry process.

Students may undertake a geographical investigation in their local area, school community, or an area that is accessible for the purpose of primary data collection.

Global sustainability

Students explore the geographical concept of sustainability through identifying individual and collective actions, and are provided with opportunities to explore how sustainable actions at a range of scales help to shape the present and future of our world. They explore individual and community efforts in planning for sustainability. Students may investigate opportunities for social, economic and environmental sustainable solutions in places at a range of scales.

Where appropriate, students can undertake an investigation of a sustainable economic activity.

Rural and urban places

Students investigate the changing character of rural and urban places at a range of scales and explore factors causing change in rural and urban locations. They explore changes in population size, demographics, distribution and processes of urbanisation impacting human wellbeing and the natural environment of rural and urban places. Students recognise that rural and urban places are interdependent at all scales and the dynamic nature of places poses opportunities and challenges for sustainable living. Students use geographical tools and fieldwork to contribute to an understanding of the characteristics, processes and scale of changing places.

Where appropriate, students can undertake an investigation of a local rural or urban place, or a large city.

Ecosystems and global biodiversity

Students investigate the value of biodiversity and functions that exist in ecosystems at a range of scales. Students explore ways that ecosystems can change due to natural processes as well as identify the human actions that impact and transform ecosystems. Students identify sustainable actions and management practices that respond to threats to ecosystems and global biodiversity.

Where appropriate, students can undertake an investigation of an ecosystem. This may include conducting fieldwork.