Jayne Kingwell: Head of Humanities and Social Sciences
1. What does your role involve?
My role involves leading a passionate team of expert Humanities teachers who are committed to providing relevant, interesting and varied learning opportunities for our students. The Humanities and Social Sciences curriculum is so diverse, it covers:
- both physical and human geography,
- ancient and modern history,
- economics and business; as well as
- civics and citizenship
This year I teach Years 7 & 10 Humanities and Year 12 Economics – teaching and learning with these classes is, of course, my main priority and a huge joy. My job is diverse and interesting… no two days are the same and I love that.
2. What do you enjoy about leading the Humanities & Social Sciences department?
Getting to witness first-hand the commitment, passion, and professionalism of an awesome team of teachers. I enjoy sharing ideas with them and learning from them daily. It’s also very special to know that what we teach in HASS classrooms is so relevant to the real world – and in that way, we are having a direct impact on our students’ understanding of the world and their place within it. It is particularly special when we hear from past students about how their learning in HASS is shaping their future – something that happens with increasing regularity!
3. Which of the connecting learning to life attributes do you feel that your learning area develops especially well in students?
It’s hard to know where to start with this question! HASS develops many of the attributes and skills that employers value highly. The ones that stick out are:
- Emotional Intelligence: particularly empathy as we look at world issues from a human perspective
- Communication: especially the ability to persuade and defend an opinion, something very useful in a boardroom
- Problem Solving: developing the ability to think critically, solve problems, make decisions collaboratively
- Global Citizenship: by building within our students the confidence that they have the power to act and influence the world around them in a positive way.
4. What are you focusing on in your learning area this year?
One of our big goals this year is to build creativity and critical reflection in our students. Critical reflection is very important with the saturation of media in our digital information age.
We are working hard to embed in our students the skills to be able to discern credible sources of information and then use them to think critically and creatively about issues. Being able to view a problem with a political, economic, historical and environmental framework is important in our world, now more than ever.