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titleHandbook Transition

Our VCE Handbook content is undergoing a transition to a new, improved, consistent and easy to read format. We are working to transition our content from the original handbook format to the new format and you may see both formats below until we complete the transition. Apologies for any inconvenience, but we should be done with the transition soon.


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titleHealth and Human Development

Health and Human Development is divided into two main areas. Units 1 and 2 introduce students to the concepts and interrelationships which exist between individual human development and health. Three dimensions of health are explored in these units:

   Physical Health - how efficiently or effectively the body and its systems are able to function.    Social Health -the ability to be able to interact with others and participate in the community in both an independent and cooperative way.

   Mental Health - a state of well being where an individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Students learn that individual human development is a lifelong continuous process which begins at conception and concludes at death. It consists of a series of predictable and orderly changes which are classified as physical, social, emotional and intellectual. Considerations that identify and address what affects and determines our health and development are explored and major health issues are investigated.

The upper units investigate the Australian health system and the health status of Australians in comparison with other developed and developing countries. This provides a global focus which identifies many of the inequalities inherent in various health systems and the interventions that can be incorporated to produce sustainable improvements in health and development. Health promotion  strategies and initiatives administered by the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), and government and non-government organisations are investigated.

Unit 1: Health and development of Australia’s youth

Unit 1 explores the health and development of Australia’s youth (defined as 12-18 years of age). Development refers to the predictable and orderly physical, social, emotional and intellectual changes experienced during this age group. The determinants that can affect one’s health status through these developmental stages are examined with an emphasis on identifying risk factors and protective factors.  Health issues relevant to Australia’s youth include: mental health, asthma, diabetes, weight issues, injury, tobacco smoking, alcohol use, illicit substance abuse, sun protection, sexual and reproductive health, food allergies, homelessness and cyber safety.

Unit 2: Individual human development and health issues

Unit 2 focuses on health and development during childhood and adulthood. Predictable and orderly physical, social, emotional and intellectual changes experienced during stages are examined. Students investigate how biological and behavioural factors, physical environments and social environments, including family and community, influence child health, adult health and the health outcomes of the elderly. A range of issues that impact on Australia’s health system are identified; these include human rights, ethics, medical technology, alternative health services, environmental health, rural services and the ageing population.

Unit 3: Australia’s health

Unit 3 compares the health status of Australia’s population with other developed countries such as Japan, Sweden, the UK and USA. Explanations for the variations in the health status of Australia’s population groups (gender, Indigenous, rural/remote/metropolitan, socio-economic status) are identified. Diseases and illnesses that have a major impact on Australia’s health are discussed in relation to the costs incurred by both the individual and the community. The role of nutrition as both a protective and risk factor for particular diseases is also investigated. Students are required to become familiar with the Australian healthcare system and the values which underpin Medicare, private health insurance and other federal, state and local council initiatives. Many approaches to health and health promotion by government and non-government organisations are analysed.

Unit 4: Global health and human development

Unit 4 analyses the factors contributing to the variations and inequalities in world health. Factors contributing to the inequalities in world health investigated in this unit include poverty, gender inequality, education, access to health care, political instability, war, global marketing and the impact of physical environments.  Students are required to describe and evaluate progress towards the United Nations Millennium Developmental Goals which include initiatives to:  eradicate extreme poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV-AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and the development of global partnerships for development. The interrelationships between health, human development and sustainability are explored, and the role and contribution of aid agencies is investigated. This includes the goals and priorities of the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), AusAID and non-government organisations.


Units 1 and 2

The assessment of levels of achievement in units 1 and 2 decided upon by the school. The award of satisfactory completion for each unit is based on a decision that a student has demonstrate achievement in the three outcomes that encompass the three areas of study. Assessment tasks for these units are selected from the following:

   case study analysis

   data analysis

   visual presentation

   multimedia presentation

   oral presentation

   test or written responses

Units 3 and 4

The award of satisfactory completion for units 3 and 4 is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set outcomes specified for each unit. The student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework (SACs) and an end of year examination. Assessment is as follows:

   Unit 3: three SACs (total of 25% of overall assessment)    Unit 4: three SACs (total of 25% of overall assessment)    End-of-year exam: (total of 50% of overall assessment)