Social Sciences at Te Kauwhata College

What are the Social Sciences about?

The social sciences learning area is about how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed, and responsible citizens. Contexts are drawn from the past, present, and future and from places within and beyond New Zealand.

Why study the social sciences?

Through the social sciences, students develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to: better understand, participate in, and contribute to the local, national, and global communities in which they live and work; engage critically with societal issues; and evaluate the sustainability of alternative social, economic, political, and environmental practices.

Students explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society that derives from the Treaty of Waitangi. They learn about people, places, cultures, histories, and the economic world, within and beyond New Zealand. They develop understandings about how societies are organised and function and how the ways in which people and communities respond are shaped by different perspectives, values, and viewpoints. As they explore how others see themselves, students clarify their own identities in relation to their particular heritages and contexts.

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The Social Sciences help students to understand their world and give them the skills and knowledge to play their part in society by focusing on the study of society, of human activity in the contexts of continuity, change and contemporary issues.

Students will be able to investigate and explore important social issues, make decisions, work co-operatively, and build their knowledge of their world (physical and cultural), their history, their land (whenua), resources and economic activities and their society.

The role of Geography and Social Sciences is to provide teaching and learning situations that enable students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that enable them to function effectively as members of increasingly diverse social, cultural, and economic communities.

Subjects in the Social Sciences (History, Geography, Education for Sustainability, Business Studies, Economics, Senior Social Studies, Psychology/Sociology, Tourism, Legal Studies, and Media Studies) are closely linked not only to each other but also across other learning areas e.g. Biology, Agricultural and Horticultural Science, Earth sciences, Statistical Maths.

Achievement standards from a range of subjects could provide opportunities to assess students. For example, Geography and Economics together, provide authentic contexts for students to apply skills and understandings from their learning in statistics.

Year 9 Social Studies is covered in the Y9Enso program 

A combined course of both English and Social Studies. Topics of study at this level include the changing face of New Zealand’s identity, the movement of people through natural or forced migration, the protection of environments through sustainable practices, and the comparison between our democratic political system of government and another.

Year 10 Social Studies

Units at this level of Social Studies include the Treaty of Waitangi, the Pacific Region and the impact of climate change (new), Human Rights, the Waikato Wars, and Our Economy.

Senior School

NCEA Level 1 Geography – this is a subject endorsed course.

Topics include – child poverty, the effects of natural disasters on people and the natural environment, the impact tourism has on the sustainability of Tongariro National Park, and Numeracy in the form of Geography Skills. Prerequisite to Level 2 study.

NCEA Level 2 Geography & History

NCEA Level 2 courses this year aim to provide students with a more specific program of study that provides course Endorsement. Prerequisite to Level 3 study.

Level 3 Geography & Social Studies NCEA Level 3 courses this year aim to provide students with a more specific program of study that provides course Endorsement. Critical thinking processes, analytical conclusions, and sound judgements are a few of the skills students learn as part of their study at this level.