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Y13 Geography students on Mt Tongarirro (2019)


  • Rational:
  • Students need opportunities to develop connections across a wide range of experiences, supporting the skills necessary for lifelong learning.
  • They need to understand how their learning in the Social Sciences can connect to and build on other learning areas, and life outside and beyond school. When they do, it is a powerful tool to motivate, engage, and enhance the relevance of their learning.
  • 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 and Unit standards from a range of subjects could provide opportunities to assess students. Geography and Economics for example, provide authentic contexts for students to apply skills and understandings from their learning in statistics.
The various subjects in the Social Sciences learning sector equips students with the knowledge and skills to interpret the world in which they live. Through purposeful study, students develop understandings that lead to a diverse range of career options.

Our Curriculum Statement

The Social Sciences helps students to understand their world and give them the skills and knowledge to play their part in society. This statement focuses on the study of society and 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, understandings and skills that enable then to function effectively as members of increasingly diverse social, cultural and economic communities.

The Key Competencies

These are concepts which are the key to learning in every subject area. They are a focus for learning, and they enable learning. Students need to be challenged and supported to develop them in contexts that are increasingly wide-ranging and complex.

The following key competencies are used to monitor student progress and achievement throughout the year. Monitoring may be done through student review and teacher observations.
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Using Language, Symbols, and Texts
  • Developing the ability to interpret and use words, number, images, movement, and technologies in a range of contexts.
  • Able to recognise how language, symbol, or text, affect people’s understanding and the way they respond to communication.
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Thinking (intellectual curiosity)
  • Developing your levels of understanding
  • Making decisions
  • Shaping actions
  • Constructing (building) knowledge
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Managing self
  • Self-motivation
  • Independent worker
  • Self-Managers are reliable, resilient resourceful, and enterprising with a “can-do” attitude
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Relating to Others
  • Able to interact effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of context.
  • Able to actively listen, recognise different points of view, negotiate, and share ideas.
  • Students are open to new learning and to different roles in different situations.
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Participating and Contributing
  • Able to contribute appropriately as a group member
  • Able to make connections with others, and to create opportunities for others in the group.

Learning Objectives (LOs)

Level 5 Year 9 Social Studies (Part Integration homeroom 2019 – Fully integrated 2020)
Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  1. Understand how systems of government in New Zealand operate and affect people’s lives, and how they compare with another system.
  2. Understand how cultural interaction impacts on cultures and societies.
  3. Understand that people move between places and how this has consequences for the people and the places.
  4. Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability.

The Role IT Plays in Social Sciences

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Photo: Te Kauwhata College students Ilona Russell and Mariska Balvert using computers to research information about the New Zealand Land wars (July 2019)
Student use of computers in our Learning Area increased exponentially in 2019 due to the NCEA Level 1 History and Social Studies standards trialed with our Y10 Social Studies students. The main topic os study centered around the New Zealand Land Wars, specifically the Waikato Wars.

IT allowed teachers to show students how:
  • To do online research
  • To access and use websites such as paperspast.nz, NZ history online, teara.govt.nz, and NZ History Archives.
  • To access and use Schoology program at school and at home (2019)
  • To access and use Google Classroom and ZOOM platforms in distance learning during the COVID-19 national lockdown in 2020
  • Minecraft was also used by some teams in the re-creation of the Battle of Rangiriri Paa as part of their extension work, which was also be used for their study of the French Revolution in the storming of the Bastille.
  • To create and edit Microsoft PowerPoints, video logs, blogs/podcast – this area greatly improved their self-efficacy and self-confidence
  • To use and apply footnotes
Computers also play a major role in our senior subjects where Research is standard practice from Level 1 through to Level 3.
Media Studies – students able to use digital graphics and online editing software for Production
Geography – various geospatial technologies, such as Google Earth, are used as a visual aid for multimedia learning to illustrate geographic concepts as well as play a major part in the internal standards below:
History – there are various web-based historical materials and databases to enhance students’ historical thinking and inquiry skills.

IT use can help:
(1) Motivate student engagement in the social studies classroom
(2) Enhance their Social Studies learning,
(3) Make courses in the Social Sciences appealing (Junior Social Studies, Geography, History, Media Studies, Legal Studies, Senior Social Studies
(4) Improve student problem-solving, communication, decision-making, and research skills

Ready access to laptops/computers (school and home) allows for uninterrupted learning and students can use and save their work on the same laptop.
“It is also important to train students to become digital citizens in the global world by equipping them with 21st century skills’
(National Council for the Social Studies, 2013; Partnership for 21st Century Learning, 2015).

Course Outlines 2020
(relevant Learning Objectives included)

Year 10 Social Studies (AP, NI)
NCEA Level 1 internal standards are offered at Y10 so students get ‘a taste’ of what is expected, the chance to achieve, while challenging themselves and their learning abilities. After sitting one internal assessment, students can opt not to sit the second assessment. During this time in their study program they will come under the same NCEA rules and regulations adhered to by Y11 – Y13 students. Year 10 students will continue to be assessed in the Curriculum Levels as stated in the Junior Social Studies Curriculum handbook.
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Rocking @ the 2019 ASB Polyfest, Auckland
(combined Y13 Geography and Y13 Dance field trip

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NCEA Level 1 courses this year aims to provide students with a broad selection of subjects which become more specific at Level 2 and Level 3. Students at L1 will ‘taste’ the subjects on offer allowing them to make well-informed decisions as to which direction they take, in line with possible career pathways they might want to pursue prior to moving up to NCEA L2 and L3 where the courses become more subject-specific.

NCEA Level 1 Legal Studies and Geography (AP)

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NCEA Level 1 Social Studies and History (NI)

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NCEA Level 2 Geography (AP)

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NCEA Level 2 History Course (JE)

L1 History and Social Studies

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L2 History and Social Studies

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NBunder the accepted heading ‘NCEA L2 History Course’, standards from Level 1 and Level 2 are offered simultaneously in this course to allow students the chance to achieve at the level they can cope with, as they have no previous experience in these courses. Students will be made aware as to which NCEA Level and Standard they gained their specific credit(s).

Level 3 Geography (AP)

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Level 3 Social Sciences (AP)

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2020 Teaching Staff

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Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC): Field trips are important components to learning in Social Sciences courses from Y9 through to Y13. Students take notes, gather data, sketch diagrams, conduct survey, take photos of their environment which they collate back in the classroom and use the information in their assessment – internal and external – therefore attending these field trips is compulsory.

Workbooks: Student workbooks can be purchased online or from Officemax (Hamilton) if required for a specific subject

Resubmission: As per Ministry of Education directive, resubmission is ONLY applicable if a student gained a high Not Achieved and wanted the chance to resub in order to gain an Achieved grade.

Student Absence(s) during assessment: Follow TKC school policy on this. Discretion can be used where student negotiates with HOD/teacher i.e to use study and/or lunchtimes to make up time missed.
NB: Enquiries regarding all courses in the Social Sciences Learning Area can be made to Te Kauwhata College – attention Vai Apisai.

Contact Us
Location: 50-64 Waerenga Road, Te Kauwhata, New Zealand
Email: admin@tkcoll.school.nz
Phone: (07) 826 3715

Term Dates
Term 1: Fri 1st Feb - Fri 12th Apr
Term 2: Mon 29th Apr - Fri 5th July
Term 3: Mon 22nd July - Fri 27th Sep
Term 4: Mon 14th Oct - Tue 10th Dec