The Social Science 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.

Classical Studies is the study of the people, places, and events of ancient Greece and Rome. Students explore the foundations of literature, art, history, and philosophy, in order to understand the past and the present, and to imagine possible futures.

History is about exploring the past, in order to understand the present, and shape the future. New Zealand history is seen within wider global contexts. Historians are skilled in research and source analysis that is fundamental for other subject areas.

Geography is the study of the relationship between people and their environments. Our environment is at a critical point in its history. Developing knowledge of humans and our impact on the natural world will allow you to prepare for the future.

Business Studies / Economics / Accounting is the study of business is about how individuals and groups of people organise, plan and act to create and develop goods and services to satisfy customers.

Media Psychology gives us a fascinating insight into the behaviour of others, providing an opportunity to view the human mind from a systematic and scientific perspective. Our focus this year is on theory and media psychology.

Level 1, 2, 3

Pacific Studies

This is a cross curricular, multi-level course which is intended to encourage Pasifika students to learn more about their traditional culture and values. The course may also be of interest to any student wanting to further investigate the traditional culture and values of Pacific people.

In this course, students choose from a wide range of topics and they learn the research skills required to plan and carry out three investigations:

  • An aspect of Pacific indigenous knowledge 
  • An aspect of Pacific change and development 
  • An aspect of Pacific society 

Students will develop the skills required to Plan their own investigations (planning includes – topic, key questions, procedures for collection of information from a range of sources; journals, newspapers, surveys, interviews, articles, digital media, websites, etc), Research, Collect, Process and Evaluate information and prepare a Conclusion based on the Evidence collected during the investigation.

Students will also have the opportunity to communicate understanding of an aspect of Pacific culture through a planned presentation that may be related in some way to their investigative work. Students may choose to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their chosen aspect through any of the following modes: dance, poetry, song, story, drama, arts, crafts, speech, PowerPoint presentation, poster, seminar, 3D model, meal, demonstration, rap, photographs.

Students are able to work at the level they feel more comfortable or able. It is expected that the evidence presented will show greater complexity in knowledge and with increased autonomy throughout the levels. Students will be more confident, focussed, and independent learners by the time they are working at Level 3.

  • Leads to: NCEA credits for Pacific Studies are available at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Pacific Studies is available as a course of study at tertiary level.
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: The ability to work independently and a passion to learn more about Pacific culture
  • Teacher in Charge: Mrs A Frankum

Level 1

Business Studies

This course allows students the chance to explore the business world. Their own ideas will form part of the work they will study.

  • Develop the skills to make financial decisions
  • Learn how businesses market their products
  • Investigate human resource processes
  • Develop an understanding of economic theory
  • Carry out a business activity

  • Leads to: Level 2 Business Studies, Level 2 Economics, Level 2 Accounting
  • Cost and Materials: $20
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements
  • Teacher in Charge: Mr S Gardner

Geography and the Natural World

Geography is the fascinating study of the relationship between people and their environments. Those who study Geography are better prepared to understand topics impacting our planet today. 

We need geographic knowledge to better understand how humans have interacted with their environment over time; how geography has impacted settlement and population; and how geographic factors influence climate, culture, the economy, and world events. A geographic perspective enables us to analyse the past and present and to understand how to prepare for an environmentally uncertain future. If you are fascinated by the natural environment and have a genuine interest in the world around you, Geography is the subject for you. 

  • Leads to: Level 2 Geography. Geography is a universal qualification.
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss S Clifton


History helps students to develop their understanding about the world we live in today, by engaging with the people, places and events of the past. Students will learn about New Zealand and world history, in order to develop an understanding of the diverse society that we live in. 

At Level 1, students gain an introduction to historical skills and thinking. We will explore the struggle for social justice and equality for African Americans by the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. We will also develop our understanding of social and political movements, through learning about Germany in World War II. We will investigate the rise of Hitler and the Nazis and the impact that this had on German society.

Students will also choose an aspect of New Zealand history to research. Through this process they will develop skills in research and evaluating sources, which are essential in many subject areas.

Through studying history, students gain skills that are useful throughout life. These include research techniques, understanding varied sources of information as well as how to articulate their ideas and make them clear to others. They learn how to ask and answer questions, evaluate evidence, and understand different perspectives.

  • Leads to: Level 2 History/Classics. History is a universal qualification.
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss S Clifton

Level 2

Accounting: It’s All About the Money

To understand the business world students will study financial statements and the way that businesses use them to be successful.

  • Leads to: Level 3 Accounting
  • Cost and Materials: $18
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements
  • Teacher in Charge: Ms G Reid

Business Studies

This course follows on from Level 1 Business Studies. Students will conduct market research and carry out a business activity. They will explore what motivates individuals towards a goal and they will apply their business knowledge to a large business context.

  • Leads to: Level 3 Economics, Accounting or Strategic Management
  • Cost and Materials: $20
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements
  • Teacher in Charge:Mr S Gardner

The Economic Influence

This course is for those students who are leaning towards a career in finance, business, accounting, management, law or government. Students will learn the theory that is used and applied by Government as they allocate scarce resources. Level 2 Economics looks at the macroeconomy, the big picture of our economy and society.

Key concepts studied are:

  • Inflation                  ·   
  • Unemployment
  • Trade  
  • Government Policies – Fiscal and Monetary

  • Leads to: Tertiary study in Business, Economics, Law, Political Science, Arts
  • Cost and Materials: $25 workbook
  • Entry Requirements: Level 1 English and Mathematics an advantage
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss N Brightwell

History of the Modern and Classical World

This Level 2 course will help students to develop their understanding of the history of our world, by combining both classical and modern history. It provides an introduction to Classical Studies for students interested in ancient history. We will explore the stories of the gods, myths and legends of Ancient Greece, and the history of Athens in what is known as the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. In the second half of the year we will move into studying modern history, by exploring the Vietnam War. Students will gain an understanding of why the Vietnam War occurred and its significance to New Zealand and the international community. We will explore the road to independence for Vietnam, how this conflict led to an awakening of the protest movement in New Zealand and the impact of the war on both veterans and civilians. 

Students will learn historical skills such as how to accurately interpret sources, assessing sources for reliability, developing judgments and structured arguments in their written work.

This course is highly relevant for any student wishing to continue to History or Classical Studies at Level 3.

  • Introduction to Ancient Greece     
  • Myths and legends of Ancient
  • Greece                                       
  • The History of the Persian Wars
  • Vietnamese Nationalism
  • US involvement in Vietnam
  • NZ and the Vietnam War

  • Leads to: Level 3 History Level 3 Classical Studies
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: At least 12 credits at Level 1 History and/or English or in an approved Level1 Course
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss K Watts

Psychology: What Influences our Behaviour?

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind: how it works, and how it might affect behaviour. Through the lens of Psychology you will better understand the factors that influence your own and others’ behaviour in different situations.

This year you will study:

  • The underlying theories of Psychology – Biological, behavioural and cognitive approaches
  • Media Psychology – Celebrity and addiction
  • Abnormality/normality – What causes evil?
  • Clinical and Health Psychology – A study of stress

  • Leads to: Tertiary study 
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: Level 1 Literacy/Numeracy-rich subject an advantage
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss S Clifton

Level 2, 3

Geography and the Complex World

Geography is a course for those who wish to understand the complex world that we live in. Students will learn about the relationships and connections between people and their natural and cultural environments. Geography teaches you how to interpret a variety of information and data. There is a focus on both local and global issues, which develops research and observation skills and gives students the ability to take action and solve problems. Geography focuses on learning inside and outside the classroom and there is no better way to learn about the world you live in by going and exploring it! 

  • Leads to: Universal qualification that leads to all tertiary study
  • Cost and Materials: $225 approximately for multi-day field trip (optional)
  • Entry Requirements: Level 1 Geography or Literacy/Numeracy-rich subjects at Level 1
  • Teacher in Charge: Mr R Orr
  • UE Approved

Level 3

Accounting: Accounts for Business

This course is designed to apply skills of critical thinking, problem solving and application in a business setting utilising financial statements for a business.

This subject can be taken to scholarship level.

  • Leads to: Tertiary study
  • Cost and Materials: $24 + $28 Revision Workbook (optional)
  • Entry Requirements: Level 2 Accounting preferred
  • Teacher in Charge: Ms G Reid

Business Studies: Strategic Management

This course is for those students who are leaning towards a career in business, accounting, management, law or government. Students will research the impact of globalisation on Aotearoa/New Zealand, in particular our economic, political and business contexts. The impacts on Iwi will be considered as economic and strategic issues are examined. Students will become critical thinkers and engaged citizens – skills and qualities highly valued by employers. 

  • Systems theory                      
  • Globalisation
  • Māori business concepts
  • Marketing principles
  • Human resource management 
  • Politics

  • Leads to: Tertiary study in Business, Law, Political Science, Arts
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs 
  • Entry Requirements: No entry requirements 
  • Teacher in Charge: Mr S Gardner

Classical Studies

Classics is the fascinating study of ancient Roman society. Through this multidisciplinary subject, you will be introduced to the high points of Western civilization and examine some of the greatest works of art and architecture that the world has ever seen, and learn about the foundations of modern literature. 

Throughout the year, you will study Ancient History, Art History, Philosophy and Literature. The course investigates the lifestyle, mythology, art, architecture, philosophy, religion, science, literature, politics and drama of Roman society.

You will encounter some of the great characters of antiquity, such as Homer, Virgil, Cicero, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Cleopatra, the good and the bad Emperors – people who shaped the course of Western Civilisation.

As we navigate our way through the year, you will also learn about the mythological foundations of Rome, gladiatorial conquest and Egyptology.

As you walk in the steps of countless generations who studied ancient societies before you, you will learn to navigate the future more confidently by reflecting on the past.

  • Leads to: University Arts degree
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs 
  • Entry Requirements: Satisfactory completion of Year 12 English and/or History and/or Classical Studies
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss S Clifton

Economics in the Real World

This course is for those students who are leaning towards a career in economics, finance, business, accounting, management, law or government. Students will learn economic theory used in New Zealand as part of Government decision making in our society. 

Key concepts studied include:

  • Microeconomics
  • Allocative Efficiency
  • Marginal Analysis
  • Market Failure
  • Government Interventions

  • Leads to: Tertiary study in Economics, Business, Law, Political Science, Arts
  • Cost and Materials: $20 workbook
  • Entry Requirements: Level 2 Economics an advantage
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss N Brightwell
  • UE Approved

History of New Zealand and the World

This Level 3 course focuses on further developing skills and understanding from previous years. The focus at Level 3 is on understanding the complex nature of causes and effects, and differing perspectives of historical events. This course covers a combination of New Zealand and World History. Students will develop their understanding of the history of the Treaty of Waitangi and the New Zealand Wars, Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa, in the 19th century, with a focus on the Northern War that occurred between Ngāpuhi and the Crown in the Bay of Islands from 1845-1846. Students will explore the factors that led to these wars, as well as the ongoing consequences for people. Students will then study the global trend of anti-semitism, from its origins around the 2nd century AD, through to the impacts that it had on the lives of people during the Holocaust in World War II. During this course, students will also develop their own research skills, by conducting independent research into a significant event, and presenting their findings. 

Students will learn historical skills such as how to accurately interpret sources, assess sources for reliability, understand historical perspectives, and develop judgments and structured arguments in their written work.

  • New Zealand’s Northern War
  • Anti-semitism throughout history
  • Two internally assessed standards

  • Leads to: Tertiary study
  • Cost and Materials: $9 Student Resources
  • Entry Requirements: At least 12 credits in Level 2 History and/or English, or in an approved Level 2Course
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss K Watts
  • UE Approved

Criminal and Forensic Psychology

Criminal/forensic psychology is the fascinating study of everything that is related to criminal behaviour. 

Quite simply we will ask the question: Why do people commit crime? Psychology tries to understand and examine the process, intention, motivations and the reactions of the criminal, and society’s reaction to them.

This year you will study:

  • Aggression and anti-social behaviour
  • Prison system and institutionalisation
  • Criminal profiling

  • Leads to: Tertiary study
  • Cost and Materials: There are no costs
  • Entry Requirements: Level 2 Psychology, English-rich subject, Statistics at Level 2 an advantage
  • Teacher in Charge: Miss S Clifton
  • UE Approved


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