Through the study of social sciences, students develop the knowledge and skills that enable them to better understand and contribute to the local, national, and global communities in which they live and work. Students are engaged to address societal issues and to evaluate the sustainability of alternative social, economic, political, and environmental practices.
The focus of social science enables students to explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society as they learn about people, places, cultures and histories within New Zealand and beyond. Students develop understandings about how societies 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.
Students studying in the Social Sciences Learning Area will gain a broad understanding of society and the environment so that they may take their full place within it as confident, informed, and responsible participants. Social Science subjects include studies on:
people from different cultures, times, and places
human behaviour and different values and viewpoints
the rights, roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society
the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's bicultural heritage and multi-cultural society
peoples' relationship with and impact on the environment; global issues
approaches to problem solving
skills in research, information technology, critical and creative thinking, communication and social participation.
Geography is about what is on, above and below the earth's surface. This means geography is all around us. Geography is a dynamic science that seeks to find out and explain how places and people influence each other. Students learn factual knowledge and also learn about the processes at work in the world around them (i.e. why things happen).
Geography is all about trying to make sense of the complex real world - both natural and cultural. This is achieved by developing and using many different skills and concepts. This broad range of knowledge, skills and ideas is one of the strengths of Geography - it is a very useful subject to study at school because it complements many different subject and career choices. Of course, students can also later specialize in Geography itself and its various branches.
Where can Geography lead?
Because Geography combines the study of both physical, environmental and social sciences, it can lead to a wide variety of jobs including: lawyer, journalist, travel agent, meteorologist, ecologist, surveyor, town planner, aerial photographer, geologist, cartographer to name just a few.
The study of History enables us to better understand our own society, the world and the individual’s place in it. By analysing the causes, consequences, and significance of events to New Zealanders, we can reflect on our past to provide direction for the present and the future.
History is a subject that teaches people to gather, process, interpret and present information; these are important skills in the 21st Century where we are presented with endless “facts” on our devices and must decipher the fake news from the truth.
Why study History? History helps us to:
• distinguish fact from opinion
• detect bias and propaganda
• recognise differing points of view
• develop clear, critical thinking
• make sound judgments
• present balanced and logical arguments
Where can History lead?
Studying History develops skills that are in demand in a wide variety of careers, especially careers related to the law, research, education, advertising, journalism, public service, the police, and the armed services. Skills learnt in History will be valuable no matter what future pathway you undertake.
Social Studies at Years 9 and 10
What is Social Studies? This course explores topics from Geography, History and Politics. This subject is designed to stimulate curiosity and imagination. Students will develop general knowledge, literacy and research skills.
As a core subject in the junior school Social Studies offers students a key part of their identity – Tūrangawaewae (a place to stand).
Social Studies helps us to:
Challenge our own assumptions
Develop our research skills
Recognise differing points of view
Present balanced and logical arguments
Become more culturally aware
Practice our rights and responsibilities
Knowing who we are gives us strength. Knowing how to make a difference empowers us to do so.
Where can Social Studies lead?
Any career path that involves working with people is enhanced by this subject. Tertiary courses follow on from the senior programme with sociology, psychology, history and geography being natural directions.
This pathway provides students with knowledge and skills that are relevant for a wide range of occupations such as human resources, policy making, law, social work, nursing, primary, secondary and tertiary teaching, medicine, personnel management, resource management, journalism, engineering, town planning, architecture and more.
The Sociology course involves students on investigating the forces which shape the development of societies and individuals about the issues which challenge their lives now and in the future. Sociology focuses on current world crises, human rights, societal responsibilities and social justice. We work to foster connection and participation with our communities to build meaningful and positive relationships beyond the classroom so that our students understand the influence on our world. By learning about the ways individuals and groups affect each other we can become more effective individuals in developing a business, growing a family, or in our personal lives.
'Students will be challenged to think clearly and critically about human behaviour and to explore different values and viewpoints. An emphasis is placed on learning about New Zealand society and the countries and regions that have significance for New Zealand.' (SS curriculum document)
Where can Social Studies lead?
Any career path that involves working with people is enhanced by this subject. Specifically, tertiary courses follow on from the senior programme at Universities and Technical Colleges with sociology, psychology, human development, philosophy, political science, education, law and anthropology.
This pathway provides students with knowledge and skills that are relevant for a wide range of occupations such as human resources, social research, social policy formation, law, social work, nursing, primary, secondary and tertiary teaching, medicine, personnel management, resource management, journalism, engineering, town planning, architecture and more.
The students who will most benefit from the Tourism courses offered at Howick College are those who are interested in a career in the travel and tourism industry. It is still an appropriate subject for other students, giving them knowledge of destinations, as well as practical skills that are applicable for a wide range of careers.
The Unit Standards that are assessed in Years 12 and 13 will not only provide credits on the NCEA framework, but can count towards a National Certificate in Tourism and Travel (Introductory Skills) - Level 2.
The successful completion of the Level 3 Unit Standards in Year 13 will allow students to cross-credit these towards a variety of National Certificates in Travel and Tourism (Level 3) that are taught by many tertiary providers such as MIT, Crown Institute and AUT University.