Tawa College Tawa College

10 Social Sciences (CORE)

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Kōkā E. Stanbridge.

Recommended Prior Learning

Year 9 Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Learning in the Social Sciences helps students to thrive in the diverse communities and environments of Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. This includes understanding the mutual responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi of tangata whenua and tauiwi as they live together.  Learning in the Social Sciences develops skills in conceptual thinking, research, exploring perspectives and critical and creative thinking to take social action.  Ākonga will draw on understandings of the past, to make sense of the present and inform future decisions and actions.

There is wide scope in the Social Sciences to learn in a range of contexts that suit students and allow them to bring their own diverse experiences and understandings of the world into the classroom.

Course Overview

Term 1
Colonisation & Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Students build on prior learning about Te Tiriti o Waitangi to focus on what this has meant for New Zealand today, in particular the promises of rangatiratanga, mana motuhake and self-determination. Students will gain an understanding of the historical events which lead up to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the legacy of colonisation which has had impacts on today's society. It is important in Social Studies to make sense of today's world, so there will be a balanced focus on history and current day case studies.

Term 2
Government & Power

Students will develop an understanding of systems of government, how they differ and how they affect people's lives. We will study New Zealand's system of government in detail and understand how people's use of power has had varied impacts on society.
During the Term each class goes on a day visit to a guided tour of the District Court, old High Court and Supreme Court followed by a tour of parts of Parliament House and observing question time from the public gallery. Other themes of this unit include human rights, equality, and justice, and students will learn various aspects of New Zealand's history as well as current case studies.

Term 3
Tūmātauenga & Conflict

This unit of learning studies the concept of conflict over time, while weaving mātauranga Māori through Tūmātauenga, the atua Māori of mankind and war. Students will learn about how power and its misuse has historically caused conflict, the extent of the impact of conflict on economies, society and cultures, and how the nature of conflict and how we commemorate it has changed over time. This is learned through local, national, and global case studies.

Term 4
A Protest Nation

This unit of learning studies New Zealand's rich and varied history of protest to create change in society. Students will learn about how different values, traditions and perspectives can lead to different actions towards justice, and that there is power in taking individual action towards change one wants to see. Historical examples drawn on could include the Polynesian Panthers, the Rainbow Warrior, and the Māori Language Movement. There is an important aspect of social action in this unit, where students will design and implement a social action towards a cause they are passionate about, in order to deepen their understanding of citizenship and the power of community.

Learning Areas:

Social Sciences

Assessment Information

Students will work towards the Social Studies progressions, which formatively report on student progress towards learning goals. There is one main task per unit of learning.


Level 1 Global Studies 101, Level 1 Psychology 101, Level 1 Geography 101, Level 1 History 101

Social Sciences leads to Social Science subjects in the senior school. Senior Social Science subjects include Geography, History, Global Studies and Psychology in Year 11 and in addition to this, Legal Studies, Classics and Tourism in Year 12. Skills developed in the Social Sciences are transferrable and applicable across many other subjects.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Computer (as per school BYOD guidelines), A4 exercise book, pens, pencils, glue stick and scissors.