Hero photograph
Photo by Sara Hornsey

Social Studies - Year 10


In Social Studies we look at how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens. We focus on people, places, cultures and histories, within and beyond New Zealand, in past, present and future contexts.

The Year 10 teaching and learning Social Studies program is a compulsory course, structured into 3 periods (lessons) per week. The course builds on the ideas and concepts learnt in Year 9.

TEACHING AND LEARNING PROGRAMME: the topics taught combine themes, concepts and skills that meet the aims and objectives at Level 5 of the New Zealand Curriculum. We select a range of geography and history related case studies, based on relevant and often topical issues, that allow students to develop their literacy, numeracy and digital skill set.

New to the course in 2022, is the initial phase of implementing the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum. Here, students will focus on critical citizenship - understanding the past to make sense of the present and to inform future decisions and actions. There are three elements to the ANZH curriculum content: Understand, Know, and Do. Our teachers will be designing learning experiences that weave these elements together so that student learning is deep and meaningful and reflects our commitment to Aotearoa New Zealand's bicultural partnership and to the principles of Tiriti o Waitangi. 

Topic 1: My Precious- The focus of this unit is on Place and Environment. ​Students study the impact of humans on the Antarctic landscape, including how the natural environment's resources are used for both commercial and scientific purposes. Students examine the Ross Sea, and further explore the consequences of climate change on this unique place. Students are assessed in a way which fosters creativity and critical thinking about contemporary issues, through a Values Exploration task.

Topic 2: Decade Study- The focus of this unit is on Continuity and Change. Students learn about past events, experiences, and actions and the changing ways in which these have been interpreted over time. By the end of this unit, students will be able to analyse the cause and effect of significant events. They engage in this topic primarily through an Inquiry-based assessment, where students can choose significant aspects from any decade of interest. They will work to complete an historical inquiry by researching, processing and synthesizing information from a range of primary and secondary sources. Students are encouraged to develop their own interpretations and appreciation about key historical moments in the past, and to imagine possible futures.

Topic 3: Is Racism Over Yet? The focus of this unit is on Identity, Culture, and Organisation. Students learn about diverse cultures, histories and identities of people and how minority groups in society have been marginalised, starting with the effects of colonisation. The unit has been redeveloped, using the lens of a social inquiry model in an attempt to answer the broad question - Is Racism Over Yet? Students will start by learning about the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade in North America, and then move on to looking at how this has impacted contemporary civil rights issues in America. Students will also have an opportunity to learn about race relations in New Zealand and the impact of Government policy on Māori and Pasifika communities. They will be encouraged to engage in dialogue around how historical injustices shape and impact future generations and societies, in a compassionate and intellectual manner. There is a formal communication assessment that encourages critical thinking, while also allowing for personal reflection. 

Topic 4: Crisis: Global Water Security- The focus of this unit is on The Economic World. Students learn about the production, distribution and consumption of fresh water as a valuable, non-renewable resource. This unit examines the many uses of water, the ways it is perceived and valued, its spatial distribution and problems of both physical and economic water scarcity. Students will discuss contemporary issues including drought in the North Island. Further, they engage in a research project giving them choice to investigate the nature and impacts of water insecurity in the developed or developing world.

ASSESSMENT: our assessment programme offers an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, as well as communication skills, with a view to building confidence and capacity as students move through to the senior Social Science learning environments. The five reporting criteria are:

Criteria 1: Knowledge and Understanding
Criteria 2: Communication- formal writing
Criteria 3: Values Exploration
Criteria 4: Inquiry- gathering and processing skills
Criteria 5: Essential geographical and historical skills

FILM STUDY is an important audio-visual resource that complements aspects of our teaching units and supports our visual and kinesthetic learners. Our teachers take great care when selecting both documentaries and films. The students will engage in a film study in the following topics:

- Change the Facts (2019),

Sir David Attenborough (BBC), integrated into the My Precious unit, looks at the global consequences of climate change.

- Decade Study - student/class choice

- The Hate You Give (2018), 

A contemporary and highly accessible film that looks at race relations in the USA, integrated into the Is Racism Over Yet? unit. 

PROGRESSION: Social Studies will prepares students for entry into the 2023 Year 11 Social Science option subjects: Geography, and History.

COURSE COSTS: there are stationery costs associated with this course. Please refer to the school stationery requirements list.

FURTHER INFORMATION: please see HOD Social Studies, Mrs Coombes, or get in touch cmr@cghs.school.nz