Hero photograph
Year 11 Geography Teams
Photo by Kelk Photography


Mrs Piebenga —

Geography continues to be a popular choice for our students.

Our two Year 11 Geography classes have engaged well in learning about key events in New Zealand that shape our physical spaces and pose challenges to our facilities and infrastructure in the future. Investigating the Kaikoura earthquake and looking at how our national population is changing, have been contexts that enable the students to put their learning in real life perspective. We also ventured into rural spaces to look at how our environment is used sustainably. We appreciated being hosted by Oceana Gold at Macraes Flat and continue to enjoy the long-lasting hospitality of the Aitken family on their Taieri Plains dairy farm. Our students were fortunate to arrive just in time to see a cow calving.

The Year 12 geographers continued their journey looking at both the natural and cultural environments. We enjoyed a great field trip to Karitane to investigate variations along the coastline and were treated to a pod of dolphins who were also enjoying the day. We looked into the evolution of Dunedin as an urban settlement, identifying patterns both physically and over time. This gave the students a good sense of the importance of town planning and hopefully inspired some interest in town planning as a career path. As a class we appreciated our fortunate position as we looked into less developed areas including parts of Tanzania and Brazil. The focus was looking at factors that had led to various levels of development and attempts being made to help those societies who are unable to help themselves.

Year 13 entered the 2019 year enthusiastic and as keen geographers. Our Term 1 field trip to Queenstown was a highlight and enabled us to investigate both our natural process of glaciation and our cultural process of tourism development. To ensure our learning was fully authentic, students took part in tourist activities such as Shotover Jet, Paraflights and Bungy Jumping. We are grateful for the time given by Mr. Sean Williams and Mr. Miranda Smith who joined us for the trip. Further to this, students looked into the planning and decision making process required to host events. Students chose a range of contemporary events from within New Zealand and scrolled their way through vast amounts of documentation to show a good understanding of the process. We also considered human trafficking as an important issue that needs to be addressed.

As 2019 wraps up, I am thankful for the ongoing support and work put in to both Social Studies and Geography by our hard-working department members who are passionate about our courses and the students we teach which leads us to have the pleasure to deliver a robust and interesting programme.

Mrs L. Piebenga

HOD Geography and Social Studies