The Social Sciences
The Social Sciences learning area at HVHS comprises a diverse range of senior subjects. A foundation for understanding is built in our two year junior Social Studies programme. It 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. The Social Sciences offer skills for the 21st Century such as inquiry learning, problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration.
Years 9- 10
Junior Social Studies
Through Social Studies students develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to better understand, participate in, and contribute to the local, national, and global communities in which they live and work; engage critically with societal issues; and evaluate the sustainability of alternative social, economic, political, and environmental practices.
Students explore the unique bicultural nature of New Zealand society. They learn about people, places, cultures, histories, and the economic world, within and beyond New Zealand. They develop understandings about how societies are organised and 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.
A diverse range of topics are covered which see students cover the four conceptual strands of the New Zealand curriculum in preparation for the senior social sciences.
Identity, Culture, and Organisation – Students learn about society and communities and how they function. They also learn about the diverse cultures and identities of people within those communities and about the effects of these on the participation of groups and individuals.
Place and Environment – Students learn about how people perceive, represent, interpret, and interact with places and environments. They come to understand the relationships that exist between people and the environment.
Continuity and Change – Students learn about past events, experiences, and actions and the changing ways in which these have been interpreted over time. This helps them to understand the past and the present and to imagine possible futures.
The Economic World – Students learn about the ways in which people participate in economic activities and about the consumption, production, and distribution of goods and services. They develop an understanding of their role in the economy and of how economic decisions affect individuals and communities.
Students have the opportunity to conduct a social inquiry into an issue they are passionate about in both Year 9 and Year 10.
Accounting enables you to develop knowledge and real world skills to manage the financial affairs of individuals, community organisations and small businesses. Students at HVHS learn how to: prepare & maintain financial records; manage financial affairs; act with integrity; contribute to the wider community.
Students learn skills which directly relate to real jobs all over the world!!
In Business Studies students learn about how businesses operate in the 'real' world through lots of interesting examples and their own research. The focus at each level is Year 11 - a small local business; Year 12 - large national businesses; Year 13 - global businesses.
Students will run their own businesses in groups. Turning their product ideas into real products of their own. These products are sold at the HVHS Market Day in Year 11, local markets at Year 12 and through the Young Enterprise Scheme at Year 13. The latter can see students develop their own business over 8 months and may involve them finding a local producer to make the product and sell it around New Zealand.
Students visit local business owners or hear from guest speakers who are successful business people.
Classical studies encourages students to make links between past and present civilizations, to imagine a possible future. By exploring diverse values and traditions, viewed from their own cultural perspectives and those of others, classical studies prepares students for informed and active citizenship in New Zealand and the modern world.
In Classical Studies students primarily learn about the ancient societies of Greece and Rome. Students study a mixture of mythology, legends, religion, literature, history, art/architecture and social lives. The Year 11 Programme focuses on Greece and Rome as well as looking at other ancient societies such as the Aztecs, Egyptians and Carthaginians. There are major units on life in Ancient Greece, Myths and Legends and Roman Entertainment. Years 12 and 13 build on the skills and knowledge studied during Year 11. The Year 12 course concentrates on Ancient Greece and Year 13, Ancient Rome.
Classical studies fosters thinking and inquiry skills by exploring classical sources and by debating issues. They also learn to select, organise, and communicate information clearly and logically and to evaluate the reliability of evidence to make informed judgments based on critical thinking.
In Economics students learn to solve real issues that people and countries’ face e.g. rising house prices in Auckland, the Christchurch rebuild, the impact of drought on the NZ dairy industry. They develop an understanding of the New Zealand economy and the policies that the Government uses to achieve higher standards of living e.g. Fiscal Policy (changes in tax rates) and Monetary Policy (changes in interest rates). Importantly, students also gain an understanding of where New Zealand fits in the global marketplace through international trade, exchange rates and Free Trade Agreements.
Economics explores issues of sustainability (efficient use of scarce resources),enterprise (identifying profit maximising level of output), citizenship (economic decisions affecting New Zealand society), and globalisation (the benefits and cost of international trade)
At the heart of Economics are certain concepts or big ideas. These are the ideas and understandings that will remain with students long after they have left school and much of the detail has been forgotten. Economics puts students’ hands on the levers of power; the skills of economics are highly valued in the international job market.
Geography examines how people interact with their environment. At HVHS, it is split between the study of topics about the natural environment and topics about the cultural environment with case study material sourced from New Zealand and all corners of the world.
Topics studied include: At Year 11 - Global patterns and impacts of terrorism, the sustainable use of the Ganges River and researching land use change in Martinborough. At Year 12 - Volcanism as part of a large New Zealand natural environment and issues surrounding freedom camping. At Year 13 - tourism in Rotorua and global piracy.
The courses at Years 12 and 13 build upon the geographic knowledge, concepts and skills studied during Year 11. Some of the skills include mapping, graphing and interpreting key concepts. Education beyond the classroom is a key aspect of Geography with a field trip at each level: Martinborough (Yr 11); Tongariro (Yr 12); Rotorua (Yr 13).
Geography has a key role to play in our understanding of the world as a whole, while challenging students to identify problems and solutions relating to a diverse array of situations.
The study of history at HVHS encompasses events occurring in New Zealand and/or global events involving or influencing New Zealanders. Themes from which topics are drawn include: Protest and change (Yr.11); Fight for freedom (Yr.12); Turning points (Yr.13).
An awareness of history inspires students to become confident, questioning, and empathetic individuals. History invites students to ask, and helps them answer, today’s questions by engaging with the past and imagining and speculating on possible futures. It connects students with the wider world as they develop their own identities and sense of place.
History prepares students for the future. It equips them with knowledge and skills that are valuable and useful throughout life. These include research techniques, the skills needed to process and synthesise varied and complex information, the skills needed to give clear and effective oral and written reasoning. The ability to think critically, disseminate information and articulate ideas are of central importance in what is a complicated modern world. With these skills, students enhance their employability and are able to participate actively and critically in their societies.
The Tourism course is designed for students who are interested in working within the exciting and dynamic tourism industry. Not only are the skills and knowledge gained within this course useful for working within the tourism industry, they are also real world skills which are sought after by employers and further education providers.
Learning about exciting travel destinations within NZ and abroad is only one focus of the unit standards based Tourism course. The Year 12 and 13 courses also focus on developing an understanding of the business of tourism, and the fundamental knowledge needed to work within the tourism industry.
Tourism is an important industry locally and globally. With almost 1 in 10 New Zealanders employed within this industry the study of Tourism offers valuable learning opportunities for students, and insight into options for future study and employment pathways.