Social Sciences | Wellington College

Social Sciences

Social Sciences cover Social Studies, Geography, History and Commerce.

Social Studies - HOD: Craig Blacklock
Students learn valuing, communication, research, communication, interpretation and reasoning skills, and there is a strong emphasis on mapping and graphing.  Social Studies provides a skills and knowledge base that leads on to subjects such as Geography, History and Economics.  Current events are studied throughout the year.
Year 9 topics:  Kiwiana, the 1960s, New Zealanders at War: Vietnam War, Government and Law, Treaty of Waitangi.
Year 10 topics: New Zealanders at War: The Gallipoli Campaign, Racism (Chinese in NZ and the Holocaust), Money, Use and Abuse of Water.
Geography - HOD: Craig Blacklock
Geography is the study of the environment as the home of people.  It seeks to interpret the world and how it changes over time.  It explores the relationships and connections between people and both natural and cultural environments.  Geography stimulates a sense of wonder about the world.  It inspires students to shape a better future and recognise their responsibilities to other people, the environment and long-term sustainability of the planet.  It encourages students to investigate contemporary geographic issues and consider possible solutions, as well as explore the various perspectives of different groups of people.  Geography equips students with skills for the 21st century, such as the use of maps, images and emerging digital technologies.
History - HOD: Stephen Tester
History can be taken from Years 9 to 13.  In most cases, students can start studying History at any stage, regardless of whether they have studied it before.  Through studying History, students understand that different people in different places and times have held varying perspectives about the issues that affected them.  Each course covers aspects of history from New Zealand and around the world.  Students follow the Wellington College inquiry model to develop their understanding of an area of history that is of interest to them. Our courses develop skills in source analysis and communication and cater for the needs of different learners.  All courses are popular and students experience considerable success.  Teachers in the History Department believe that stories from our past are more memorable when learning takes place where the history took place.  We offer field trips around Wellington, New Zealand and the world so that our students can empathise with the experiences people had in the past.
Commerce - HOD: Stephanie Glover
Subjects administered by the Commerce Department:
-  Commerce: Year 10
-  Accounting: Year 11 – Year 13
-  Business: Year 12 – Year 13
-  Economics Year 11 – Year 13
Year 10 Commerce is an introductory course covering Accounting, Business Studies and Economics.  Students enjoy the hands-on approach to studying Commerce and the life skills learnt.
Accounting begins in Year 11, when students learn the process of preparing financial reports for a sole proprietor from source documents, and how to analyse and interpret those financial reports.  The course gives a good understanding of the basics of Accounting.  In Year 12, students advance their understanding on Accounting for a sole proprietor, and they also learn how to use the accounting software package MYOB to set up a small business and process transactions.  In Year 13, students are introduced to Accounting for partnerships and companies.  They analyse a company’s annual report to fully understand what the report is showing.  Is this company a good investment? What do the final reports mean?
Business is an option subject for students in Year 12 and Year 13.  Students work towards NCEA qualifications.  The learning is project based with students engaging in running their own activities to learn how a business runs.  At Year 13, students are involved in the Young Enterprise Scheme, which sees them work in teams to design a product or service, complete a Business Plan and present this to a team of judges.  They then endeavour to successfully market their product or service over the course of the year. This is an excellent introduction to the world of business and entrepreneurship.
Year 11 Economics concentrates on the relationship between consumers and producers, and how these groups interact in the market place.  It identifies the characteristics of households, businesses and government, and how scarce resources are allocated via the price mechanism. The emphasis is on developing thinking, investigative, statistical, and decision-making skills.
Year 12 Economics investigates the issues of employment, inflation, growth, trade and government policy confronting our economy.  The course begins with a basic conceptual introduction to Economics, and identification of the underlying principles of the subject.  It provides students with a better understanding of government policy and consumer and producer decision making.
Year 13 Economics provides students with a clear understanding of the behaviour of individual producers and the Government in the modern economy. The course comprises three sections: Resource allocation via markets, Resource allocation via the public sector, and Aggregate demand and supply analysis. The emphasis is on developing research, analytical and statistical skills, and the course is a precursor for tertiary study in Economics.