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Social Studies

Jump to: Form 4


Social Studies is about how people in different cultures, times and places, think, feel and act, how they organize their way of life, interact with others and initiate or respond to change. This course is compulsory in Forms 3 and 4 for all students. After these junior years, students can choose to branch off into separate courses in both Cambridge and NCEA for Economics, Geography and History.

Seven broad aims can be identified for the Social Studies course:

  • Study people’s organisation in groups and the rights, roles and responsibilities as they interact
  • Identify the contribution of culture and heritage to identity
  • Learn about the way people interact with places and the environment, manage resources and participate in economic activities
  • Study the relationships between people and events, through time, and interpretations of these relationships
  • Develop not only academic skills but also social skills
  • Create an ongoing interest in the subject and the concepts behind it as well as nurture critical thought
  • Prepare boys for Pre-Q and NCEA social science programmes in Form 5

Form 4

Descriptions/aims: Form 4 Geography and History are about how people in different cultures, times, and places, think, feel, and act, how they organise their ways of life, interact with others, and initiate or respond to change. Four broad aims may be identified:

  • To develop knowledge of the world and nation within which we live
  • To promote thinking and understanding of how and why different cultures and individuals make, or have made, decisions to meet their needs
  • To develop academic and social skills
  • To create an ongoing interest in the Social Science disciplines of Geography and History

The Form 4 Geography and History courses introduces the senior Social Science subjects of Geography and History. Students get a taste of both subjects, study topics that have value in their own right. Where the timetable allows, this will involve classes being taught Geography and History by specialist teachers. Covering some Pre-Q content in Form 4 also allows those students who continue in these subjects more in-depth learning in Form 5.

Course outline:


  • Plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes – the natural processes involved. Their effects and how people can prepare and cope with the consequences
  • Population change, the population explosion, youthful and ageing populations and their consequences. Government policies to influence birth rates
  • The Geomorphic Cycle – weathering processes and the agents of erosion (glacial processes, wind processes, river processes)
  • Geographic skills

The Pre-Q History Syllabus covers the History of the 20th Century through the lens of key questions that seek to summarise international relations, New Zealand’s political, social and economic development and elements of the history of Auckland. In Form 4, students will learn about the history of World War I, the interwar years and the outbreak of World War II and New Zealand’s place in these histories.

World War I 1914-1918

  • Key Question 1: Did one bullet cause World War I?
  • Key Question 2: Why didn’t the strategy of attrition win World War I?

International Relations, 1919-1939

  • Key Question 3: “The Diktat” How significant was the Treaty of Versailles?
  • Key Question 4: Could anything have stopped Hitler from causing World War II?

Methods of assessment: Every Form 4 student will complete a common test and or an examination at the end of every unit of work. In addition, individual teachers carry out book checks and tests for their classes. Examinations have Geography and History papers, employing questions that are designed to develop Pre-Q skills to support learning in Form 5.

Continuation of subject: Form 4 Geography and History leads into Form 5 Pre-Q Geography and History and NCEA Level 1 Humanities.

If you have any further questions please contact our staff today.