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Social Science

Geography - South Island Trip

Social Science

The Social Sciences help students develop 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.

Social Science spans a number of disciplines.  In Years 9 and 10 Social Science is a core subject.  In Year 11 students can study History, Geography and Psychology.  Joining these subjects in Year 12 and 13 are Classical Studies, Travel and Tourism and Pacific Studies. 

Director: Ms G Hanna, BA(Hons); Dip Tchg

Classical Studies

Classical Studies involves the study of Ancient Greece and Rome – civilisations that have contributed to the foundation of western culture through government and legal systems, philosophy, literature, science, mathematics, art and architecture. 
Students study aspects of social life in these societies, some of the famous pieces of literature and interpretations of art and architecture.
Classical Studies is offered at Year 12 and Year 13 as part of either the NCEA Levels 2 and 3 course, or the Cambridge syllabus.


Geography Trip to Maori Bay

Geography focuses on the relationship between people and the environment. Studies have either a natural focus, such as looking at extreme natural events or natural landscapes, or a human focus such as population and tourism studies.

A range of fieldtrips are offered, including day trips to Muriwai, Rangitoto Island, a dairy farm and Auckland city, and longer trips to the South Island High Country, Rotorua and Fiji.

Geography is offered from Year 11. A range of courses are available to cater for student needs including a core geography (reduced credits) course at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3, and Cambridge courses from Year 11, in addition to full NCEA courses Levels 1 to 3.


The History Department offers senior courses in both NCEA and CIE qualifications. 
In the NCEA strand, Level 1 (Year 11) gives students are an understanding of three different twentieth century contexts: Black Civil Rights in America, New Zealand's emerging identity on the world stage, and the origins of the Second World War. Level 2 offers a deeper analysis of three further episodes: the conflict in Vietnam and IndoChina, the Russian Revolution, and Weimar and Nazi Germany. Level 3 gives a comprehensive coverage of New Zealand in the nineteenth century: a new world paradise or a catalogue of catastrophes? This is supplemented by student research on Tudor England.
In the CIE strand, the IGCSE (Year 11) course covers a survey of twentieth century international relations, focusing on the origins of the Second World War, and the Cold War. A further 'depth study' on Nazi Germany completes the course. In the AS course, students come to terms with the history of the United States between 1840 and 1970.
Whichever qualification strand students opt for, the department delivers an engaging interaction with important historical episodes, and hopes to stimulate ongoing interest in world events, whether they are from the very recent or the more distant past.

Pacific Studies

Pacific Studies offers students the chance to explore the nature of Pacific societies both in NZ and in Pacific nations. Students have the opportunity to investigate changes and developments that have affected Pacific societies. A key focus is looking at the ways groups establish and maintain their culture and identity within Pacific society.
Assessment in this course, which is offered at Year 12 and Year 13, is drawn from a range of Pacific Studies, Geography and History standards.
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Psychology is the study of the science of mind and behaviour. It develops critical thinking, logical argument and constructive criticism skills as well as a broad knowledge of the scientific principles underlying the modern study of human and animal behaviour.
Avondale College has been an innovator in the development and implementation of Psychology as a senior level subject. In a wide-ranging course offering a strong foundation in Psychology as a science, the subject can be studied from Year 11 through to Year 13 as part of the NCEA, and from Year 12 as part of the Cambridge syllabus.

Travel & Tourism

This subject is offered in Year 12 and Year 13 and is suitable to those students who are interested in a career in the travel industry. The course, over two years, gives students the opportunity to gain a National Certificate in Tourism. It focuses on exploring tourist destinations in New Zealand, Australia and the Southwest Pacific and builds up the skills required to work in the travel industry.
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