What does Social Sciences look like at Ponsonby?
Social Sciences at Ponsonby establishes a foundation for the separate Social Sciences disciplines offered at High School. We explore the unique nature of New Zealand society that has evolved through the Musket Wars, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Land Wars and Our Communities. Our focus is on learning about people, places, cultures, and histories of New Zealand and the world around us. We explore how people respond differently (through our school, and that their values and viewpoints are all equally important in understanding both ourselves and others. The overall aim of Social Sciences at Ponsonby is to encourage students to work towards becoming actively involved contributors in New Zealand society and global communities.
Why do we teach it?
Social Sciences (New Zealand Histories) is a subject that teaches students about New Zealand’s diverse and complex history. It teaches them to look at New Zealand history from a range of perspectives, how to create deep and meaningful questions and how research the information required to answer questions in depth. Social Sciences is about the world but most importantly it is about people, their interactions, relationships and impact on each other and the world at large.
He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people, it is people.
How do we teach it?
Social Sciences is taught in stages using the Westhaven Inquiry Model. We use New Zealand School Journals and a range of New Zealand based books and educational websites (as suggested from the New Zealand Histories website) to support understanding. Students learn to work independently, cooperatively and in groups for discussion and a variety of tasks. Classes are initially grouped into reading groups (based on their English PAT results and OTJ. A range of online teaching and learning tools are in place to assist students via Zoom (as a support tool), an online planner and WebQuests using critical thinking skills/strategies, Graphic Organizers and self assessment tools using Rubrics (ie G.E.M.S) to support learning and understanding. Using these tools provides opportunities for one on one time and feedback/forward and self-reflection for students.
From the Ponsonby Curriculum. Published 2022.