Level 1 Social Studies

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Mr C. Haines

Social Studies is about people. Who they are, what they do, how they change, and what happens to them. Social Studies looks at people in the context of societies in local, national, and global contexts. In this course, students examine the causes and effects of social issues relating to identity, culture, societal structure and organisation, to investigate how people respond to change. 

This Social Studies course has 3 BIG IDEAS:
Cultures and identities can change, and this shapes societies,
Societies are made up of diverse systems and structures, which impact individuals and groups.  Global processes and flows interact and shape society.

Underpinning this course is the process of Social Inquiry. Social inquiry involves researching; exploring different values and perspectives; examining how people make decisions and the consequences; engaging with how people respond to challenges; and evaluation and reflection. 

Idea 1: Culture & Identity

Idea 2: Power, Privilege and Control

Idea 3: We’re all connected

Social Studies considers identities and cultures in the broadest terms, encouraging wide exploration and understanding, and promoting diversity and inclusion. Culture and identity are closely connected; students examine the relationship between them, and how they are shaped by perspectives and worldviews, beliefs and values, wairuatanga, and religion.

Students develop understanding of the contested and controversial nature of concepts such as ‘rights’ and ‘justice’ in systems, and their relationship with decisions and actions in the past. They can explore how power, privilege, and control in decision-making are central to the impacts on and the different experiences of people. This Big Idea involves a critical examination of the challenges faced by some, such as marginal groups, and barriers to participation.

Global processes, and flows of ideas, people, and media interact with and shape past and present societies and possible futures. We live in an interconnected world where community, local, and national contexts are shaped by global forces. Students can explore key global social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental processes that shape places and societies in the past and today. Some examples are: climate change, global youth culture, migration, global indigenous movements, social media, global influences on nation state independence, conflict, and technological changes.




Number of Credits

Undertake a social inquiry into how a global flow or process interacts with and shapes society



Explore perspectives on a contemporary social issue



Interpret resources to demonstrate understanding of Social Studies ideas




Reflect on participation in a social action




  1. All credits gained in Social Studies will count towards an ākonga’s NCEA Level 1 certificate in 2022.
  2. As a pilot subject, ākonga need to enter and participate in all four of the assessment standards
  3. Ākonga will need to be prepared to work in groups.
  4. Ākonga will be expected to interact with members of the community. It is hoped that members of the community will act as mentors for the ākonga taking Social Studies.
  5. Level 1 Social Studies will provide an introduction to those ākonga wanting to take Level 2 Geography and /or Level 2 History


Learning Areas:

Social Sciences


Level 2 Geography, Level 2 History