Social Sciences Staff


Faculty Leader Eleanor Rattray Geography & Junior Social Studies
Assistant Head of Faculty Penny Olson History & Junior Social Studies
Teachers Monique Wing  
  Julia Mason  
  Charlotte Murray GATEWAY & Junior Social Studies
  Christopher Smith Junior Social Studies
  Raman Virk  
  Aneta Dezoete Gateway
   Ken Lim  



Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

My past is my present is my future. I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.

History provides a framework that gives an insight into the social, economic and political issues shaping the world today. Through studying History, students think critically about the construction of historical knowledge and the significance of past events for them in the present day.

Enhancing skills through study

This subject enhances critical thinking, writing and research skills, as well as preparing students for informed and active citizenship in a changing world.

Topics studied:

Level 1:
African American Civil Rights in USA from 1954-1970
The Mau Movement in Samoa
A New Zealand history event of their choice
Level 2:
Protests from the 20th Century
The Holocaust
The Salem Witch Trials (1692)
Level 3:
The French Revolution
Te Tiriti O Waitangi
A unit focused on historical source interpretation (context changes each year)
Students may have the opportunity to participate in Scholarship Exams



“Geography is a great adventure with a purpose.” – Michael Palin.

Geography involves learning about the complex relationships between people and places and how they impact communities and environments.

Geography is a science. Students will learn that natural processes create unique environments and natural features such as the Amazon Basin and New Zealand’s beaches. Through studying extreme natural events such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami, they will see how nature can also be destructive and deadly.

Geography is also a social science, one in which students analyse interactions between humans and nature. Aspects of this include analysing perspectives around geographic issues, understanding patterns of global health, and development issues such as malaria, fair pay for coffee farmers, and resource distribution. Students study places such as Norway, and Samoa to understand how the environment you live in can make you rich or poor, healthy or sick.

Field work makes geography unique. Students have the opportunity to conduct research on trips to Waiheke, around Auckland, and to Omaha and Rotorua.

“There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. Interest in issues like climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion means geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study.” – Adapted from the National Geographic Society, 2012

Topics Studied:

Level 1:
Boxing Day Tsunami
New Zealand's Population Structure
The Global Pattern and Impacts of Malaria
Geographic Research into Tourist Facilities on Waiheke Island
Perspectives on the use of 1080 Poison to Control Possums
Level 2:
The Amazon Basin
Differences in Development between Samoa and Norway
The Global Pattern and Impacts of Coffee Production
Geographic Research into the Soundscapes of Auckland
Perspectives on Freedom Camping in New Zealand
Level 3:
Geographic Research into the Coastal Processes that operate at Omaha Beach and Matheson's Bay
Tourism Development in Rotorua
Perspectives on Dairying and Fresh Water Management in New Zealand
Global Patterns of Global Health, Resource Distribution and / or Environmental Degradation (Student choice)
Students May also have the opportunity to participate in Scholarship Exams


Senior Social Studies 

Senior Social Studies is taught at Level 3 only and is a University Entrance subject. Students study social issues from around the world, including poverty and discrimination in New Zealand and the issue of gun control in the United States of America. Students also conduct their own research and social action on a social issue that is important to them. Senior Social Studies gives students a wider appreciation of the world and key social issues. The aim is that students will continue to take social action in their future.