The Social Sciences learning area is about how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens. Studying social science subjects will provide students with a wide range of opportunities to broaden their experiences and skills to enable them to be contributing, engaged and socially aware members of society. 

Social Studies is studied by all students in Years 9 and 10 at Hawera High School. It is the investigation of groups of people and the way in which they think, feel and act. Whilst New Zealand is a main focus, other societies at different places and times are studied as well as global issues and current events. 

Social Studies provides the foundation for the separate Social Science disciplines that students can choose to specialise in at Year 11, 12 and 13.

Social Sciences Department Staff
Mr Grant Collie - Head of Department and e-Dean responsible for Virtual Learning Network

Mr Ricardo Pintor - Teacher in Charge of History 

Mr Kris Campbell
Mr Ed Fern  

Mrs Susan Hopkins

Mr Chris Robinson

Mr Andrew Hunger

Mrs Kathryn Scown

The aim of the Hawera High School Business Studies Department is to help create financially literate students so that we support the goal of making New Zealanders financially well-educated. Students will then make better informed financial decisions and improving their future financial well-being and to help develop financial leaders for New Zealand. 

This is achieved by providing students with the skills and knowledge required for financial literacy, which is the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant economy.  

‘The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.’ Henry David Thoreau

Business Studies Department Staff

Mr Kai Elgar - Head of Department


Accounting enhances financial literacy by enabling students to develop the knowledge and skills to manage the financial affairs of individuals, communities and businesses. Accounting gives students the tools to make real-life financial decisions in a constantly changing and uncertain world, as they learn the accounting processes and financial statements that are used by a range of businesses, from sole traders in Year 11 to partnerships and companies in Year 13.


Classical Studies is only studied at Year 13. Students must be capable of writing academic essays to achieve in this course. Classical Studies is the study of Roman architecture, religion and literature. Pieces of architecture from throughout the Roman Empire, their religious ideologies and influences across time are examined. 


Studying Economics enables students to attain a level of economic literacy and understanding which allows them to develop a continuing and critical interest in contemporary economic issues. 

Financial Literacy is an option choice at Year 10. This is a foundation course, offering a brief introduction to Accounting and Economics by helping students understand the financial world they live in. The course also provides some general consumer financial information that is beneficial to all people: knowledge about credit, insurance and consumer laws.

Economics in the senior school helps students to understand how the economy operates, the participants in the economy of consumers, producers, government, financial institutions and the overseas sector, and how the various groups interact. This is done by creating economic models: supply and demand in Year 11 which is developed in Year 12 and Year 13 to money markets, the labour market and AD/AS models. 


This is a new Level 1 course in 2021, that encourages students to develop a course of study that meets their individual needs and interests.  Some subjects may be combined with Virtual Learning Network (VLN) classes.  Students can follow a personal thematic, modular or discipline-based course comprising of Religious Studies, Classical Studies, Psychology, Media Studies, Legal Studies, Senior Social Studies, History and/or Geography standards.


Geography is the study of people and the natural environment. In years 11 to 13, a wide variety of topics and settings are taught based on a set of big ideas including environments, sustainability, natural and cultural processes and change.  Geography at Hawera High School includes developing skills in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and practical geographic/survey skills.


History is the study of a range of key historical events and the impact of individuals and groups on these events. Perspectives and historical interpretations are covered. Themes include race relations, conflict and protest. History is an elective subject at Years 11 to Year 13. The following field trips take place during the year - Year 11 History: three day field trip to Wellington, Year 12 History: three day field trip to Waiouru and Wellington, Year 13 History: six day field trip to Northland/Auckland & Waikato.


The Virtual Learning Network (VLN) is a group of schools from around New Zealand that can offer students subjects that are not always available in a particular school for a variety of reasons.  One lesson a week, a student is online with their e-teacher and for the remainder of their timetabled lessons, in that particular subject, they are in another class working electronically through Google Classroom.  This option is only suitable for students who can self-manage their learning, but there is support in school from the e-Dean and the teacher in the timetabled class, can assist where possible.

At Year 11, access to VLN is limited to students in the Social Sciences Flexi-class or with special dispensation in, for example Languages, from the Year 11 Dean or Principal.  In Years 12 & 13, VLN is a subject choice in what would be a study line.  Permission from the Year 12/13 Deans would be required if this was in addition to an already agreed study line.  An internal class in a subject is the priority and a student can choose a VLN option if this is not possible.