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Social Studies

The Social Studies program strives to achieve the following goals: global thinking and problem solving, the application of skills to content, the development of skills to master content, and the understanding of the inter-relationship of content areas.  In all grades, the courses are taught and evaluated separately but discussion and evaluation assumes an integration of knowledge and skills.


SOCIAL STUDIES 9                                                                                            MSS- -09

The focus in the Social Studies 9 course is "The Growth of Nations". The following themes are studied:

  • Geography: Knowledge and skills, locating information
  • North America: The geographic setting, Aboriginal history and culture, early European settlement of North America, New France, and British North America to 1815
  • Nation Building and Social Order: The development of democratic concepts, the growth of nationalism
  • Industrialization: The Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, the social effects of the Industrial Revolution, industrialization and empire building, modern day industrialism
  • Current Events and Field Studies related to the curriculum


SOCIAL STUDIES 10                                                                                          MSS- -10

The following topics will be studied:

  • Canada: Identity, society, culture, from 1815 to 1914
  • Confederation: The achievement of responsible government, the events leading to Confederation
  • Structure of federal, provincial, and municipal governments
  • Development of the West to 1914: The geographic setting, the opening of the West,  and Confederation
  • Canada's Economic Activities: An overview of Canada's economic relationship with the USA, Asia; British Columbia's economic activities
  • Current Events and Field Studies related to the curriculum


SOCIAL STUDIES 11                                                                                           MSS- -11

This course is designed to make the student aware of and appreciate contemporary Canadian society and how its institutions and practices have evolved over the past century.

Three sub-topics have been assigned to this curriculum covering from 1915 to present. They include:

1)      Geography: Geographic concepts will be interwoven with the study of History

2)      History: The goal of Socials 11 is to have students become familiar with the major Canadian events of the 20th century and to examine how Canada works within the world setting. There will also be focus on the social development of Quebec and the francophone identity within Canada

3)      Government and Politics: Function, structure, political parties and political philosophies, basic principles and organization of the Canadian political system will be studied. The importance of citizenship will be stressed.

There is a mandatory provincial exam at the end of Grade 11. 


BA PSYCHOLOGY 11                                                                                        YPSYC1A

This introductory course focuses on the study of human behaviour, mind and thought. It draws broadly on research and theoretical work of scientists and practitioners to provide the student with practical psychological information. Core topics include learning theories, motivation and emotions, nervous system, personality, social problems, abnormal behaviour, cross-cultural and developmental psychology, intelligence, creativity and perception. At the conclusion of this course, students will have a basic understanding of psychology as it relates to their personal, social, and educational life and be able to apply their understanding in practical ways. Students will learn how this interdisciplinary subject is central to many professions including medicine, law, information technology, engineering, education, and business.

University Hill also has a psychology club for students who want to advance in their knowledge of psychology beyond the classroom. Many students in this club work together to study for the AP Psychology exam and to do community outreach projects. We have formed partnerships with day care centers and other organizations at UBC to bring psychological theory into the real word.


HISTORY 12                                                                                                        MHI- -12

This is a survey course in the history of the modern world from1919-1991. The course includes an overview of political, social, and economic development, and the consideration of such ideas as nationalism, imperialism, socialism, and communism with an international focus.  Every opportunity is taken to discuss contemporary trends, problems, and events in the political life of today's world.  Some of the topics that will be examined are the Russian Revolution, the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany, the Cold War, Apartheid, and the First Gulf War.  Students interested in current events will benefit from the background that this course provides.


GEOGRAPHY 12                                                                                                MGEO-12

Part I - Physical Geography

This section includes the study of the following units: 

  •  General Skills: Contours, scale, profile, gradient and photo and map interpretation
  • Plate Tectonics and Vulcanism
  • Landforms Produced by Erosion and Deposition: Weathering, running water, wind glaciations, oceans, and coastlines

Part II -Human Geography

This section deals with the inter­relationships between man and his environment, and focuses on the following areas:

  • Resources: water, forest, fish, energy, and land resources
  • Environmental Concerns, Issues, and Resource Management: air, water, and land pollution

By taking this course students will become more aware of the forces that shaped and are continuing to shape our globe. They will also become aware of the global distribution of resources and gain insight into the many environmental issues and interrelationships that exist on our planet. 


LAW 12                                                                                                                MLAW-12

Law 12 is offered to both Grade 11 and 12 students. It is a participatory course wherein students are expected to actively discuss current issues as they pertain to law.  In addition, several mock trials based on actual cases in the text and current issues will be developed by the students.  There is a heavy vocabulary component so that students can replicate as closely as possible the legal setting. In particular, students are expected to become very familiar with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both criminal and civil law will be explored.

Guest speakers and field trips will enhance the students understanding of law.  Evaluation will include quizzes, extent of participation in the mock trials, enthusiasm during discussion, and knowledge of current legal issues.


SOCIAL STUDIES 10 TRANSITIONAL                                                              MSS- -10TRN

This is a course for students making the transition from ELL Socials to Socials 11.  The course will follow the Socials 10 curriculum. This course is eligible for Socials 10 credits.


ELL SOCIAL STUDIES LEVEL 1                                                                        XLDCE10SS1

ELL SOCIAL STUDIES LEVEL 2                                                                        XLDCE10SS2

This course is designed to help students learn the content of Grade 8/9 Social Studies as well as the skills and vocabulary required for successful entry into grade level Social Studies courses. Topics include Canadian and European history, geography, and the cultural composition of Cana­dian society.


AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY 12                                                                            APHG12

Pre-Requisite Course Required: Socials 11

By understanding how human population has changed over time, students can better understand the reasons for and effects of current geographic patterns in population. Study of population theories, models, and problems will show students the widespread effect that human population growth and decline has on people throughout world. The course will take the student through an understanding of global patterns in population concerns including in-migration, outmigration, city growth and population density. Human geography looks at the factors that influence human settlement patterns including language, culture, ethnicity and other factors. The course will also examine the factors that contribute to the development of a country’s infrastructure. This will include an analysis of the United Nations standards for development and human rights and concerns. Political geography will be discussed and analyzed in the context of human conflict. This course is AP credited and approved. Textbook and/or workbook will be discussed at a later date.


DEBATE/PUBLIC SPEAKING                                                                            YPHR-2B

Pre-Requisite Course Required: Open to all in gr 10, 11 &12

This course is open to any student from grades 10-12. There are no prerequisites. This course is designed to teach the student how to do effective research, create an argument and debate that issue. The student will demonstrate public speaking skills and develop the skills required to engage in a formal debate. This course is encouraged for those who wish to improve their public speaking skills and to develop their communication abilities. Students whose first language is not English are encouraged to join as this course will help them develop their English communication skills. Students will learn the structure and format of the various formal debate styles used in North America and Europe. This includes cross examination and British parliamentary style. Students who sign up for this course are also encouraged to join the school debate team. All students must eventually engage in a formal debate. Public speaking skills will be demonstrated through practical usage. Students will develop the skills required for spontaneous impromptu speech in front of an audience. This course will help the student gain the confidence needed to address a crowd of any size and on any issue.


BC FIRST NATIONS STUDIES 12                                                                      MFNS-12

This course focuses on an important part of the history of British Columbia: the diversity, depth, and integrity of the cultures of BC’s Aboriginal peoples. The course emphasizes the languages, cultures, and history of First Nations peoples and is designed to introduce authentic Aboriginal content into the senior secondary curriculum with the support of Aboriginal peoples. The course provides an opportunity for students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the traditions, history, and present realities of BC Aboriginal peoples, as well as a chance to consider future challenges and opportunities. BC First Nations Studies 12 will provide a foundation for all learners to develop an appreciation and respect for the similarities among and differences between the diverse cultures of the world. As such, it will help to promote understanding of First Nations peoples among all students, allow for an enlightened discussion of Aboriginal issues, and also contribute to Aboriginal students’ sense of place and belonging in the public school system. First Nations Studies 12 is one of three provincial courses available for students to complete the social studies Graduation Program requirement. 

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