How students learn social science

The National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Grade 4 to 7 specify the syllabus for the School. Whilst these Programmes are not mandatory they do contain a plan to implement good primary practice.

The Programmes of Study specify three areas of learning: -

Geographical skills

  1. The study of places and events
  2. The study of themes

 In Social Science classes, lessons appropriate to their age, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Undertake map work;
  • Take part in fieldwork, covering aspects of physical and human environments;
  • Learn from visits to places of geographical and historical interest;
  • Learn from visitors to the School;
  • Learn from material presented in a formal way by the teacher;
  • Make use of audio/visual material;
  • Read (e.g. descriptions), write (e.g. summaries, personal accounts), speak and listen (e.g. discussion/debate);
  • Record their findings in a variety of ways;
  • Handle and interpret data;
  • Take part in role play, educational games or simulations;
  • Use Information Technology; and
  • Engage in a variety of practical activities.

 It is inevitable, given the ‘spiral’ nature of the subject, that topics are revisited. Progression is ensured through:

  • An increase in breadth of studies: the gradual extension of content - places, themes and environments;
  • An increasing depth of study: the gradual development of general ideas and concepts and deeper understanding of increasingly complex and abstract processes, patterns and relationships;
  • An increase in the spatial scale of study: the shift in emphasis from local, smaller scale studies to a more distant, regional, national, continental and global scales;
  • A continuing development of skills: to include the use of specific geographical skills such as map work and more general skills of enquiry matched to children’s developing cognitive abilities; and
  • Increasing opportunities for children to examine social, economic, political and environmental issues: the chance to develop greater appreciation and understanding of the influence of people’s beliefs, attitudes and values on alternative courses of action relation to people, places and environments.

Curriculum Planning

In order to achieve these aims, Social Science is organised into topics and units to form a Scheme of Work with opportunities for single subject study, integration with other subjects and cross-curricular skills. Learning activities are sequenced to ensure progression. The Scheme of Work specifies what content should be taught in each Grade to ensure that the Programmes of Study are taught throughout Grade 4 to 7.

In Grade 4, Social Science is introduced as one of the eight learning areas, with cross-curricular links being emphasised. A Class Teacher may take this during four 30-minute periods per week. In Grade 5 and 6, four periods of 30 minutes per week are devoted to Social Science in a slightly more formal manner and a Subject Teacher will take this. Grade 7 students have five thirty-minute periods per week.

Teachers will prepare Schemes of Work, which will reflect what the students will cover each term. These lesson plans for the teaching of Social Science, will set clear achievable goals and ensure that the work is matched to students’ abilities, experiences and interests. Effective planning will also ensure progression, continuity and subject coverage throughout the school and where appropriate, develop assessment procedures. Students will be issued with a copy of these Schemes of work, which are to be glued into their work books/files.

Assessment, Record Keeping and Reporting

The approach to the assessment of students’ Social Science work is via a combination of formal and information tasks. The day-to-day strategies for assessing students’ learning will usually involve one of the following approaches:

  • Portfolios and workbooks
  • Assessment sheets
  • Written assignments
  • Interviews and oral presentations or discussions
  • Projects
  • Peer assessment
  • Self assessment
  • Practical assignments
  • Tests / exams /li>

 A comment will be made on each student’s Half-Year report.  There will be several Mark Report assessments each year, which will also reflect an industry symbol.


 1) Texts:

Grade 4 – Explore the Provinces – Book 1 + Juta’s Atlas

Grade 5 – Explore South Africa – Book 2 + Juta’s Atlas 

Grade 6 – Explore Africa – Book 3 + Juta’s Atlas

Grade 7 – Explore the World – Book 4 + Juta’s Atlas

Explore beyond the Earth – Book 6 

Successful Human and Social Sciences 

the Era of the Second World War

  • 2)Videos
  • 3)CD ROMs
  • 4)Maps
  • 5)Libraries, museums, places of interest etc.

Special Educational Needs

Provision will be made for students with special educational needs, where this affects their ability to participate and achieve in a lesson.

Parental involvement:

Assistance with project work should be limited to aiding the student to source the necessary information, material etc. needed for the assignment. We rely heavily on parents providing transport to various places during the year and value the support in this regard.