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2215 Reeve Street, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 6K8| Phone: 604-941-6053| Contact Us
École Riverside Secondary School
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
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Social Studies

 Social Studies Course Descriptions


Students will study the development of Canada from pre-contact First Nations peoples, to the history of early contact between Europeans and natives.  They will also study some European history, especially the concept of revolution as illustrated through the English Civil War and the French and Industrial Revolutions.  Other topics include the geography of North America and some mapping.



Students study Canadian history in the 19th century, with a focus on nation building: immigration, rebellions, Confederation, the development of the West, the history of British Columbia economy.  Throughout their studies, students will consider the various conflicts between Canada’s peoples (First Nations, first European immigrants) arising from this time period, and relate these to current issues facing these same groups of Canadians today.  Students will also be introduced to the Canadian economy, and they will continue to learn about Canadian geography.



This course focuses on the development of citizenship skills and the preparation of students to take part in Canadian democracy.  In history, they will learn about 20th Century Canada in relation to world affairs, such as the World Wars, the depression, our place in the United Nations, etc.  They will also study government, law, geography and the environment.  The students will begin to develop an understanding about Canadian political and social issues.  This course has a mandatory graduation program exam.

SOCIAL STUDIES 11–Learning with Technology

This course involves the same curriculum as regular Social Studies 11 (See Social Studies 11 course description), but with an alternative delivery.  The course covers the curriculum through the exploration of key themes.  Technology is used to assist in this exploration.  Access to various technologies is provided to ensure course outcomes can be met.  We encourage students who own a laptop computer and would like to start using it at school to consider this course option.  Students who do not have their own laptop will be required to rent one from the school.  Enrollment is limited based on available space and technology.



Physical processes that affect the earth in the past, present and future form the basis of this course.  Topics include plate tectonics, volcanism, earth-quakes, erosion, climate, weather, map skills, vegetation, and soils.  The discussion of these topics leads to an understanding of resources and resource management and people’s interaction with an ever-changing environment. This course has an optional graduation program exam.



This course looks at the major events of the 20th century, with a focus on European events, including the various political systems.  Beginning with the aftermath of World War I and carrying through to the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, students will have the opportunity to discuss the many strong personalities and sometimes frightening events of this period.  In addition, students will be introduced to the Asian powers and this century’s 

conflicts in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, the Middle East and China.  This course has an optional graduation program exam.


LAW 12

The course will provide a comprehensive introduction to law and legal process, particularly as they relate to the Canadian justice system.  In addition to discussing the basic components of the law, the course will explore some of the major legal issues facing Canadians, including the parole system, young offenders and juvenile justice, and constitutional rights under the Charter.  The course also includes a variety of classroom activities, which supplement the course material.  Field trips, guest speakers, films, and documentaries all add to the course.  Reading, writing and research skills are essential to student success.  Students will analyze actual legal cases utilizing decision making techniques with their legal knowledge to determine case outcomes.



Social Justice 12 is open to students in grades 11 and 12. The course has three focus areas: “defining social justice”, “recognizing, confronting and overcoming injustice”, and “moving toward a socially just world”. Students will be active participants in class discussions, will research issues of injustice, and will develop an action plan to address a selected issue. This will be a stimulating course for students interested in taking the initiative to direct their own learning and to use their acquired knowledge and skills to help create a socially just world.



This course involves career explorations and review of post- secondary options in the Humanities area. Students will complete 100 hours of work experience in placements such as law firms,  the courthouse, corrections, city hall, travel agencies, television broadcasting,  museums and art galleries to name a few. In order to be eligible to take this course, students should have completed 3 of the following courses during their grade 12 year: History 12, Geography 12, Social Justice 12, Law 12 and English 12. Students must also be aware that work experience may extend beyond regular school hours and/or days.  Students interested in this course should seek the approval of the Social Studies department prior to registration.


École Riverside Secondary School

2215 Reeve Street, Port Coquitlam BC
V3C 6K8
604-941-6053 604-937-8058
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
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