Sociology Curriculum Intent
Students learn fundamental research skills across KS4 which are useful for studying social sciences. This gives students a foundation of sociological theory and an understanding of how sociological theory is created. They also learn how to think critically about sociological theory.
Students study topics within sociology starting with families at the beginning of KS4. This is a topic which most students can engage with; it is accessible and the foundational knowledge of research methods ensures they can apply sociological theory and understand how research was used to create it. Education is taught after families as students can then understand the crucial role that families play when it comes to education achievement or underachievement.
Crime is taught next as both education and families help with understanding the causes of crime in society. Concepts that are learnt in these topics are applicable to the study of crime and deviance. Finally at KS4, students learn social stratification. This is the ultimate topic as it looks at inequality throughout the entirety of society, thus knowledge of families, education and crime are crucial to complete this final topic.
Staff in the Sociology department are passionate about offering an engaging, contemporary curriculum which students enjoy and excel at. We teach the subject in a variety of ways and where possible, include opportunities for learning outside the classroom, for example visits to conferences, exhibitions and museums. In return, it is vital that students treat staff and fellow students with respect. This is particularly important due to the sensitive nature of the content of the subject. An interest in society and the inequalities which exist is important for students to get the most out of their studies, as is a willingness to work hard outside of lessons.
- Specialist teaching classrooms
- A wide range of reading material
- Past issues of Sociology Review
- http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/as-and-a-level/sociology-7191-7192 - AQA A Level Sociology Course Specification
- https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/gcse/sociology-8192 - AQA GCSE Sociology Course Specification
- http://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/ - British Social Attitudes: Website showing lots of fascinating findings on what the British are thinking about a range of issues
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news - BBC News: Up to date information on the social, political and cultural events of the UK
- https://www.ted.com/topics/sociology - Ted Talks: “Ideas worth spreading” – short talks on current Sociology topics
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qy05/episodes/downloads - Thinking Allowed Radio 4 Podcast: Series covering new research on how society works
- https://www.theguardian.com/society/social-trends - Guardian Social Trends: Journalism focusing on the changes and patterns in contemporary society
Board and Exam Details: AQA GCSE
Sociology is consistently popular subject at KS4. GCSE Sociology examines society and how it shapes our lives. Why social class, ethnicity and gender may be important factors in determining what qualifications you gain, what job you get and how much money you earn. Sociologists examine issues that concern us all, they examine the social world and ask questions about why things are the way they are.
The subject content consists of the following topics:
- The sociological approach
- Social structures, social processes and social issues
- Social research methods
- Crime and deviance
- Social Research Methods
- Social stratification
What skills students develop
Students will develop their understanding of how individuals are affected by groups, institutions and society. We will examine the nature of co-operation and conflict, why things stay the same and why society changes. We will expect students to reflect on their own experiences of the society in which they live and acquire knowledge and develop analytical skills. Sociology is a relevant subject which relates to everyday life, news and the world around us.
How students are assessed
Paper 1 – sociology of families and education
Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
50% of GCSE
Paper 2 – The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification
Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
50% of GCSE
Students will receive homework once a week. This can last up to an hour. The aim of homework at GCSE is to develop confidence with the concepts and studies taught and discussed in lessons, it will also give students an opportunity to apply sociological theory to the current affairs they see every day.
How parents can help
Sociology is by its very essence a contemporary subject. Many of the issues being discussed in class can be linked with what is occurring in the real world. Often parents have enjoyed discussions with their children on issues such as the unfair nature of bankers' bonuses or why it is that men still get paid more than women. If you can encourage your children to watch the news, documentaries and read a broadsheet or access the information online this will really help. You could also help test your child with some of the tricky Sociological concepts.
Revision sessions will take place in the lead up to the mock exams and final summer GCSE exams. There is also a documentary discussion club which runs, giving students exposure to a wide range of social issues.