Head of Department - Miss R Roberts
Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact in Sociology
Introduction to subject
Sociology involves the study of social institutions and their impact on members of society. Sociology is a highly successful and popular subject at both GCSE and A-level. GCSE Sociology results are typically over 80% 9-1 at GCSE and over 50% A*-B at A-level.
Students at GCSE and A-level are able to develop their understanding of how our society works and how we are shaped by the world around us. Students examine the impact of social issues such as Crime, Education, Family and Social Stratification. Sociology is a subject which encourages discussion and debate and promotes a mature outlook on our society. GSCE and A-level students are often those interested in pursuing careers in law, policing, journalism, teaching and local government.
KS4 student follow the AQA GCSE Sociology course. Students sit two papers at the end of Yr11:
- Paper 1 - Family, Education and Research methods.
- Paper 2 - Crime and Deviance, Social Stratification and Research methods.
KS5 students follow the AQA A-level Sociology course. Students complete three exams at the end of Yr13:
- Paper 1 - Education with Theory and Methods.
- Paper 2 - Family, Health and Beliefs in Society.
- Paper 3 - Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.
Why is the study of Sociology important?
Sociology is a subject which encourages students to consider the impact of society on individuals. The study of the impact of key social factors such as social class, age, gender and ethnicity encourages students to consider the wider influence of society on all of our lives.
As an option subject from Year 10, GCSE and A-level students are encouraged to debate and discuss current social issues such as discrimination, identity and poverty using an analytical and critical approach. Students can apply their sociological knowledge and skills to current social and political events.
How does the study of Sociology develop your skills, knowledge and understanding?
- You will learn to identify and analyse trends in statistics and data
- You will learn to apply different sociological perspectives to sociological arguments
- You will learn the unique and key concepts of Sociology
- You will learn the main sociological perspectives including Marxism, Functionalism, Interactionism and Feminism
- You will develop an understanding of how the wider social world impacts and influences individual members of society
How are students assessed in Sociology?
At KS4 students are assessed on the following Assessment Objectives:
AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.
AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods.
AO3: Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and methods in order to construct arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions.
At KS5 students are assessed on the following Assessment Objectives:
AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts and evidence and sociological research methods
AO2: Apply sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods to a range of issues.
AO3: Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods in order to:
- present arguments
- make judgements
- draw conclusions
How does Sociology support learning in other areas of the curriculum?
Sociology has strong connections with other Humanities subjects such as History as the study of social change and developments over time is key to understanding how society has developed. For example, students at both KS4 and KS5 examine the changing views on marriage and divorce over time and changes to educational policies over time. Sociology also has close links to Geography through the study of population trends such as health levels and life expectancy rates.
Sociology provides students with transferrable skills such as critical analysis and constructing well structured arguments in written work.
How can students extend and deepen their knowledge in Sociology?
At A-level, students can attend debate club every week to develop their discussion skills. Students have access to Sociology Review articles to keep up to date with current sociological debates. The Sociology department also subscribes to the British Sociological Association which provides access to up to date sociological research and articles.
How does Sociology link to the world of work?
The skills developed in Sociology encourage students to have empathy for others and a clearer view on differing backgrounds and perspectives within British society. Students develop an understanding of the impact of class, age, gender and ethnicity on life chances. As a result, students are ideally suited to employment in areas such as policing, law, nursing, midwifery and teaching.
How does Sociology link to the three strands of our core values?
Learning for the Future
Outstanding Personal Achievement
Students are polite, considerate and respectful of others during lessons including in debates and discussions. Students demonstrate honesty and empathy in classroom discussion.
Students are punctual to lessons and all lessons are well attended.
Students develop empathy when analysing a diverse range of sociologists who highlight areas such as inequality and discrimination within society.
British values are embedded and highlighted within the curriculum including areas such as the representation of diverse groups in society.
Students take pride in their presentation and work is well presented.
Students demonstrate independence and take personal responsibility for their learning by completing individualised DIRT tasks and personalised targets from assessment feedback.
Students are engaged with lessons and extracurricular activities including revision sessions and Debate club which runs every week.
Students are aware of social issues and keep up to date with key political and sociological trends
Students can communicate effectively using key sociological concepts in both their written work and classroom discussions.
Students show resilience through improving their evaluation skills when completing increasingly complex questions.
Students develop effective teamwork skills through collaborative tasks in lessons including group presentations and debate.
Students understand the opportunities that an A-level in Sociology can present and are keen to study sociology related subjects beyond A-level.
Students develop their cultural capital with British values embedded into their learning. Students explore a range of sociological perspectives ranging from Marxism and Functionalism to contemporary perspectives such as Postmodernism.
Students are constantly striving to be improve and achieve the best grade possible. Student attendance at after school revision sessions is high.
Students feel confident in applying key sociological concepts and sociological perspectives to their written work and classroom discussions. Students can apply their sociological knowledge to related academic subjects and at KS5 to EPQ research.
Students demonstrate independence by completing their own sociological research projects.
Students are able to demonstrate self- management and resilience by responding effectively to personalised feedback and targets.
Students are able to recall important sociological concepts and perspectives.
High levels of motivation and enjoyment of Sociology through involvement in extra-curricular activities such as debate club and through wider reading of sociology articles.
In Sociology we clearly share learning intentions at the start of each lesson to ensure a clear focus from the start of every lesson. We have developed a shared language for learning in a number of ways across our curriculum. Retrieval practice is used with all classes to recall prior learning from across the entire course. Retrieval practice takes place in each lesson through questioning for understanding and also forms an integral section in all class assessments. Retrieval practice often focuses on the key concepts and theorists studied across GCSE and A-level Sociology. We use mini plenaries and plenaries each lesson to assess the learning that has taken place and address any misconceptions that arise. These can be based on assessment and exam questions, questioning and matching theorists to perspectives. Questioning for understanding involves a number of techniques including ‘cold calling’ and ‘check for understanding’.
Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time [DIRT] is a key strength in Sociology at both GCSE and A-level. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their progress; reviewing feedback from the teacher following book marking and assessments. Students respond to feedback by answering a DIRT question based on exam style questions, and complete the feedback loop by setting themselves a target referring back to feedback given.
Finally, THRIVE skills are referred to in each Sociology lesson as Sociology encourages the personal development of students in terms of their empathy and honesty skills in particular. Sociology is a subject which encourages students to consider how society operates and the impact of factors such as Class, Age, Gender and Ethnicity. Sociology also encourages students to challenge their perceptions about society and develop their Resilience and Versatility skills by considering how society could be developed further. Our team are skilled at facilitating challenging topics and allowing students to feel safe. Topics discussed include different types of discrimination, the role of the Criminal Justice system and power relationships in society. Students learn about core British values by examining the key features of a British democracy and the role of citizenship in modern society.
Sociology is a popular subject at both GCSE and A-level; students have the opportunity to develop their academic skills, analysing and evaluating a range of sociological issues and debates such as inequality, discrimination and diversity in society. Through debate and discussion, students develop a wider understanding of the nature of society. A-level Sociology students can further develop their understanding of a range of contemporary debates in the weekly Year 12 and 13 debate club. A significant number of students choose to study Sociology and Social Sciences post 18. A significant number also go on to have careers in related professions such as Law, Medicine and Policing. In general, our results are above the national average at GCSE with over 70% achieving grades 9-4 and at A-level with over 60% achieving A*-B in their final exams.