SOCIOLOGY

“I am often asked, 'What is sociology?' And I say, 'It's the study of the way in which human beings are shaped by things that they don't see.”

– Sam Richards

The Sociology department enjoy encouraging students to question and debate what other people think about social and political issues in order to help develop informed opinion.

Sociology Department Objectives

Drawing on topical issues and personal experience students are able to study social institutions and how they operate and affect our lives. Areas of particular interest include family and households, the education system, mass media, belief systems, political decision making and social policy. These contain important themes such as culture, identity and different types of inequality and conflict. Students assess the influence that ethnicity, class, age and gender have on opportunities and life chances.

An important aim of the department is to help students develop a critical awareness of society and to question assumptions enabling them to make sense of a complex and rapidly changing world.


Key Stage 4

At GCSE we follow the AQA Sociology specification.

The Sociology department aims to build critical thinking skills in order to understand and judge societal issues using core sociological theory and methods. Students will study a three year course.

In the year 1, students will explore the foundation of society’s social institutions and social processes. Students will move on to answer key questions regarding the extent to which historical events, political power, control of the media may impact individuals and society.

In year 2 and 3, students will then move on to be assessed on four key areas:

  • Topic 1: The sociology of the family
  • Topic 2: The sociology of education
  • Topic 3: The sociology of crime and deviance
  • Topic 4: The sociology of social stratification.

Each topic gives students the opportunity to learn how social processes work in different institutions derived from sociological theory from Functionalis, Marxists, Feminist, New Right and Postmodernist theories. There is a strong emphasis on research skills throughout the course.

Formative assessment is carried out regularly, both by staff and students to establish progress, improve work and identify how to support further development.

Key Stage 5

At A Level we follow the AQA Sociology specification.

Students will sit a two year course, starting with an introductory topic which covers socialisation, culture, identity and the nature-nurture debate.

Students will then move on to be assessed on six key areas:

  • Topic 1: Education
  • Topic 2: Families and Households
  • Topic 3: Beliefs in society
  • Topic 4: Crime and Deviance
  • Topic 5: Research Methods in the context of education
  • Topic 6: Sociological theory and Method including social policy.

Students have the opportunity to engage in theoretical debates and how these relate to a contemporary global society and learn about the social inequalities and differences that each institution may present.

Formative assessment is carried out regularly, both by staff and students to establish progress, improve work and identify how to support further development.

Independent Learning Tasks: Homework is an important part of the curriculum and the use of a projects and sketchbook encourages independence, imagination and good practice. Students should click the Show My Homework icon to login.