“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.


The intention of the Sociology curriculum at Aylward Academy is to equip students to be brave, independent and inquisitive to develop a holistic understanding of the social world; and who are inspired to critically develop new ideas to solve societal issues surrounding equality, diversity, identity and human rights.


(Website) Sociology Curriculum Journey Map


The button below will navigate to a series of resources which will support the development of skills and techniques and understanding of the subject.


Key Stage 4

At KS4 we follow the AQA GCSE 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.

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. 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.

Key Stage 5

At KS5 we follow the AQA A Level 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.


What are the core skills students develop in our subject?

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. Stydents develop skills in being able to :

  • Demonstrate a broad and deep understanding of institutions and their impact on the individual and the economy.

  • Analyse the impact of global changes on social, cultural, political, legal and educational spheres in British society.

  • Apply sociological theory and research to think, speak and write critically.

  • Formulate arguments and sensible conclusions based on sociological theory and research.

  • Confidently respond to societal issues by developing ideas and creating solutions to benefit society as an entire network or individual groups.

  • Examine and critically evaluate an array of investigative techniques.

What are the big ideas in our subject?

  • Would society be more chaotic without religion and ideology?

  • What is the future of religion

  • To what extent is crime and deviance a social construct?

  • Does society function in the interest of the powerful?

  • Is the family irreplaceable?

  • Is there such a thing as “free will”?

How do we ensure we support the development of core skills?

Drawing on topical issues and personal experience students are able to study social institutions and how they operate and affect our lives.

What motivates and interests our students?

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.

How do we ensure consistency across the key stages?

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