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Sociology

Intent

Our mission is to foster in students an understanding and critical awareness of the social world around them. We aim to inspire a passion about understanding people and the societies in which they live, which will benefit students throughout their adult lives as they are able to take a positive, active and informed role in society.

Introduction 

The sociologist’s aim is to understand and explain how societies work and why they change. Sociology is the study of human societies and of human behaviour in social settings. It uses social categories (such as class, sex, age, or ethnicity), and various social institutions (such as family, the media, education, politics, or crime) to look at how humans interact with each other.

 

Examples of cross-curricular links

English:

Non-fiction reading articles and news items

Vocabulary strategysubject-specific vocabulary is taught explicitly and reinforced continuously.

Purpose and audience writing - analyse, evaluate, debate, explain, persuade 

Mathematics: Analysis and presentation of data
Science: Research methods  
Humanities: Impact of historical events on society

 

Examples of Cultural Capital entitlement from NC

  • Understanding of self and self-identity - a big part of social classification
  • Understanding of roles within society
  • Appreciation of historical and cultural influences

Key Stage 4

GCSE Sociology is designed to foster in learners an understanding and critical awareness of the social world around them. The specification focuses on the importance of social structure in explaining social issues. Students will be encouraged to explore and debate contemporary social issues to enable them to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and to question their everyday understanding of social phenomena. By following this course, students will develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world. This specification will develop students' ability to think sociologically in relation to their experience of the social world around them so that they are able to play a positive, active and informed role in society.

The students are assessed through two exams at the end of two years’ study. All topics are compulsory, each exam is equally weighted - 50% - and lasts one hour and forty-five minutes.

The following units are study during each cycle.

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Key concepts and processes of cultural transmission Families

Families

Education

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Education Research methods

Research methods

Applied research methods

 

Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Crime and deviance

Crime and deviance

Social differentiation and stratification

Social differentiation
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Applied research methods  

Revision

Revision  

Example of skill progression

Students learn a range of concepts and theoretical perspectives that form the foundation of sociology. Gradually they will learn to apply the abstract content to substantive issues within society. Eventually students will be able to analyse theories when applied to social behaviour and the structures of society.

 

Key Stage 5

As well as deepening and broadening students understanding of Sociology, the A Level course aims to develop skills such as critical thinking, analysis and essay writing.

Once the course starts in September students will be given access to Year 1 and 2 textbooks which will provide the basis to complete the course. Students are expected to undertake wider reading around the course and will be provided with a list of recommended readings.

Good combinations of other subjects to study with Sociology:

History, English, Psychology, Religious Studies, Geography.

The A level course is taught over 2 years and covers a range of topic areas. Final assessment consists of three written papers, all of which are taken at the end of the second year of the course. Topics studied are:

Content of Socialisation, culture and identity

In this topic we introduce you to the key themes of socialisation, culture and identity and develop these themes through the context of one of three options either: Families and relationships, Youth subcultures or Media. These options develop skills that enable you to focus on your personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society and develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

Youth subcultures

As the name suggests the unit focuses on youth as an important period in the socialisation process when individuals are developing a sense of identity within their peer groups. It allows learners to explore different types of youth subcultures and the roles they may play in society.

Research methods and researching social inequalities

In this section, you are introduced to a range of methods and sources of data as well as the factors influencing the design of sociological research and the relationship between theory and methods. You are encouraged to consider the practical, ethical and theoretical issues arising in sociological research and to apply knowledge of research methods to the particular context of social inequalities.

Understanding social inequalities

Within this section you will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of contemporary patterns and trends of social inequality. You are able to engage in theoretical debate, explore conceptual issues and develop skills of analysis and evaluation of sociological research and evidence.

Revision

Revision sessions are provided during lesson time before examinations

Revision guides are available to purchase from bookshops (online and high street)

Additional materials and past papers with mark schemes are made available to students through Prince William School shared drives.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Socialisation, culture and identity: Key concepts in sociology Socialisation, culture and identity: Youth subcultures

Researching and understanding social inequalities. Research methods

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Researching and understanding social inequalities: Research methods Researching and understanding social inequalities: Social inequality and difference

Researching and understanding social inequalities: Social inequality and difference

 

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Debates in contemporary society:  Globalisation and the digital social world Debates in contemporary society:  Globalisation and the digital social world

Debates in contemporary society: Crime and deviance

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Debates in contemporary society: Crime and deviance
Revision
Revision  

 

Example of skill progression

Students learn a range of concepts and theoretical perspectives that form the foundation of sociology. Gradually they will learn to apply the abstract content to substantive issues within society including, youth subcultures and crime. Eventually students will be able to analyse theories when applied to social behaviour and the structures of society. They will also learn how to plan and conduct social research and evaluate the research process considering key ontological and epistemological issues.

 

Careers and progression

Qualification pathways 

The department has responded to student requirements and changed the offer to include Sociology at KS4 as well as at KS5.

The GCSE offered at KS4 prepares students perfectly for the A level offered at KS5, which in turn prepares students for further study at Higher Education or employment in a related sector.  Sociology is an extremely useful subject for a wide range of career opportunities, some of the most popular include: Community Worker, Housing Manager, Health Care Worker, International Development Worker, Journalist, Lecturer, Market Researcher, Personnel Manager, Police Constable, Prison Governor, Probation Officer, Public Sector Administrator, Social Researcher, Social Worker, Teacher, Welfare Advice Worker.

Example of successful progressions

Three students from Y13 progressed to higher education/careers in an area related to Sociology in 2019.

Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 

Case studies of professional Social Worker

Case studies of a Health Care Worker

Examples of link to Gatsby benchmark 5 (encounters with employers)

Trip to local care home for the elderly

Trip to a local nursery

Seminar with members of Northamptonshire Police Force

Employability skills

Communication, data analysis, research, evaluation, teamwork, leadership.

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