Sociology

Mission Statement

The Sociology department aims to inspire students to reflect critically but empathetically upon the world we live in, fostering an understanding and curiosity of the inter-relationships between individual, groups, institutions, and society. Sociology should enable students to reflect on social issues that are often relevant to their own social experiences. We aim to develop students that are socially and culturally aware, who can analyse their and other’s views and to come to empathic and justified conclusions. Ultimately, our aim is to enable students to flourish so they are well equipped to be engaged citizens in an increasingly knowledge-intensive and diverse world.

The Four Pillars

Skill

Sociology is the academic study of human society and involves exploring the social interactions and relationships between different groups of people. Many students find the subject interesting as it is relevant to their lives as we investigate topics that are familiar to them such as the family, crime and education. Students will learn to critically reflect on society and the roles of the societal institutions they encounter every day.

Character

Sociology aims to develop wisdom, so that students are open-minded and curious about not only their own society but also the wider world. As a subject sociology will expose students to a wealth of perspectives and viewpoints that will be different to their own. Being respectful and tolerant of these is key to studying sociology because, by doing so, we can explore how society might be innovated.

Experiences

As part of the sociology curriculum we offer students experiences that will not only support them with their academic studies but also life beyond the academy. To develop key life skills every student will learn to construct an argument to justify their point of view so they can answer academic questions, participate in formal classroom debates and present on topics in front of an audience of their peers. In addition to this, students will have experiences outside of the classroom such as working closely with our sister TRUST schools.

Criticality

Critical thinking is central to the study of sociology and we focus on the following to develop this way of thinking:

Encouraging students to be curious about what they are learning and wider society

Promoting open-mindedness about different perspectives about the world

Learning to communicate verbally and in written expression clearly

Helping students to analyse evidence so they can form their own well-founded judgements about the world

This involves our students looking at society and the people within it by asking questions about who, what, where, when, why and how?

Overview of Year 9

Sociology in year 9 follows a scheme of work that represents a foundation year. GCSE content will begin in the Summer Term. In year 9 students are introduced to what Sociology is, how Sociologists conduct research, as well as key sociological perspectives and concepts. Below is an overview of the topics studied:

What is Sociology?

  • Introduction to key Sociological perspectives
  • Concepts such as culture, norms ,values and inequality
  • Areas such as politics and their impact on Society
  • Application of Sociological views to society.

How do Sociologists Conduct research?

  • Practical, Ethical and Theoretical Issues within research
  • Research methods such as questionnaires, observations and interviews
  • Evaluation of methods
  • Applied project, investigating an issue in society.

The Sociology of Families (Taught in the summer of year 9 and into Year 10)

  • Sociological views on the role of the family
  • Family diversity
  • Domestic division of labour
  • How Childhood has changed
  • Demographic trends

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the Expected Standards overviews sheets that are stuck into students’ books at the start of topic of study.

Overview of Years 10 & 11

The GCSE Sociology course aims to provide students with a broad knowledge of Sociological concepts. Students will cover theoretical perspectives in Sociology, such as Feminism and Marxism and apply these to many areas of society/societal issues, such as crime, inequality and politics. Students study four units: Education, Families and households, Crime and Deviance, Social Stratification. Within all these units are research methods based questions and questions regarding knowledge of the Sociological approach.

Below follows an overview of each Paper and topic. However, Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the Expected Standards overview sheets that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each topic.

Examinations

Students will sit two papers. Each paper is worth 50% of the overall mark. There is no coursework element. Each Paper consists of multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended response questions.

We follow the AQA specification at GCSE. A comprehensive overview of the GCSE course curriculum can be accessed here:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/gcse/sociology-8192

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education

The Sociology of Families (Taught in the summer of year 9 and into Year 10)

  • Sociological views on the role of the family
  • Family diversity
  • Domestic division of labour
  • How Childhood has changed
  • Demographic trends

The Sociology of Education (Taught in Year 10)

  • Sociological views on the role of Education
  • Inequalities within Education
  • Internal and External factors of Education

Sociological Methods (taught throughout the course, starting with a foundation overview of the concepts in year 9 and studied more deeply in year 10 and 11 within topics).

  • How Sociologists conduct research
  • Application to the topics of Education and the Family

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification

The sociology of crime and deviance (taught in year 10 and 11)

  • Sociological views on Crime and Deviance
  • Factors which influence Criminal behaviours
  • Different experiences of the criminal justice system, linked to gender, class and ethnicity
  • Public debates linked to Crime

The sociology social stratification (taught in year 11)

  • Sociological views on Social Stratification
  • Examples of Social Stratification, such as class
  • Inequalities within society

Sociological Methods (taught throughout the course, starting with a foundation overview of the concepts in year 9 and studied more deeply in year 10 and 11 within topics).

  • How Sociologists conduct research
  • Application to the topics of Education and the Family

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

The Sociology department aims to provide students with a range of activities where they can apply their sociological knowledge and develop skills as well as Character habits. Some example extra-curricular clubs are the Sociological Debate club and the National Court Competition (where students formed a defence team and prepared arguments-intended to give them a flavour of jobs within the criminal justice sector). Additionally, where possible, external talks are arranged on a variety of topics.