English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish





Quick Links  

ePortal Staff  Students Frog VLE


A Level Sociology (Exam Board: OCR)

Are you interested in people and their behaviour?  If the answer is 'Yes', then sociology could be the right course for you.  Sociology asks lots of questions about the relationships between groups of people within society and explores issues of identity, inequality and power.

Sociology will allow you to see your social world in a different way and question taken for granted assumptions about the way that you live.  You will improve your skills in research, analysis and critical reasoning.What will I be studying?

Sociology is the study of society and looks at how everyday experiences shape our lives. In particular, we will study patterns of behaviour within social groups and the impact of class, gender, ethnicity and age on social relationships.  The focus of the course will be the UK, but references will be made to other cultures as well.

You will be involved in many different activities including:

  • Debates and discussions on various issues
  • Independent research and presenting your findings or designing a poster
  • Watching documentaries and answering questions on topical issues
  • Examining studies performed by social researchers to draw out strengths and weaknesses in their approach


This is a new-style linear A level course.  You will NOT take an external AS exam at the end of the first year.  In the second year of the course, you will take external exams that assess content covered in the first and second year.  These exams will determine your A level grade.

Year 1 and 2

  • Socialisation, culture and identity - ask questions such as: how are cultures formed? How do we learn our identities from the environment around us?
  • The sociology of youth - how is youth socially constructed? What is the relationship between young people and sub-cultures? Why are some young people more likely to commit crime? 
  • How sociologists carry out their research - what are the problems with trying to research human behaviour? 
  • Contemporary issues in sociology e.g. globalisation in the digital era. Issues such as how Facebook makes people less satisfied with life; why 75% of 16-24 year-olds claim they couldn’t live without the internet and how the sexes behave differently online.
  • The sociology of education - the structure of the education system in the UK. What function does education have in society? Explaining differences in educational achievement. Global issues in educational provision?
  • Social inequality and difference with research methods - what are the inequalities and differences experienced by different genders, classes, ages and ethnicities? How are research methods used and combined to study this area?

The best sociology students are interested in the world around them and pay attention to respectable news bulletins. We recommend that students take the opportunity to not only keep up to date with current affairs but to also watch any of the fascinating documentaries produced by the BBC or Channel 4 about society and human behaviour.  Good examples include the Cutting Edge series, Horizon, Panorama or Dispatches.

Many topics of sociological debate are also documented in British films and novels. Films such as 'Brick Lane', 'Billy Elliot', 'This is England', 'Made in Dagenham' and 'Pride' brilliantly document changes to British society in relation to ethnic, social class, gender and age identity.  All of which are key topics embedded throughout the course.

Course Resources

1st year - OCR sociology for A Level Book 1 - ISBN: 9781471839481, Hodder Education 2015, RRP: £24.99, also available as as eTextbook from £16.

2nd year - OCR sociology for A Level Book 2 - ISBN: 9781471839450, Hodder Education 2016, RRP: £24.99

GCSE Sociology (Exam Board: AQA)

Sociology is the ‘study of society’ and it is a very popular GCSE and A Level at the school. The term ‘society’ refers to the world around you, your community, your country, and all the different people and groups that exist, with their different cultures, beliefs, values, languages, religions etc.

It gives students the chance to study and understand why things are the way they are, and why people behave in certain ways.  Examples of issues that students look at include: Why do some people commit crime? Why do girls do much better at school than boys? Why are we seeing an increase in divorce and a decrease in people getting married? Why is there so much inequality and poverty in the country?

Sociology gives students with an interest in social issues, social justice and current affairs the opportunity to gain a valuable understanding and insight into how society works and how the structures and processes in society, inevitably shape who we are, how we behave and many other aspects of our lives and life chances.  Students develop an understanding of how individuals, groups, institutions and societies are interdependent; the way in which they cooperate and conflict with each other, and the potential causes for the social differences between individuals.  Students are encouraged to think critically and analytically, and to make informed judgements and arguments based on evidence and theories.  Students are asked to reflect on their own experiences of the world in which they live and to develop an increased awareness and understanding of the world they live in and role they play in it.


Sociology (4190) http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/sociology/gcse/specification-4190

At GCSE, students follow the AQA syllabus which offers them the opportunity to study a wide range of topics and issues within sociology. It provides students will an excellent foundation of sociological knowledge which they can then build on at A Level and beyond if they chose to continue with the subject.

The topics that students cover at GCSE are:

Year 10

  • Introduction to Sociology / What is society? And Research Methods
  • Family

Year 11

  • Media
  • Crime and deviance
  • Social inequality and povertyThis subject suits students that enjoy English and written based subjects. The course requires students to complete extended writing and essay tasks, as well as independent research, so being comfortable reading and writing is essential. An interest in current issues and an ability to discuss these and consider other viewpoints is also beneficial.

Students will take 2 papers at the end of year 11, 1.5 hours each.

Useful Websites and Resources

GCSE Revision book – GCSE Sociology for AQA: Revision Guide and Exam Practice Workbook (Collins GCSE Revision) by Pauline Wilson (Author) 


Psychology                                                                                                         psychology

Key Stage 4


At Key Stage 4, Holte offers GCSE Psychology to year 9-11 pupils. Psychology is a popular subject which is attractive to students because it develops a range of valuable skills, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. These skills are particularly relevant to young people and are transferable to further study and the workplace.

This qualification:

  • Provides a sound understanding of methods and approaches in Psychology at an introductory level

  • Illustrates these methods and approaches through various topic areas representing the core areas of social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences

  • Develops investigation and report writing skills

  • Develops analytical and critical thinking skills

  • Encourages an appreciation of how science works

  • Provides a strong basis for progression to our A-level Psychology specifications


Psychology Foundation year

This is currently being delivered to year 9 pupils to give them a strong foundation as they move into KS4; in particular the psychology GCSE course.

Students will develop a number of cross-curricular skills throughout this foundation year which will benefit them in many other subjects as they move into KS4. For example, they will develop research skills, literacy, communication, presentation skills and inter-personal skills.



 Term 1 Term 2  Term 3  Term 4   Term 5  Term 6 

Non-Verbal Communication




Students will also conduct their own research   

Stereotyping, Prejudice & Discrimination


Students will also conduct their own research 

Students will be assessed at the end of each topic covered and will have a mid-year assessment in January and an end of year assessment in June. The mid-year and end of year assessments will include all topics covered up until those dates.

AQA Psychology GCSE

This is currently being delivered to year 10 & 11 pupils and will follow the new specification. This qualification will allow students to achieve level 9-1, with 9 being the best grade.

Year Group  Term 1  Term 2 Term 3  Term 4   Term 5 Term 6  

Exam Topic:




Research Methods   
 Revision and Research project 

Exam Topic:

Social Influence

Language, Thought & Communication

Brain & Neuropsychology

Psychological problems

Research Methods   

Each paper will be worth 50% of the overall grade. (100% exam)

Students will complete two written exams (1hour 45mins) at the end of Yr11:

Unit 1: Cognition & Behaviour (Assessed on content covered in Yr10)

Unit 2: Social Context & Behaviour (Assessed on content covered in Yr11)

Key stage 5

AQA Psychology A Level

The new AQA specification is currently being delivered to our A- Level students. It is a two year course and students will undertake 3 exams at the end of the second year. This qualification will allow students to achieve a grade A*- E.

The new AQA A-level qualification offers an engaging and effective introduction to Psychology. Students will learn the fundamentals of the subject and develop skills valued by Higher Education (HE) and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research. The emphasis is on applying knowledge and understanding, thereby developing students' transferable skills of analysis, evaluation and critical thinking. At A Level there is a range of topic based options which bring together explanations from different approaches and engage students in issues and debates in contemporary Psychology.

Pupils will complete:

    1. Social influence (Year1)
    2. Memory (Year 1)
    3. Attachment (Year 1)
    4. Psychopathology (Year 1)
    5. Approaches in Psychology (Year 1)
    6. Biopsychology (Year 1)
    7. Research methods (Year 2)
    8. Issues and debates in Psychology (Year 2)
    9. Relationships (year 2)
    10. Schizophrenia (year 2)
    11. Aggression (year 2)


Year Group Term 1  Term 2   Term 3  Term 4 Term 5  Term 6  

Social Influence





Research Methods



Issues & Debates





Assessment (100% exam)


Students will complete three papers at the end of year 2.

Paper 1: Introductory topics in psychology (Content 1-4), 2 hours (33.3%)

Paper 2: Psychology in context (Content 5-7), 2 hours (33.3%)

Paper 3: Issues and options in psychology (Content 8-11), 2 hours (33.3%)



Each lesson pupils will receive homework that is designed to extend and consolidate their knowledge in relation to the unit that they are studying at the time. This will vary and will include researching studies relevant to the course, applying their knowledge to real life situations and practising revision skills in order to prepare for the main assessments. 



Pupils will develop a number of literacy skills whilst studying Psychology. These will enable them to express critical analysis and information clearly, precisely, accurately and appropriately in

spoken and written communication. Some of the skills pupils will be required to develop are listed below;


  • form independent views and challenge what is heard or read on the grounds of

    reason, evidence or argument

  • understand and use the conventions of written language, including grammar,

    spelling and punctuation

  • explore questions, solve problems and develop ideas

  • engage with and make fresh connections between ideas, texts and words

  • experiment with language to create effects to engage the audience

  • reflect and comment critically on their own and others’ use of language.



Pupils will develop their numerical skills in Psychology in a number of ways. Some examples of the skills that they will develop are listed below;


  • translate information between graphical and numerical form

  • design and use data-collection sheets, including questionnaires, for grouped,

    discrete or continuous data, process, represent, interpret and discuss the data

  • extract and interpret information from charts, graphs and tables

  • understand the idea of probability

  • Calculating and using averages

  • Graphs

  • Handling Data

  • Arithmetic and numerical computation


Resources that will help pupils extend their knowledge – Additional reading, websites, activities


Bailey, J, Willerton, J, Willson, J, Lund, N and Green, S (2008) Psychology A A2, Student Book, (Series Editor: Simon Green) ISBN 978-0-7487-9825-4

Gross, R (2005) Psychology of Mind, Science and Behaviour (5th edition) London:

Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-90098-9.

Simply Psychology – Sam McLeod’s A-Level Psychology Website


Tutor2u – Videos to support student learning



Psychology develops a wide range of SMSC skills, knowledge and understanding by focusing on the social impact of psychology on society and behaviours within society. This subject will enable pupils to explore their own development and encourage pupils to focus on developing an understanding of British society and the development and use of psychology within it. 



bottom banner 2018
© Holte School 2017-2018