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Sociology

Key Stage 4

Sociology is consistently popular subject at KS4. GCSE Sociology examines society and how it shapes our lives. Your social class, your ethnicity and gender may be important factors in determining what qualifications you gain, what job you get and how much money you earn. Sociologists examine issues that concern us all, they examine the social world and ask questions about why things are the way they are.

This qualification:

  • Provides a sound understanding of Sociology at an introductory level
  • Develops analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Develops analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting perspectives on a variety of social issues, constructing reasoned arguments, making substantiated judgements and drawing reasoned conclusions.
  • Provides a strong basis for progression to our A-level Sociology specifications
  • Helps students to gain knowledge and understanding of key social structures, processes and issues through the study of families, education, crime and deviance and social stratification.
  • Develop transferable skills including how to: investigate facts and make deductions, develop opinions and new ideas on social issues and analyse and better understand the social world

The subject content consists of the following topics:

  • The sociological approach
  • Social structures, social processes and social issues
  • Families
  • Social research methods
  • Education
  • Crime and deviance
  • Social stratification

What skills students develop

Students will develop their understanding of how individuals are affected by groups, institutions and society. We will examine the nature of co-operation and conflict, why things stay the same and why society changes. We will expect students to reflect on their own experiences of the society in which they live and acquire knowledge and develop analytical skills. Sociology is a relevant subject which relates to everyday life, news and the world around us.

How students are assessed

Paper 1 – sociology of families and education

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes - 50% of GCSE

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

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes - 50% of GCSE

Homework

Students will receive homework once a week. This can last up to an hour. The aim of homework at GCSE is to develop confidence with the concepts and studies taught and discussed in lessons, it will also give students an opportunity to apply sociological theory to the current affairs they see every day.

How parents can help

Sociology is by its very essence a contemporary subject. Many of the issues being discussed in class can be linked with what is occurring in the real world. Often parents have enjoyed discussions with their children on issues such as the unfair nature of bankers' bonuses or why it is that men still get paid more than women. If you can encourage your children to watch the news, documentaries and read a broadsheet or access the information online this will really help. You could also help test your child with some of the tricky Sociological concepts.

Key stage 5

OCR Sociology A Level

The OCR 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. It offers an engaging and effective introduction to Sociology. 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 contemporary Sociology.

This qualification:

  • Develops strong critical thinking skills and enables students to consider issues with a global outlook. This is of a huge benefit to students moving forward, whether this is in further education, the workplace or society in general.
  • Enables students to recognise that their sociological knowledge, understanding and skills help them to develop an understanding of the interrelationships between individuals, groups, institutions and societies
  • Allows students to analyse critically the nature and sources of information and to base reasoned judgements and arguments on evidence
  • Encourages students to organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding in different and creative ways, and reach substantiated judgements
  • Allows students to develop skills that enable them to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society

This is a two year A level course which broadly divides into two sections: compulsory content which looks at the various strands of sociology such as research methods, culture and identity, and social inequality. There are also specialised units such as family and crime and deviance. This course is wholly assessed through examination.

Assessment (100% exam)

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

Paper 1: Socialisation, culture and identity - 1 hour 30 minutes (30%)

Paper 2: Researching and understanding social inequalities - 2 hours 15 minutes (35%)

Paper 3: Debates in contemporary society - 2 hours 15 minutes (35%)

Homework

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, wider reading is essential part of homework. This will vary and will include researching content relevant to the course, applying their knowledge to real life situations and practising revision skills in order to prepare for the main assessments.

Wider Reading and Useful links

SMSC

Sociology develops a wide range of SMSC skills, knowledge and understanding by focusing 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 sociology within it.

Extra-curricular links

Pupils studying GCSE Sociology will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of enrichment  activities.  There will be an opportunity to visit a local court during the Crime and Deviance unit, as  well as the opportunity to engage in debates surrounding key topical issues.

Cross-curricular links

There are strong cross-curricular links with both Psychology and Health and Social Care.

Staff

Miss S Jafar

Mr R Soteriou

Mr S Ahmed

   
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