Achieving Excellence Beyond Belief
Curriculum - Social Sciences
Subject Name: Social Sciences
Department Vision & Ethos
The purpose of the Social Science curriculum at Sandy Secondary School is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the individuality and interconnectivity between Social Science subjects and wider society. Offering both academic and vocational qualifications, we are able to explore theoretical concepts of social sciences in all disciplines, but also apply these to contemporary issues and for vocational subjects, address working practices within the health and social care sector and within Businesses of all sizes. In addition, the aim of the Social Science curriculum encourages students to synthesise their own independent research and critical analysis of this in written form, in order to achieve in formal qualifications. Therefore literacy is an essential part of being able to develop successfully as a Social Science student.
Skills are primarily taught within lessons but are developed through homework activities. For the examined units, students are regularly set summative tests to check understanding of key terminology and how to apply this effectively, formative exam-style questions to respond directly to, plan, or revise in order to complete in timed conditions within class, in preparation for formal mock and external exams. For subjects that use internal assessments, students have the opportunity to complete informal practice assessments before completing formal assessments such as Pearson set assignments or internally assessed coursework pieces. Students use seek and sort opportunities in line with the school’s policy to either improve on their work in relation to the assessment criteria or objectives prior or final formal assessment to improve on their knowledge and skills.
In addressing the school’s values, Social Sciences achieves these by:
There are four members of the Social Sciences team; each staff member can teach at least two of the Social Science subjects. We also work closely with the Curriculum Leader for Criminology/Psychology as well as the wider BTEC teaching team and Quality Nominee to share good practice.
The course structure is as follows:
Health & Social Care:
One measure of Social Science’s impact is recruitment. We consistently attract a large proportion of students at sixth form and have recruited most students than expected at GCSE Sociology, as well as sustained recruitment for BTEC Enterprise. The department has, in effect, doubled in size. Another objective measure one could look at is its rates of success. We consistently perform highly at A Level and Level 3 (sixth form) across all Social Science subjects. The students who stay for sixth form often progress within the subject area from KS4 to KS5.
On all Social Science courses, we expect learners that learners can recall the key concepts and ideas, valuing the intrinsic rewards of studying their subjects and how they ‘fit’ within the real world. We would hope that students, even if they do not go on to pursue Social Sciences further, will be able to see the knowledge and skills learnt will support their understanding of the social world and current affairs in order to become responsible and empathetic global citizens. We also expect learners know the level they are working at and can act with teachers to achieve targets, allowing students to make meaningful and supported progression whether this is to Sixth Form, an apprenticeship, FE, HE or employment.
By the end of Key Stage 4:
In Enterprise, learners should feel secure their knowledge and know what expectations need to be met to secure or to progress to the next grade so that they can harness this with greater academic maturity, be able to effectively respond to detailed feedback. By but having cumulative assessment points that contribute to their final grade, students should also have a realistic understanding of their current ‘working at’ grade and a realistic expectation of their final grade. We hope that students enjoy their studies in enterprise as it is very different to the national curriculum that they have studied in school to-date, making students more aware of the world of business, and getting involved with initiatives (for example Young Enterprise, which provides great overlap with Component 2) both in and out of school.
In Health and Social Care learners should feel secure their knowledge and know what expectations need to be met to secure or to progress to the next grade so that they can harness this with greater academic maturity, be able to effectively respond to detailed feedback. By but having cumulative assessment points that contribute to their final grade, students should also have a realistic understanding of their current ‘working at’ grade and a realistic expectation of their final grade. Learners will also be able to embed ideas such as care values into their own personal development, to be compassionate individuals who fully appreciate the value of public, private and voluntary sector health and social care services and the service users who access these.
In Sociology, learners should be able to confidently synthesise ideas and arguments using evidence and evaluation both through meaningful discussion but also in extended essay responses, which can be completed under pressure in timed responses. Students can also assess their strengths and weaknesses across the different sociological topics, being able to develop effective revision and skills to help them progress to securing or elevating their academic performance. We also hope that students can develop their sociological imagination to help interpret the work around them allowing them to understand and act accordingly within their social contexts.
By the end of Key Stage 5:
In Business, detailed feedback will help learners to secure their knowledge and know what expectations need to be met in order to cement or to progress to the next grade. By modular assessment students will have a good idea of what their realistic end of course grade will be. Students looking to progress into in HE to study business-related disciplines or employment will have a clear understanding of the varying knowledge and skills they have ascertained, especially through modules that would apply universally to all vocations and individual personal development, such as recruitment, events management and financial management and budgeting. Students will also have a number of transferable skills such as project management, research, referencing, presentation and proofreading skills.
In Health and Social Care, detailed feedback will help learners to secure their knowledge and know what expectations need to be met in order to cement or to progress to the next grade. By modular assessment students will have a good idea of what their realistic end of course grade will be. Students looking to progress into health and social care in HE or employment will have a clear understanding of the roles, responsibilities and values of being a health and social professional, health and social care organisations and provision available to make an effective transition. Students who are not progressing on to a H&SC route will leave understanding some employment legislations relevant to all workplaces. Students will also have a number of transferable skills such as project management, research, referencing, presentation and proofreading skills.
In Sociology, Detailed feedback will help learners to secure their knowledge and know what expectations need to be met in order to cement or to progress to the next grade. By using the mock exam periods to focus on specific exam papers, as well as timed practice in class, students will have opportunities to develop revision resources throughout the course. This should help students to build a picture cumulatively of what their current ‘working at’ and predicted grade is. Students progressing into HE often pursue courses that have an element of sociology as part of them; whether this is through research methods, or topics such has criminology, law, teaching, nursing. Therefore the A Level course provides a basis for them to access sociological concepts in these interrelated disciplines.