Achieving Excellence Beyond Belief
Curriculum - Sociology
Currently, Sociology Is only offered as an A level course. As part of its implementation, sociology in the past has also been developed as taster session for year 10 and 11 students. It has also featured as part of the school’s Top Achievers Programme as ‘guru’ subject, where students opt in to a seminar on the contemporary topic of the relationship between crime and globalisation. Furthermore, we hope to extend the sociology curriculum lower down in the school by offering this as a year 11 option subject from September 2020.
In terms of knowledge, students follow the AQA A Level Sociology specification with the A Level Sociology Books 1 & 2 by Napier Press. Furthermore students are encourage to keep up to date with the news and encouraged to download apps for broadsheet newspapers (for example The Guardian and The Independent, which are free to use).
Skills are primarily taught within lessons, but are developed through homework activities. Students are regularly set exam-style questions as homework, to respond directly to, plan, or revise in order to complete in timed conditions within class. These focus on the key assessment objectives within sociology, with emphasis of applying sociological theory and concepts to research or contemporary ‘real life’ examples, as well as analysing (thinking critically and developing comparing/contrasting skills between sociological perspectives and ideas) and evaluation (the strengths and limitations of theory or research.
The course structure is as follows:
One objective measure of sociology’s impact is recruitment within the sixth form. Sociology consistently attracts a large proportion of sixth form students. Another objective measure one could look at is its rates of success. Sociology has a consistent 100% pass rate, and in comparison to other subject areas, is successful in the individual results in achieves at A*-C. Whilst it is relatively successful within school, at present its blue ALPS score shows that a greater impact needs to be made in terms of students achieving target grades.
Another is to look at the progression is students who go on to Social Science orientated degrees. Alongside Sociology, these include Psychology, Criminology and Law. Sandy Secondary often has a high proportion of students who progress in this direction beyond Sixth Form.
Another impact that sociology indirectly has is the complimentary courses it supports. For example; History, Psychology, Criminology, Health and Social Care and EPQ. We encourage drawing the links between different academic disciplines so that students can broaden their understanding of the world and build their cultural capital. We would hope that students, even if they do not go on to pursue Sociology further, will be able to see the knowledge and skills learnt within areas of work, understanding the social world and current affairs.
Subject Name: Sociology
Department Vision & Ethos
The purpose of the sociology curriculum at Sandy Secondary School is to broaden students’ understanding of the social world, to help them to make sense of their own experiences and develop empathy when considering other socio-economic groups. It encourages discussion, thought and debate of differing sociological perspectives and how this links to policies beliefs and influences that exist globally today. The curriculum itself also encourages students to find empirical research and contemporary examples within society to apply their knowledge in order to develop their sociological imagination. In addition, the aim of sociology encourages students to synthesise arguments both verbally, but emphasising the importance of doing 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 sociologist. Furthermore, Sociology develops both individual and group work, through individual research and writing, and group discussion and presentation.
In addressing the school’s values, sociology achieves these by: