Sociology is a member of the Social Studies Faculty. It is the study of social processes and structures and the impact that they have on human behaviour. For more information about what Sociology is, go to The British Sociological Association where you can find out about its origins, careers in Sociology and much more.
- Mr R Wellstead - Head of Faculty
- Ms A Murphy
- Ms H Smith
Key Stage 4
Sociology is an option choice at KS4 which follows the AQA specification. The course is taught over three years, starting in Year 9 and is assessed at the end of Year 11. The topics covered include:
• The Sociological Approach
• Social Structures, Social Problems and Social Issues
• Crime and Deviance
• Social Stratification
• Sociological Research Methods
The course is very popular and feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive. The course is aimed at helping students acquire subject knowledge, as well as developing their understanding of the interdependence between individuals, groups, institutions and societies. It also encourages an understanding of the nature and significance of cooperation and conflict, and continuity and change, including individual and social differences in the students' own and other societies. Sociology at KS4 is also a good preparation for A level study as it encourages students to analyse critically the nature and source of information and to base judgements and arguments on evidence.
Key Stage 5
Sociology is a popular option for A level study. It is taught in class groups of approximately 20 students and like the GCSE it follows the AQA specification. It is a two year course which is assessed by three 2 hour exams at the end of Year 13.
The topics covered include:
• Families and Households
• Education and Sociological Methods
• Crime and Deviance and Sociological Theories and methods
At A level the students develop a much more in-depth understanding of Sociological theory as applied to each topic area and are expected to know a range of studies that have been carried out. There is also an emphasis on ‘active sociology’ as we encourage students to conduct their own mini research projects and apply sociology to current affairs events. By the end of Year 13 students should be developing a ‘Sociological imagination’. For more information, go to the Key Stage 5 Sociology Handbook.
Extra Curricular Activities
There are numerous opportunities for Sociology students of all ages to attend conferences to hear academics present their recent findings. One such conference is 'Youth Crime & Punishment' run by New Bridge who work with ex offenders. Continuing with the theme of crime – we also organise a visit to 'The Old Bailey' for our Year 13 students. We encourage our students to watch 'live' debate shows to help develop their evaluative skills.
As part of the Social Studies Faculty we would also like to provide students with the opportunity of a residential visit to another country to investigate cultural differences and how structures affect behaviour in other parts of the world. We are currently planning a visit to New York.
Finally, we offer numerous support sessions throughout the year to help with homework, exam technique and revision. These sessions will run before or after school.