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Sociology A Level

The Curriculum Purpose 

High quality Sociology teaching stretches far beyond the classroom and the intention is to draw together the wider Sociological knowledge of the world with the academic knowledge of the subject. Students who have been taught Sociology will be successful if they are able to engage with the world in a critical and theoretical way using a spiral curriculum that returns to older knowledge through spaced practice and retrieval practice. Students may, after leaving A-level Sociology, view the social structures around them positively or negatively, but they will always be shifting their perceptions about these structures as they become members of the adult world and learn more about the way it works. It is Sociology that will have given these students the confidence and the skills required to look deeper into the world around them and find the way it operates, and for whom the world benefits and also to be able to ensure they are able to utilise this knowledge for their own benefit and success. Our students should then be able to function effectively in the world, having been given the tools and awareness  of a firm Sociological understanding to be able to understand how best they can achieve in the society they increasingly become part of as they grow and develop. Academically, our students should be able to read and analyse texts for the most important parts. They should be able to write strong, well focussed essays that are able to break down concepts and evaluate them in detail. Our students will be able to analyse key concepts and explain the connections between different concepts in an erudite and detailed manner.  

 

Key Concepts that underpin Sociology  

The subject, and therefore teaching, of Sociology is underpinned by two key concepts. AQA refer to these as ‘core themes’ and they are taught explicitly in the ‘introduction to Sociology’ lessons at the beginning of year 12, as well as implicity through each lesson. These ‘core themes’ are:  

1) Socialisation, culture and identity 

2) Social differentiation, power and stratification 

Losely, these two core themes fit into the consensus and conflict, structure and action approaches to society which underpins every lesson.  

Examples:  

  • Lessons 1,2 and 3 of the Families unit explicity explore how the family unit socialises individuals into the culture of society.  

  • Lessons 9,10, and 11 of the Crime unit explicity explores the social differentiation of crime (by class, gender and ethnicity).  

  • Lessons 1, 2 and 3 of the education unit explores how power stratifies different classes in the education system.  

These core themes are, as mentioned before, not limited to explicit teaching. In all lessons, we refer to both socialisation and differentiation – often as tools to evaluate eachother. In essence, the curriculum is organised that these key concepts are, in themselves, ‘spiralised’ into our curriculum – we return to them time and time again to cement the knowledge and deepen students’ understanding of the complexity of what these concepts mean in different contexts (units.) 

 

Key features of learning 

Our department consists of 4 members of staff: 3 of which are part time Sociology and part time English (to varying degrees) and one of which is part time Psychology, part time Sociology and part time History. Most years we have two classes with a total cohort of around 40 students, making us one of the larger departments in the school. Our entrance requirements are a grade 6 in English, but some students are weaker than this. 

 

What you will see in Sociology leessons?  

  • Engaged students genuinely passionate about the subject being taught 

  • Enthused teachers, often delivering complex content in an accessible way 

  • Independent learning through poster making, paragraph writing 

  • Student-led presentations in every unit 

  • Thorough focus on essay writing and exam technique 

  • Retrieval practice through spaced learning 

  • Older content being revisited and reconsidered in light of new learning.  

 

What you will see in Sociology notebooks and on Show My Homework and MS Forms   

  • Notes taken from the board using note taking methods taught in PDT study skills sessions and throughout the year. 

  • Teacher marking

  • Spider diagrams for revision 

  • Homework essays 

  • Modelled examples of paragraphs and answers (class led and teacher led) 

  • Diagrams to aid learning 

  •  Re-written, re-worked, improved essays 

  • In class mocks after each unit 

  • In class exam questions 

  • Short answer/low stakes quizzes increasignly being added to units.  

  • Retrieval questions 

  • Questioning from the teacher  

  •  Extra curricular activities:  

  • Trip to royal courts of justice  

  • A* club 

 

What formative assessment you will see in Sociology Lessons?

  • In class mocks after each unit 

  • In class exam questions 

  • Short answer/low stakes quizzes increasignly being added to units.  

  • Retrieval questions 

  • Questioning from the teacher  

 
What Extra curricular is available in Sociology?  

  • Trip to royal courts of justice  

  • A* club 

Documents

Page Downloads Date  
Long Term planning document 08.03 13th Jul 2022 Download