Overview of the Sociology Department
GCSE Sociology aims to broaden students’ minds, helping them to see their world from different perspectives and in new and thought-provoking ways. We’ve worked with teachers, subject experts and subject associations throughout development, to refine, refresh and ensure the new specification provides in depth knowledge and academic rigour.
A Level Sociology aims to encourage students to look at the world in a more critical way and question why society functions in the way that it does. Students will apply their understanding of content at Key Stage 4 and develop their analysis to apply Sociological theories and criticise their approaches.
Meet the Sociology teachers
|R. Tuckwell||Head of Department
||R. Tuckwell joined the Academy in September 2020.|
|S. Addison||Teacher and Vice Principal||S. Addison has been at the academy for 3 years. He teaches Sociology to both GCSE and A Level and is Vice Principal at the school.|
|J. Pauvaday||Teacher||Ms Pauvaday joined the academy in February 2020. She has a wealth of experience as a Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy teacher.|
The overall aim of Sociology is to encourage students to look at the world in a more critical way and question why society functions in the way that it does. Students are the future workforce of our country, and maybe even further afield, therefore it is essential they have an understanding of how their world has been made into what we see today and how even as individuals they can influence positive change in the future. Through the teaching of the core themes:
- socialisation, culture and identity
- social differentiation, power and stratification.
Students will understand some critical arguments into why individuals behave the way they do as well as, understand how society is able to control human behaviour.
Sociology students study GCSE and AQA A Level Sociology offering a key focus on society in the UK today and looking back to how society has arrived at its current position and suggesting how it may continue to evolve. Both the GCSE and A Level have strong links to British values and SMSC as it teaches traditional British values as a core element of the course and students actively learn about democracy, individual liberty, rule of law and mutual respect within the topics studied.
The course begins with students learning about key Sociological theories, this brief introduction provides a foundation of knowledge that they will build upon during each unit of work that is studied. The first main unit of work for both the GCSE and A Level focuses on the research methods behind Sociology, looking at its purpose, how it has developed into the system we know today and how it may advantage or disadvantage certain groups of people within society. We begin the course with this unit as it gives a basis for students to refer to and challenge when they study theorists approaches to Education, Families, Crime and Media. Following this, students then begin to study what research methods are used by Sociologists. Now they know some of the basics of Sociology they are now able to look into how research is conducted and try some of the techniques out for themselves. There is some overlap here with research methods that students could also learn in Psychology.
Further into the course, students study families and households, in a similar way to education, they look at the structure and evolution of families, what different groups of Sociologists have to say about the position of families within society. After, students will begin studying the optional unit of The Media. Students will become familiar with the significance of The Media in contemporary society, studying the role it has and the relationship between ownership and control of the media. As well as this, students will analyse how the media represents different social groups including age, gender and ethnicity. Finally, in year 11 and 13, students study crime and deviance. Here they examine the police and criminal justice system as another institution within society and assess its function and role within society, as well as continuing with the running theme of who benefits and who loses out from the existence of these institutions.
This combination of units provides students with a range of cross-curricular links, including Geography, Psychology, History, RE and Maths. It often builds on prior learning from many of these subjects but also seeks to fill in gaps where students have not studied certain subjects as GCSE options. During the two-year course students will develop critical thinking skills and with that will be able to evaluate explicitly in their written work to be able to achieve top mark band responses. Students learn about cultural capital as part of their first unit of study and they are encouraged to seek out knowledge and experience that enhances and adds to their learning. Students are given the opportunity to attend seminars and lectures held by Sociologists and visits to curriculum workshops that are offered by external agencies are also arranged. Students are consistently encouraged to be using the media to add to their knowledge of Sociology and find current, real-life examples of Sociology in the real world that could be used as examples and evidence in their written work. There is a display board in the Sociology classroom that showcases recent examples of Sociology in the news and students are encouraged to collect their own in a workbook as evidence of their independent study.
What qualifications can be gained?
From studying this course, students will gain a full GCSE in Sociology and a full A Level in Sociology, both with the AQA specification.
How does Sociology prepare students for the next stage of their education or employment?
Sociology can offer students a range of career development choices including the Civil Service, local government services, the police, voluntary agencies, teaching and higher education.