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Sociology is taught at A Level.

Sociology is about the society we live in and how it has shaped your and other people’s lives. It teaches you to question the world around you and helps you understand the main factors that influence people’s behaviour. Students will learn how to look at society more critically and analytically. Students are encouraged to use current social issues as examples.

The skills that are developed by studying A Level Sociology include communication skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as well as interpreting and evaluating different points of view and questioning social issues in an informed way.

Exam Boards:

A Level Sociology: AQA

Statement of Intent

Studying Sociology fosters the development of analytical, critical and reflective thinking skills with a respect for diversity in the contemporary postmodern society. Development of literacy is innate to T&L of Sociology and it covers all aspects of literacy and communication skills: reading of texts, extended writing, oracy (including discussions of sociological theories and evidence) and introduction of new vocabulary. Year 13 lessons are designed to further embed these skills and prepare students for progression to higher education through seminar-style sessions which enable students to develop independent reading and critical thinking skills as well as the ability to create a logical argument. Numeracy is developed through the interpretation and analysis of data presented in a variety of forms including bar and line graphs, pie charts and statistical tables.

Students follow the AQA specification which was chosen as it best meets the needs to our students, for example there is a variety of topics and question styles so all students can access the content and exhibit the AO skills. The topics students study ensure they gain a rich body of knowledge and a deep understanding of socialisation, culture and identity, social differentiation, power and stratification from the point of view of opposing sociological perspectives. These themes are applied to particular substantive areas of Sociology, such as families and households, education, religion and crime, and are interpreted broadly as threads running through many areas of social life. This enables students to gain a broad understanding of society and how it functions thus enabling them to reflect on the extent of social equality and justice and how these can be achieved as well as the role we all play, as individuals, in achieving them.

The compulsory content on the AQA Sociology specification includes the topics of Education, Research Methods, Theory and Crime & Deviance, while Families & Households and Beliefs in Society are the optional topics we choose to cover. Families & Households topic was selected as it is a good foundation from which to start introducing themes of differentiation, stratification, sociological perspectives and social change, especially for students who have not studied Sociology at KS4. Beliefs in Society was selected as it is the topic that most challenges our students’ understanding of the world and serves to achieve our aim of broadening our students’ understanding of diversity in society.

The understanding of social structures, processes and problems students develop through Sociology enables them to internalise British values and become accepting and tolerant of diversity, the rule of law and individual liberty, to understand the democratic processes which lead to social progress and to be able to engage in such processes in an informed manner.

Furthermore, the topics we teach enable students to build on knowledge developed in the arts and humanities subjects at KS4 and apply that knowledge to sociological themes. Sociology enables students to develop skills valued by higher education and employers, including critical analysis, independent thinking and research which helps them develop into active citizens who can, through their future careers, but also everyday behaviours, affect positive social change.

Students are exposed to enriching activities such as trips to subject related conferences, talks by invited guests and are provided with a reading list of both fiction and non-fiction texts relating to Sociology. Students are encouraged to develop their own sociological awareness through active engagement with the contemporary social world which develops their cultural capital and understanding of the society they live in and how it fits into a globalised world.

In addition to implementing the FHS5 T&L strategies in all lessons, we have also started using the Interleaving method to cover the content. This is in order to improve students’ recall and retention of content, with frequent recap of previously covered material. The Mini Topics are covered in a sequence that allows students to build on their previous knowledge. For example, to understand issues covered in Education – Gender and achievement, students need to have first studied Education – Class and achievement and Education – Theories on the role of education. Similarly, there are links across different topics. Therefore, attention is given to drawing out links with other topics studied in the specification so students can identify the evidence of and the sociological explanations for the content. This will enable students to foster a critical awareness of contemporary social processes and change, and draw together the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in different aspects of the course.

Sociology Learning Journeys

Learning Journeys

A Level
Year 12 & 13

Programme of Study

KS5 Sociology