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Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. Students will look at social problems and issues, as well as people; how they behave and the different groups that make up society. Sociology offers students the opportunity to study culture and identity, and the stereotypes and misconceptions that define and control opportunities and fortune.

Spring Hill High School offers a GCSE which covers a range of topics from social research, education and the family. These incorporate discourse on social inequality, relating to class, age, gender and ethnicity. Through investigating education and the family, students are encouraged to question the nature and role of familiar structures, and recognise the influences and changes that take place, challenging assumptions and broadening views.

Students are given the opportunity to undertake their own research project, utilising skills of investigation, as well as data gathering and presentation. Sociology requires students to develop an understanding of the media and politics, as well as incorporating many aspects of history and RE, and use of theoretical perspectives such as Marxism and Feminism. The skills gained are cross-curricular and encourage students to think critically and appreciate the society in which they live, providing opportunities for students to acquire knowledge and insight into the values, influences and beliefs which shape their own culture and addressing issues of discrimination. Personal cultural enrichment is paramount, through wider reading of literature, newspapers and academic research, as well as watching news broadcasts, documentaries and film.

The Subject Content is divided into sections that deal with particular kinds of social relations or with different aspects of the social structure of British society.



Sociology Curriculum Overview


  Term   Subject content
  Autumn 1  

Introduction to Sociology

Studying Society
Social structures, including the family, education and stratification systems.
Social processes, including socialisation, social control and social change.
Social issues, including the causes and consequences of inequality, and the sources, distribution and exercise of power and authority.

Assessment Opportunities: Using extracts of social research, students will evidence their knowledge of the study of society through a small research task, using a social issues as topic.

  Autumn 2  

Research Methods
Learn to make elementary deductions from diagrams, charts, graphs and tables of statistics as well as numerical, written and other visual material.
Understand the significance of evidence in sociological discussions.
Plan a simple research project, having regard to the ethical issues which might arise in the course of the research process.

Assessment Opportunities: Students understanding of the research process and its methods will be presented in small booklet made on computers.

  Spring 1  

Sociology of Education
Identify a range of influences on educational achievement, for example, parental values, peer groups, school ethos, streaming, labelling, teacher expectation, economic circumstances, cultural and ethnic background.
Assess the various functions that education is expected to fulfil today, such as serving the needs of the economy, facilitating social mobility and encouraging ‘Britishness’ and social cohesion.
Understand education as a political issue and explain both why education reforms have been made and criticisms of those reforms.

Assessment Opportunities : Students will select an influence on education and will create questionnaires for the SHHS family to complete and support their thesis.

  Spring 2  

Sociology of Families
Define ‘family’ and to explain the presence of diverse forms of the family in Britain today: eg married/non-married, couple/lone parent, heterosexual/gay, extended/nuclear and reconstituted.
Look at cultural diversity, migration and changing working patterns as influences on marriage and the family in Britain.
Explain important changes that are taking place in family structures, eg the increase in single person household.
Assess role and authority relationships, eg between men and women, parents) and children, members of the wider family, describe changes in these relationships, and relate them to the factors influencing such changes.

Assessment opportunities: End of term debate based the important changes that are taking place in the family structure.

  Summer 1  

Research Project
Students undertake a research project of their choice.
Conduct and analyse, present and assess.

Assessment opportunities : Completed research proposals and projects.

  Summer 2  

Overview and Revision
Exam technique and Preparation

GCSE Assessment : 1 hour Exam