Subject Information

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    Sociology

    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden

    - Pierre Bourdieu

    Staff

    Mrs Laura Read

    Mr Adam Walton (Subject leader) 

    Vision

    The Sociology curriculum enables students to participate in our interconnected world with understanding and humanity, and to develop the higher-level critical skills needed for the wider world.

    Intent

    The Sociology curriculum at DGGS is designed to allow students to become critical citizens about the world around them. Through the study of Sociology, students can begin to understand some of the fundamental issues within society as well as theoretical fixes for these issues, for example: understanding some of the root causes of juvenile crime in society – establishing if it is a caused by genetics or by a person’s environment.

    Our Sociology curriculum is designed to ensure that students develop a good understanding of key concepts and vocabulary. The content that we cover is shaped around the AQA specification. The sequencing of the lessons will focus on allowing for basic knowledge to be taught and then allowing development. Initially, students will work through a booklet detailing basic theory and concepts. This enables students to have a conceptual framework for later study.

    In these first topics students will be encouraged to develop skills of advocacy about the areas discussed; write extended essays and begin to understand the reason why social issues need to be addressed. The main teaching focus after Education, will be developing Research Methods, thus enabling students to understand why and how sociologists research. Students then build on this research knowledge and study the Theory module.

    At the end of Year 12, students will be able to deal with the demands of the assessment objectives but also have a critical understanding of the world around them. The department runs a co-curricular trip to London which allows students to go to museums and other activities like the Wellcome Collection. This is important as they can then contextualise information taking it from abstract and theoretical to the real life application. In addition to this, we have speakers from University of Kent and University of Southampton.

    In Year 13, students focus on the Crime and Deviance and Beliefs topics, building on the knowledge gained in year 12. Beliefs in Society topic. In both topic areas real world examples are frequently used to help develop students’ knowledge – for example: 24 Hours to Catch a Killer: Alice Ruggles which is deployed in order to discuss police procedures and understand the impact of crime on the community.

    Throughout both years students will be encouraged to use retrieval practice. This enables students to develop knowledge and retain it in a way which will benefit them much later on. By having regular “low stakes” knowledge tests students gauge the level of security they have in their own knowledge. From these tests students can seek advice from teachers or the teacher will respond to the needs of the class and revisit materials it in a way which secures the knowledge for the entire class. In addition to this, we provide model essays, essay plans and write model answers in the class with students. This is done to allow for students to learn how to effectively apply information to questions and structure it in an appropriate way.

    Assessments in the first year are spaced out allowing for students to learn material and apply their knowledge later on in the timeframe to ensure the synoptic element of the course is present. This is done so students have the ability to reflect, learn and also deal with any misconceptions which might exist.

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