One of the core subject areas within the RSS Faculty is Sociology. Sociology is the study of society and the groups of people within it. It is available to study at Wath Comprehensive School at KS4 and KS5. The Faculty hopes to inspire a love of inquiry and critical thinking as well as an understanding of the different approaches to studying human behaviours.
Key Stage 4 Sociology
Students averagely receive two lessons a week during their three years of KS4.
The AQA GCSE Sociology course is available as an option to all students. It is studied as a three year course. The syllabus fosters a basic knowledge of sociological issues as well as skills including assessing issues from several perspective and evaluative and analytical skills.
What do students study in KS4 Sociology?
There are two units of study:
Unit 1: The Sociology of Families and Education with research methods
Families – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why is divorce increasing? Why is marriage declining? Why are single parent families increasing? Why are people living longer? Are jobs shared equally within the home? Why?
Education – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why do girls do better than boys in education? How can a teachers’ opinion of you influence your exam results? Is it your IQ or poverty that impacts on how well you do in school?
Research Methods – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why would students’ behaviour changes in a classroom observation? Why can we not trust government data? This will be applied to the study of Families and Education.
Unit 2: The Sociology of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification with research methods
Crime and Deviance – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why do men commit more crime then women? Are the police racist? Why do people commit crime? Does the media influence criminal behaviour?
Social Stratification – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why do some people have better life chances than others? Does social class still matter? Why do some people experience poverty?
Research Methods – this topic aims to answer questions such as: why can we not trust statistics on crime? Why would people lie in questionnaires and interviews? This will be applied to the study of Crime and Deviance and Social Stratification.
Unit 1 and 2 are both assessed by written examinations that are one hour and 45 minutes long. Each unit is worth 50% of the final grade. Grades range from 9-1 at GCSE level.
A Level Sociology at Wath Sixth Form
Students at AS and A Level follow the AQA Sociology specification. Students will learn key sociological content but will also gain invaluable skills such as application of knowledge and analytical and evaluative skills. It is anticipated that most students starting the course will complete the full two year A level and sit all three papers at the end of the course. Once the three papers have been taken at the end, any results from the first year will no longer count towards the final qualification.
Year 1 - AS Sociology
Paper 1 – Education with Methods in Context
This paper looks at education in modern society. One of the main topics of study is why certain groups of students underachieve/achieve in education. This unit also includes studying the research methods sociologists use to research education.
Paper 2 – Research Methods and Topics in Sociology (Families and Households)
This paper looks at research methods. Students will also choose a topic to study for this paper; the topic studied at Wath is Families and Households. Within this unit students will study different family patterns and reasons why women are having fewer children as well as looking at why women are having children later in life for example.
Both units are assessed by a written exam, both papers are worth 50% of the AS qualification and have a variety of both short mark and extended writing questions. The exams are 90 minutes long.
A Level Sociology
Paper 1 – Education with Theory and Methods
This paper covers the topics studied at AS level. In addition students will study sociological theory and methods.
Paper 2 – Topics in Sociology (Families and Households and Beliefs in Society)
In addition to the content covered at AS level in ‘Families and Households’ students will also study a unit of work on ‘Beliefs in Society’. Within this topic students will study reasons why people may join sects and cults and will investigate reasons why women are more religion than men. Students will also study whether is in decline or whether it is simply changing in the 21st Century.
Paper 3 – Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods
This paper looks at Crime and Deviance. Students will study reasons why people may commit crimes and why certain groups are more criminal than others. In addition to this students will study sociological theory and methods.
A Level Qualification
All three units are assessed by a written exam. All 3 papers are worth 33.3% of the A Level qualification and have a variety of both short mark and extended writing questions. The exams are all 2 hours long.
The Sociology department is part of the Religion and Social Science faculty. The department has a wealth of resources as well as a dedicated team of enthusiastic and experienced teaching staff. The faculty has 9 dedicated classrooms, three of which are computer rooms.