Subject Overview

Sociology is the study of social behaviour. Sociologists examine social behaviour of individuals and groups, and their interactions within institutions such as Education and the Family. They make sense of the diversity of societies and of the forces which have shaped, and will continue to shape, social change. The course aims to develop students’ understanding of the society they live in and independently critique the differing views. Students study two core themes throughout all topics. These themes are socialisation, culture and identity, as well as social differentiation, power, and stratification. Students then apply these themes to contemporary society in the UK and make comparisons with other societies. Students are also expected to understand where the UK sits within a globalised context.

Mrs Alannah Cullen

Subject Leader for Sociology

Mrs Tamsin McKenzie

Sociology Teacher

The aim of Sociology is to provide students with the fundamental skills and knowledge that are valued by higher education and employers including critical analysis, independent thinking and application.

Some topics are governed by the specification; these include education with methods in context, theory and methods, and crime and deviance. Students are also taught options such as families and households and beliefs in society. Students learn to apply their understanding from the perspectives in Sociology and differing sociological concepts to the topic areas.

The topic areas that have been chosen aim to encourage students to develop an understanding of different social groups such as gender, ethnicity and social classes within institutions that they are familiar with. The intent is for students to develop compassion towards these differing groups in society, encourage understanding, and break down prejudice through critical analysis and evaluation of theories.

Sociology is only taught at KS5 at Waddesdon. However, some new students coming from other schools have studied Sociology at KS4. The KS5 curriculum builds on what they learn about the foundations of Sociology and relevant topic areas and increases in demand in terms of analysis and application. The nature of Sociology means that application is current and always changing, with new examples being drawn upon within lessons.

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

Paper 1:

  • Education
  • Methods in Context
  • Theory and Methods

Paper 2:

  • Families and Households
  • Beliefs in Society

Paper 3:

  • Crime and Deviance
  • Theory and Methods

Sociology is a relatively new subject at Waddesdon School, and we are continuing to develop opportunities for students to access extra-curricular experiences outside of the classroom. Within the classroom, students are introduced to a selection of films, documentaries and podcasts that are relevant to the course topics. These cover contemporary issues and allow our A level students to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary society.

More recently, we have organised student seminars delivered over Zoom with a lead examiner to support students in their revision for assessments.

Students are given the opportunity to subscribe to the Sociology Review Magazine. In each issue, examiners and subject specialists update students on the key topics they need to understand to achieve their potential at A level. Regular columns develop core A level skills and help students to apply their understanding to recent research affecting A level topics.

Across all topic areas, there are several journal articles, newspaper reports and further reading that are provided for students to help further their understanding and encourage a thirst for knowledge. This also supports the students in their understanding and application of sociology in the real world.