About Sociology

 Sociology Curriculum Intent: Understanding Sociology’s Curriculum DREAM 

Purpose: This document sets out how Sociology approaches Curriculum Intent at Eaton Bank Academy. 

Design  How have you designed your curriculum to be broad, balanced and ambitious? 
Sociology is introduced as a new subject at A level. The Sociology curriculum follows the AQA Specification 7192 covering 6 key synoptic units (Education, Crime and Deviance, Beliefs in Society, Families and Households, Methods of Sociological Research and Sociological Theories and Methods in Context). The course allows for students to study a breadth of sociological theories, studies and concepts and apply them to the chosen topics area under study. It also enables them to both find relevance for the subject in the current events of the world and events of UK society but also to critically apply their knowledge to the topic in hand. 


Given that Sociology is introduced as a new subject, the first unit outlines key theories, concepts and methods.  These are then developed through each topic using the principle of interleaving, progression, repetition and application.  Each topic is approached as an individual unit with clear reference made to the underlying synoptic nature of the course which is itself a key feature of the subject. 


Balance, breadth and relevance are retained with the choice of topics that make up the course but also by the application of the subject to the real world and real-world events.  As a ‘big ideas’ subject, after study of sociology students should feel confident to recognise and understand current affairs and issues and key perspectives both academically and in real world debate. They should feel confident to be able to offer constructive contributions to the topic and issue in question.  

Rationale  What is the rationale behind your curriculum design and ordering of content over time? 
The Sociology curriculum is designed to expose students to a wide range of different issues, concepts, theories and perspectives, providing them with a broad and enriching grasp of Sociology. After the introduction, the course explores issues more personal and relevant to the experience of students, namely education and the family. Students are then able to understand their life experiences within the context of UK society today, which often piques their interest in the subject but also enables them to access and explore the topics and make links to deeper Sociological theory.  


Theory is then taken further and studied as a separate module in the middle of the course. This enables students to reflect on prior topics but also facilitates more sophisticated and critical understanding of the later topics, mainly belief systems and crime and deviance.  This structure also provides students with a supportive environment with which to learn about, consider and discuss these important and sometime sensitive topics. 


Furthermore, Sociological skills are explored throughout the course and revisited in a variety of contexts and with a variety of techniques. They are introduced and explained with clear reference to the demands of the exam papers. They are practiced within the context of teach topic through repetition, reflection and practice. Expectations are clearly communicated with students, that competence in Sociology is a process that will develop over the time span of the course. 

Equality  How is your curriculum accessible and purposeful for all students, including SEND, Disadvantaged and Higher Ability Learners? 
The curriculum is delivered in mixed ability groups. Therefore, differentiation is at the heart of the curriculum, featuring throughout all aspects of planning, delivery and assessment to support the progress of all students. The organisation and design of the curriculum focuses on introducing and developing the core skills in Sociology and the requirements of the exam in a timely, staged and structured way to enable students to practice, develop and embed their skills.   


Students are supported with a range of extra resources for the course on Sharepoint. These include extension activities to support and challenge higher ability students and provide extra breadth and depth to the course, but also high-quality revision resources and further activities and resources for exam support such as exam technique activities and model answers. These are designed to support all students at their level of ability and progress. 


A key element which makes Sociology accessible and purposeful for all is the use of discussion and debate to allow students to engage with important and sensitive topics in a safe environment. These offer regular opportunities to query, test and challenge, deepen and develop new and existing knowledge so that all students can access the curriculum. Care is taken to create respectful and open relationships, clear expectations and boundaries with students so that they feel supported in asking and answering questions and discussing topics. This is particularly important given the often controversial and sensitive nature of the topics. 

Aims, Vision & Values  What is the aim of your curriculum and how does this support the aims and values of the school? 
The curriculum aims to inspire a passion and love for Sociology within our students so that students carry on their sociological journey beyond the classroom, either formally at university or as an informal long-term interest in Sociology and the issues it raises.  The curriculum aims to deepened students’ sociological knowledge and understanding and to have embedded a range of key Sociological skills such critical thinking, evaluation and empathy into their skillset to enable students to maximise their potential as individuals in any academic field, or in their chosen career.   


More broadly, the curriculum aims to develop well-rounded, open-minded students who have a good, critical understanding of British society and indeed the world they live in, the processes at large which design and structure modern societies, and the impact and consequences of this for all groups in society. It aims to contribute to creating students who are productive global citizens who have a stake-hold in their society and are willing and able to contribute to the on-going discussion on key issues in society.   


This is because it introduces students to debates and viewpoints that resonate with a broad range of current issues under discussion in society, such as inequality, social justice and globalisation and this enables students to debate and discuss and formulate considered opinions in the safety of the classroom environment, so that they can contribute to informed discussion with wider audiences.  Indeed, the Sociology curriculum strongly serves to reinforce core British values of the school, such as tolerance and kindness, openness and respect. 

Misconceptions  How do you address misconceptions in your subject to support students’ learning? 
Misconceptions are clearly identified in planning and can be addressed within the delivery of the lesson.  Misconceptions are highlighted during teaching, and they are reviewed and reinforced in exam practice activities.  Indeed, Sociology, as a current affairs subject means that it is constantly changing in its thinking and approach to topics and issues.  It is therefore essential that staff keep up to date with current ideas, debates and arguments in the subject particularly with its application of real-world examples to the course.   


This deconstruction of concepts, facts and perspective is a key part of every topic and thus the subject lends itself to addressing misconceptions. An example of this would be addressing issues around definitions of ‘race’, discrimination and inequality in light of the Black Lives Matter Movement when studying differential educational attainment amongst minorities, in the unit on education, for example. 


Particular attention is paid to exam technique to avoid misconceptions around the demands of the question and also to the deconstruction of exam questions to identify classic misconceptions.  For example, one of the key misconceptions is that Sociology is ‘just your point of view’ and we are very clear to explain the evidence behind the subject and indeed facilitate students’ understanding of the importance of evidence to support argument in exam answers. 


Sociology Curriculum Map

Meet the Teachers

Miss Morgan

Mrs Wright

Miss Callister