Social Sciences Curriculum
Principles and Purpose of our Social Sciences Curriculum
The purpose of the Sociology curriculum is to inspire curiosity in students, and a fascination about the social world and its people. Sociology provides students with knowledge of diverse social groups, institutions, and processes, with a deep understanding of the social forces that shape our lives. Sociology is a subject taught at GCSE and above, and prepares students for each stage of their academic journey but also the world beyond the classroom by ensuring that young people can think like sociologists and use their sociological knowledge to make sense of the world.
Our Sociology curriculum is designed to help students develop a deep understanding of the social world and the forces that shape it. We believe that sociology can help students become critical thinkers and social analysts, and that it can equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to make a difference in the world. The curriculum is taught in a thematic way, which means that students will learn about different aspects of sociology in the context of a particular theme. For example, one unit might focus on the theme of crime and deviance, and students would learn about different explanations for why people turn to criminality, the patterns of who is most likely to turn to criminality, and the consequences of crime on society.
The curriculum also includes a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving. Students are encouraged to question the status quo and to think critically about the social world.
The following principles have informed the planning of our Sociology curriculum:
- Entitlement: Our Sociology curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements of the National Curriculum. It ensures that students develop a secure knowledge of a range of social groups, institutions, and processes, with a deep understanding of the social forces that shape our lives.
- Coherence: Our curriculum takes a thematic approach, where knowledge is acquired, developed over time, and finally applied to social groups and institutions via in-depth case studies. Thematic units allow the content covered throughout a year to be revisited, therefore securing the knowledge gained over the course of a year in the context of a particular social group/ institution.
- Mastery: Prior knowledge is regularly revisited throughout the curriculum where it is built upon and applied to new contexts. The scheme of work document shows where each lesson fits within the entire curriculum and illustrates how sociological knowledge and skills are secured before moving on. An example of this is how students need to be able to define social institutions before they can explore the ways in which they shape our lives.
- Adaptability: Teachers amend and change curriculum resources, case studies etc. to meet the needs of their own classes, and to ensure that current sociological issues are considered. Teachers are responsive to students learning and will revisit learning not yet mastered or provide more in depth scaffolding if a student or students are finding accessing the work challenging.
- Representation: A diverse range of social groups, institutions, and processes are encountered within the curriculum which helps students to develop a broad and balanced view of the social world. The curriculum ensures a fair representation of the social groups and institutions studied to avoid a single story and to broaden pupil understanding of different social groups, institutions, and processes.
- Education with character: The curriculum provides opportunities for students to share, reflect and learn about the different lived experiences for people at a local, national, and global scale. It also engages students with the big sociological debates of today and the future. This develops a fascination with social group and institutional studies and allows students to take part in informed sociological conversations beyond the classroom/ curriculum.