Sociology

Sociology
The Sociology A' Level is staffed by a dedicated team of well-qualified and specialist teachers, led by Miss M. Hussein. At present there are 20 students taking the subject in the Upper Sixth and 40 in the Lower Sixth.

These are separated into two groups.

The Head of Department has overall responsibility for the A' Level and for the vision and ethos of the department, for curriculum development and staff development needs.

Sociology is the study of society, individuals, methodology, political considerations and philosophical insights; how do we know the things we purport to know?

Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know. Donald Rumsfeld talking about WMD 2003.

Course Specification

We follow the AQA specification. There is a great deal of information available about the course at: http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/gceasa/soc.php

The course is divided into four sections:
The Sociology of the Family
The Sociology of Education
The Sociology of Religion
The Sociology of Crime and Deviance
There is no coursework. Students sit exams in January and May in the Lower Sixth and then January and May in the Upper Sixth.

'Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see: She has deceived her father, and may thee.' Othello Shakespeare.

We expect the student to challenge convention, appreciate that there are many paradigms that explain phenomena. We expect them to question the ordinary, everyday reality and 'look with eyes that see.

Extra-Curricular

All students are expected to keep a Sociology Scrapbook, a collection of news stories from quality newspapers or BBC \ C4 news. They write their commentaries on these stories. We have a Debating Society in the Sixth Form and students are encouraged to take part in these debates as a way of honing their skills and formulating new ideas.

Students are expected to undertake a great deal of background reading from set texts that support their studies. The A' Level text is written by Michael Haralambos. As mentioned earlier, students also read a quality newspaper once a week, The Guardian or Independent or Observer. The school subscribes to Sociology Review magazine.

Independent Learning

Students are expected to organise their work independently and meet all deadlines. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for planning, drafting and proof reading their work. The more successful candidates will use the drafting process properly and take full advantage of the teacher input available, particularly when planning.

Useful Websites

http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/gceasa/soc_assess.php
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/thinkingallowed
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7114772.stm
http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/soc101y/brym/powerpoint.html

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