Social Sciences

 

Politics 

Courses

KS5 – Edexcel A-Level Politics

Why do we study Politics?

Can we be trusted to govern ourselves or should others make decisions on our behalf? What is freedom? Do we have it? How can we change our lives for the better? If you take an interest in these sorts of questions, read the news and enjoy heated debate, then Politics is for you. In Politics we study, applaud and challenge the institutions, systems and ideologies we have created to govern ourselves in the UK and USA.

If current affairs interest you, if you have a point of view and are not afraid to share it, and you want to keep yourself informed about recent political developments, this course looks to entertain, inform, and educate you further. Quite simply, there has never been a more fascinating time to study Politics. The political climate of Brexit and Trump has brought about interest, debate and uncertainty that makes this subject engaging and consistently relevant.

The course involves significant reading and writing, and a constant interest in contemporary political developments. Classroom debate develops your sophisticated, informed and independently minded ideas and position on the ever-changing world of political intrigue.

Politics combines well with other essay based A-Levels such as English and History, where there is an emphasis on clear written communication, evaluation and analysis. In addition, subjects like Economics, Philosophy and Ethics, and Sociology include elements of political knowledge or where an awareness of political concepts is useful. In terms of degrees, it leads well into Politics, PPE, Law, International Relations, History, Economics and Journalism.

However, the key consideration is whether you want to immerse yourself in a 2 year study of British and American politics. If yes, vote Politics!

The Politics Department Team

Mr Wallace – Curriculum Leader

Ms Swain – Teacher

The Politics Programme of Study

Year 1

Term Topic 1 Topic 2
Autumn 1 Democracy and Participation The Constitution
Autumn 2  Electoral Systems Prime Minister and Cabinet
Spring 1 UK Political Parties Parliament
Spring 2 Voting Behaviour and the Media Relations between institutions, including devolution and Parliament checking the executive
Summer 1 Core Political Ideas Non-Core Political Ideas
Summer 2 Core Political Ideas Non-Core Political Ideas

Year 2

Term SWA LSW
Autumn 1 US Constitution and Federalism US Democracy and Participation
Autumn 2  US Presidency US Congress
Spring 1 US Supreme Court US Federalism
Spring 2 Comparative Politics Comparative Politics
Summer 1 Revision Revision
Summer 2 Exams Exams

Important Textbooks, Resources and Websites we use at each Key Stage:

Edexcel Politics for AS/A-Level, Pearson

The Economist

The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Washington Post Newspapers

Homework in Politics

Homework is designed to ‘look forward’ to upcoming content, so that students are well-prepared to debate, discuss and develop knowledge and evaluation in lessons.

Enrichment Opportunities in Politics

Houses of Parliament Trip.

Gifted and More Able Students

High attaining students, as all students in this subject, can expect to receive challenging tasks in every lesson and homework.

Sociology 

Courses

KS4 – AQA GCSE Sociology

KS5 – AQA A-Level Sociology

Why do we study Sociology?

Sociology involves the systematic study of societies, human social life and groups. Sociologists investigate and explain the social world and our behaviour in it. They are particularly interested in understanding the ways in which societies influence us and shape our daily lives. It is an academic subject which students find challenging yet interesting and as a Sociology student you will explore and ask questions about the type of society in which you live as you draw on, and make sense of your own experiences. Sociology is thought provoking and encourages you to think carefully about your views and assumptions as it taps into historical, contemporary and sometimes controversial issues.

The Sociology Team

Mr Wallace – Curriculum Leader

Ms Calaca – Teacher in Charge of Sociology

Ms Monteiro – Teacher

Ms Love – Teacher

Ms Swain – Teacher

The Sociology Programme of Study

KS4

  • The sociological approach
  • Social structures, social processes and social issues
  • Families
  • Education
  • Crime and deviance
  • Social stratification
  • Sociological research methods

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education

1 hour 45 minutes - 100 marks

  • The sociology of families
  • The sociology of education
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodology
     

Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification

1 hour 45 minutes - 100 marks

  • The sociology of crime and deviance
  • The sociology of social stratification
  • Relevant areas of social theory and methodolog

KS5

Course info: Sociology A Level AQA 7191, 7192

Sociology’s theoretical traditions are grounded in philosophy. The subject explores the study of society, how humans are socialised and the role and interactions of people within society. We investigate all aspects of social life ranging from the experiences of individuals, large groups, societies as a whole and globalisation. You will be required to have an inquisitive and open mind. We will be analysing aspects of the social world in which we live and the methods of researching the social world.

The subject looks at topics as varied as crime, family, beliefs, education, and the role that factors such as politics, globalisation and the media have on them and others. The subject will help students to understand their own and other people’s experiences and they will learn how to critically analyse social structures, ‘norms’, and institutions.

Sociology has particular value for students wishing to pursue careers which involve understanding people and require the ability to organise, research and analyse information. It is relevant therefore to careers in Law, the Police, Health and Social Care, Probation Work, Personnel Management, Teaching, Civil Service, Media/Journalism and Market research. Sociology develops the skills necessary to assess evidence, reach conclusions and have an awareness of the modern world which make it a flexible qualification as well as a fascinating subject to study.

“Sociology is the study of human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behaviour as social beings.” Giddens, 1989.

The A Level is demanding and places a heavy emphasis on reading, assimilating information, and on essay writing. The A Level (AQA) course is assessed by 3 x 2 hour written examinations at the end of Year 13.

Year One

Topic 1: Education with Theory and Methods

  • What is the role and function of education?
  • Does social class, gender and ethnicity have an impact upon educational achievement?
  • Other influences on education such as subcultures and pupil identities.
  • What methods do sociologists use to gather evidence about individuals and societies as a whole?

Topic 2: Families and Households

  • How has the idea of ‘family’ changed in the context of economical and wider social changes?
  • The changing patterns of marriage, divorce, childbearing.
  • The changing pattern of gender roles within society.
  • What are the reasons for demographic changes in the UK and the impact on family diversity?

Year Two

Topic 3: Crime and Deviance with theory and methods

  • How are crime and deviance defined and measured?
  • What are the patterns and trends in crime?
  • How do sociologists explain crime and what methods are used to explain crime?
  • How can crime and deviance be reduced?

Topic 4: Beliefs in society

  • Is a belief in science a religion?
  • Does religion prevents social change?
  • Why does religion no longer act as a “shared sacred canopy” in the world today?
  • Is secularisation influencing the growth of sects and new age movements?

Homework in Sociology

In Years 9 to 13 students will not only embed knowledge but they will also practice GCSE and A Level exam questions.

Enrichment Opportunities in Sociology

GCSE and A-Level Conferences

Gifted and More Able Students

Every lesson will have differentiated resources and activities aimed at stretching the most able. Work at each key stage has the opportunity for learning up to the key stage above. There will be opportunities for identified high achieving groups to work independently outside the lessons at a higher standard than the standard levels of progress.

Religious Studies 

Courses

KS4 – Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies

KS5 – Edexcel A-Level Religious Studies (Philosophy, Ethics & New Testament)

RS is all about trying to answer the big questions that humans have been trying to answer throughout history: what is the meaning of life? What happens when we die? Why do bad things happen? Is there a God? These questions are still important today.

RS is all about finding out what people believe and why. We look at moral issues such as abortion, war and peace, punishment and conscience, as well as the key beliefs, philosophies and ethics of two religions (currently Christianity and Islam).

It is a lively and stimulating subject that encourages philosophical thought and develops decision making skills, enabling students to discuss and analyse issues they encounter in their lives, whilst at the same time learning how to respect the rights and responsibilities of others.

RS teaches you to think critically, listen, speak thoughtfully and write clearly – all skills that are important in other subjects and in all future careers.

Content Covered

Year 7

  • Who am I?
  • The Island
  • Evil and Suffering
  • Art and Religion
  • Philosophy for Children

Year 8

  • Religion and Life (Abortion and Euthanasia)
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Science vs Religion
  • Social Justice

Years 9, 10 and 11 (GCSE)

  • Christian Beliefs
  • Marriage and the Family
  • Living the Religious Life
  • Matters of Life and Death
  • Muslim Beliefs
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Living the Muslim Life
  • War and Peace

Year 12 and 13 A-Level

Paper 1: Philosophy of Religion

  • Philosophical issues (arguments for and against the existence of God) 
  • Nature and influence of religious experience 
  • Problems of evil and suffering 
  • Philosophical language 
  • Works of scholars 
  • Critiques of Religious Belief

Paper 2: Religion & Ethics

  • Significant concepts in issues and debates (equality and the environment) 
  • Study of three ethical theories 
  • Application of ethical theories 
  • Ethical language 
  • Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars
  • Medical ethics

Paper 3: New Testament Studies

  • Contexts of the New Testament 
  • Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus 
  • Interpreting the text and the purpose and authorship 
  • Ways of interpreting the scripture 
  • Texts and interpretation
  • Scientific and historical-critical challenges

Important Textbooks, Resources and Website

Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies B: Christianity and Islam, Pearson

Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies B: Christianity and Islam, Student Study Guide

Pearson Edexcel RS A-Level, Religion and Ethics

Pearson Edexcel RS A-Level, Philosophy of Religion

Pearson Edexcel RS A-Level, New Testament Studies

A Puzzle of Ethics, Peter Vardy

A Puzzle of God, Peter Vardy

A Puzzle of Christianity, Peter Vardy

Homework

Homework in Years 7 and 8 will focus on the embedding of philosophical knowledge. Students will receive regular knowledge tests in order for them to use this knowledge in their assessments.

In Years 9 to 13 students will not only embed knowledge but they will also practice GCSE and A Level exam questions. In Year 12 and 13 homework is designed to ‘look forward’ to upcoming content, so that students are well-prepared to debate, discuss and develop knowledge and evaluation in lessons.

Enrichment Opportunities

Peter Vardy Philosophy Conference

Gifted and More Able Students

Every lesson will have differentiated resources and activities aimed at stretching the most able. Work at each key stage has the opportunity for learning up to the key stage above. There will be opportunities for identified high achieving groups to work independently outside the lessons at a higher standard than the standard levels of progress.

Psychology 

Course:

AQA Psychology A-Level

Why do we study Psychology?

Why do we forget? How do we learn? How do our early attachments influence later relationships? Why do we resist social pressures? Why do we conform easily in strange environments? Why do some people develop phobias? How can schizophrenia be treated? What is the best way to deal with criminal behaviour? Do we have free will? Are women misrepresented by psychological research?

Psychology is a popular choice at A Level, offering students the opportunity to explore fundamental questions about themselves and others. Studying the subject at A Level provides an excellent overview into all the main areas of psychological theory and research.

Psychology has links with many disciplines including biology, philosophy, history, sociology, maths and English literature. This mix of disciplines helps to make psychology a fascinating and rewarding subject.

At A Level, the subject involves the scientific study of the mind, in particular human behaviour and mental processes. Different theories and related research evidence are explored in areas such as mental health, child development, criminal behaviour, eye-witness testimony and group interaction. Students will learn to apply theory to everyday situations and think critically about research. They will also develop an understanding of the origins of Psychology, the main approaches that have influenced its development, key issues such as gender bias and ethics in research, and philosophical debates such as nature/nurture.

Psychology inspires students to ask questions about their world and understand that there are no easy answers. It is a subject that utilises and develops a wide range of academic skills as well as encouraging greater understanding, empathy and sensitivity in relation to others. Psychology can lead directly to a wide variety of undergraduate and career paths, as well as complimenting other routes in the arts, sciences and humanities.

The A Level (AQA) course is assessed by 3 x 2 hour written examinations at the end of Year 13. The course involves a significant amount of reading and extended writing. There is also a strong science component running through the course as well as some mathematics.

Paper 1: Introductory Topics in Psychology

  • Social influence
  • Memory
  • Attachment
  • Psychopathology

Paper 2: Psychology in Context

  • Approaches in Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Research Methods

Paper 3: Issues and Options in Psychology

Issues and debates

  • Relationships
  • Schizophrenia
  • Addiction

Homework

Homework is designed to ‘look forward’ to upcoming content, so that students are well-prepared to debate, discuss and develop knowledge and evaluation in lessons.

Enrichment Opportunities in Psychology

GCSE and A-Level Conferences

Gifted and More Able Students

Every lesson will have differentiated resources and activities aimed at stretching the most able. There will be opportunities for identified high achieving groups to work independently outside the lessons at a higher standard than the standard levels of progress.