Sociology Curriculum Overview, 2019-2020

Why do we teach Sociology at Ark BDA?

Sociology is valuable as a subject which teaches students to be critical – critical of interactions and experiences, critical of their background and lives, and most importantly, critical of society. Studying the ‘science of society’ gives our students a language and theoretical framework to understand the injustices and inequalities that have affected their lives, and the lives of their families. Through unpicking stereotypes teachers may hold, prejudices about teenagers in the media and the inherently unequal structure of capitalist society, students come to understand both the complexity of our society, and the different layers of stratification within it. This means that whatever they go on to study or do later in life, they can be critical consumers of information, rather than passively accepting what they are told. This is a crucial skill, not just for academia, but also to be involved and responsible citizens.

 

Finally, and most importantly, it helps students to understand that they can play a part in tackling the injustices and inequalities in our society. Students learn about contemporary issues and problems within all topics, such as the gender pay gap and the huge inequalities that exist in the education system. Through teaching these issues, our aim is to empower them and motivate them to make a positive difference in the world. Whether that is through standing up to discrimination on an individual or wider level, volunteering with disadvantaged people or one day working for a charity or becoming a teacher, students should feel motivated and empowered to make a positive impact and tackle the embedded inequalities and social problems that exist in our society.

 

How do we deliver our Christian values in Sociology?

Sociology teaches students to develop love and compassion by teaching the important values of respect and tolerance, through a close study of diversity, social norms and attitudes and discrimination. Students develop a strong awareness of injustice and become active agents in tackling inequality in its many guises, encouraging them have the courage to always act with integrity. Through receiving regular feedback lessons, students are also encouraged to develop resilience and commitment to their work. This is also embodied through the inclusion of and encouragement to read wider texts beyond the curriculum.

 

How do we build core skills and knowledge over time?

In Sociology, students return to a number of key concepts which are interwoven throughout the GCSE and A-level curriculum. These include: socialisation, norms, social control, social solidarity, sociological perspectives, globalisation, oppression, patriarchy, capitalism, social class and roles. These are recurring key concepts and themes in Sociology, so students return to them again and again to develop this key knowledge in different contexts, best preparing them to transfer this knowledge to new contexts.

 

They develop the necessary skills through first developing a knowledge of the main theoretical perspectives in Sociology: functionalism, Marxism and feminism, and then applying these to the contexts of the topics we study: Families, Education, Crime, Social Stratification and Beliefs. The initial study of Sociological perspectives gives students a solid foundation in the ‘big ideas’ of Sociology. Students study Families and Education in Year 10, which are topics that students can relate to, and which contain less abstract thinking. Students study Social Stratification, the topic which contains the most abstract ideas and is therefore the most challenging, last, so that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to understand these concepts. At A-level, students gain a more detailed understanding of these abstract theoretical ideas through the study of Theory and Methods, which also encompasses key debates in the study of Sociology.

 

How does the study of Sociology prepare students for life beyond Ark BDA?

Students become critical consumers of society, so they are able to evaluate information effectively, and not take information at face value which is a crucial skill for life and future study. It also gives students the skills they need to craft a convincing and well-structured argument, which again is valuable both in future studies and in life.

 

Students also come to understand the same issue can be analysed from a range of perspectives, which links to humanities and other Social Sciences. By comparing the functionalist, Marxist and feminist perspectives on Crime, Education, Stratification and Families, students develop crucial evaluative skills, and the ability to weigh up evidence and reach a balanced conclusion, which again prepares students well for humanities subjects. Through writing mini essays, they become well-versed in constructing convincing arguments, evaluating their own ideas and defending their overarching argument. This is a transferrable skill which prepares students well for success in English, humanities and social sciences too. In addition, the knowledge of concepts like social class also link to English and History, as these concepts run between different subject areas.

 

How do we implement this curriculum at BDA?

Our lessons are split equally between the different topics we study in each year group, with content sequenced from foundational to more abstract and advanced – for example, beginning with sociological perspectives, then families (which is a more familiar topic to our students which they already have a degree of background knowledge on) before progressing to social stratification at the end of Year 11, which is much more abstract. Our topics are grounded in key questions about the nature of society (what types of inequalities exist and why? For example), which are explicitly linked to current and relevant issues affecting our students. The structuring of topics reflects the demands of the specification, which is rooted in classic sociological studies as opposed to recent research, but this is complemented by the use of contemporary examples in lessons. Core knowledge is explicitly planned and clear in knowledge organisers and booklets, and homework focuses on learning key concepts and ideas. Regular retrieval is built into lessons to revisit and consolidate prior learning.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

 

Year 10

Topic

Introduction to Sociology

 

The Sociology of Families

 

Research Methods

 

The Sociology of Families

 

Research Methods

The Sociology of Families

 

The Sociology of Education

 

The Sociology of Education

 

The Sociology of Education

 

The Sociology of Education

 

 

The Sociology of Crime

 

Introduction to Y11 content – the Sociology of Crime

Key question

What is Sociology?

 

What skills does a sociologist need to carry out research?

 

Why and how has family diversity increased?

 

Socialisation, norms, social stigma, diversity, conflict, consensus

What functions does the family serve?

 

What trends have there been in marriage and divorce and why?

 

 

 

Sociological perspectives, oppression, capitalism, patriarchy, social class

How and why have family structures and relationships changed over time?

 

 

 

 

 

Norms, roles, patriarchy, oppression

What is the purpose of education?

 

How is education organised today, and is this organisation fair?

 

 

 

Sociological perspectives, social solidarity, capitalism, oppression, social class

Do all social groups have the same experience in education? Why not?

 

 

 

 

Interactionism, social class, patriarchy, inequality

 

What effects have the marketisation of education had on schools?

 

 

 

 

Marketisation, social policy, inequality, globalisation

Content

  • What is Sociology and key terms
  • Functionalism
  • Marxism
  • Feminism
  • Family diversity; the Rapoports
  • Nuclear family and alternatives
  • Research design
  • Practical, ethical, theoretical
  • sampling

 

  • Functionalist, Marxist, feminist views on the family
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Perspectives on divorce
  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Observation
  • Secondary sources
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Changing family structures and relationships
  • Conjugal roles
  • Symmetrical family
  • Contemporary issues
  • Review of families
  • Purposes and role of education (introduction)

 

  • Functionalist perspective
  • Marxist perspective
  • Alternative provision; organisation of current education system
  • State vs private schools

 

  • Internal processes
  • Education and social class
  • Education and gender
  • Education and ethnicity
  • Marketization and policy
  • Families revision
  • Education revision

 

Assessment

Assessment: HW quizzes, 3,4, and 12-mark Qs in lessons

Formal assessment: Families section of Paper 1

Assessment: Families end of unit assessment

Assessment: HW quizzes, 3,4, and 12-mark Qs in lessons

Assessment: HW quizzes, 3,4, and 12-mark Qs in lessons

Formal Assessment: Full paper 1 (specimen set 1)

 

Year 11

Topic

The Sociology of Crime and Deviance

 

The Sociology of Crime and Deviance

 

The Sociology of Social Stratification

The Sociology of Social Stratification

 

The Sociology of Social Stratification

 

Revision

Revision

 

Key question

Why do people commit crime?

 

 

Norms, social control, sociological perspectives, social class

What explains trends the links between ethnicity, gender and crime?

 

How is society stratified and why do these divisions exist?

 

Inequality, patriarchy, social class, stratification

What are the different ways society is stratified and how does this affect life chances?

 

Why does poverty exist?

 

Social class, stratification, patriarchy, poverty, inequality

 

Is political power distributed equally? Why/ why not?

 

 

 

 

Inequality, conflict, social class, poverty, democracy

NA

 

Content

  • Crime, deviance, social control, social order
  • Functionalist view and Merton’s strain theory
  • Cohen’s subcultural theory
  • Marxist perspective
  • Becker’s labelling theory
  • Crime statistics
  • Class and crime
  • Ethnicity and crime
  • Gender and crime
  • The media and crime
  • Contemporary issues relating to crime
  • Defining stratification and systems of stratification
  • Functionalist perspective
  • Marxist vs Weberian views on class

 

  • Is social class important today?
  • Ethnicity and life chances
  • Gender and life chances
  • Age and life chances
  • Affluent worker studies
  • Poverty and explanations for poverty

 

  • The welfare state
  • Murray and the underclass
  • Power and authority
  • Political power

 

  • Families revision
  • Education revision
  • Research methods revision
  • Crime revision
  • Social stratification revision

 

Assessment

Assessment: HW quizzes, 3,4, and 12-mark Qs in lessons

Formal assessment: Full Paper 1

Formal assessment: Paper 1 and Crime section of Paper 2

Formal assessment: Full Paper 2

Assessment: HW quizzes, 3,4, and 12-mark Qs in lessons

 

 

Year 12

Topic

Introduction to Sociology

 

Families

 

Education

Families

 

Education

 

Families

 

Education

 

Research methods

 

Review of Year 1 content

 

Key question

 

What are the key sociological perspectives?

 

What is the function of the family?

 

What is the function of education?

 

Sociological perspectives, norms, inequality, patriarchy, social class, social control, social solidarity

Why and how are families changing?

 

Why do different social groups have different experiences of education?

 

 

 

 

Diversity, norms, social stigma, patriarchy

What demographic trends have changed recently and why? How do these link to globalisation?

 

How has marketisation, privatisation and globalisation affected education?

 

Demography, globalisation, marketisation

How do sociologists carry out research in the context of education?

NA

 

Content

  • Key words/ ideas
  • Functionalism
  • Marxism
  • Feminism
  • Interactionism
  • Functionalist perspective
  • New Right perspective
  • Marxist perspective
  • Feminist perspective
  • Postmodern perspective
  • Functionalist perspective
  • Marxist perspectives
  • New Right and vocationalism
  • Internal processes –labelling, setting, streaming

 

  • Social policy and families
  • Changing family patterns: divorce, same-sex marriage, marriage, child-bearing/ rearing
  • Subcultures, pupil identities
  • Social class and education
  • Gender and education
  • Ethnicity and education
  • Family diversity – globalisation and postmodernism
  • Demography – birth/ death rates
  • Demography – immigration/ emigration 
  • Childhood Marketisation
  • Privatisation
  • Globalisation

 

  • Choosing a method
  • Research process
  • Sampling
  • Practical, ethical, theoretical
  • Questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Experiments
  • Observations
  • Ethnography
  • Logitudinal
  • Methods in context

NA

Introduction to Sociology of beliefs

 

  • Importance of religion
  • Perspectives on religion

Gender, ethnicity, class and religion

Assessment

Assessment: practice 10 and 30-mark essays; knowledge quizzes

Formal Assessment: Education section of Paper 1; Families section of Paper 2

Assessment: practice 10 and 30-mark essays; knowledge quizzes

Assessment: practice MiC and RM essays; knowledge quizzes

Assessment: practice 10 and 30-mark essays; knowledge quizzes

Formal Assessment: Whole Paper 1; Families section of Paper 2

 

Year 13

Topic

Beliefs in Society

 

 

Theory and methods

 

Sociological perspectives, social control, social solidarity, patriarchy

 

Beliefs in Society

 

 

Theory and methods

 

 

Globalisation, secularisation

Crime and deviance

 

 

 

 

 

Social control, norms, sociological perspectives, capitalism

Crime and deviance

 

 

 

 

Globalisation, social solidarity

Revision

 

Key question

What is the purpose of religion?

 

How well do different theoretical perspectives explain society?

How and why is religion changing?

 

Should sociology be considered and treated as a scientific discipline or not?

Why do people commit crime?

 

How can we explain why some social groups appear to have a higher involvement in criminality?

How has globalisation impacted crime?

 

What is the role of punishment in our society?

 

 

Content

 

  • Defining religion
  • Functionalist perspective
  • Marxist perspective
  • Feminist perspective
  • Interpretivist/ postmodernist perspective
  • Religious organisations
  • NAMs and NRMs
  • Functionalism
  • Marxism
  • Feminism
  • Interactionism
  • Postmodernism

Link between theory and methods

 

  • Sects and cults
  • Class, gender, ethnicity and religion
  • Secularisation
  • Globalisation and religion
  • Science, ideology and religion
  • Sociology and values
  • Sociology and social policy
  • Sociology as a science
  • Research methods revision

 

  • Functionalist perspective
  • Marxist perspective
  • Interactionist perspective
  • Left and right realist perspective
  • Crime statistics
  • Crime and class
  • Crime and gender
  • Crime and ethnicity
  • Crime and globalisation
  • Crime and the media
  • Green/ state crime
  • Punishment and victimology

 

 

Assessment

Assessment: Practice 10 and 20 mark essays; knowledge quizzes

Assessment: Theory and Methods practice papers; Beliefs assessment

Assessment: Practice 10 and 30 mark essays; knowledge quizzes

Formal assessment: Paper 1, Paper 2, Paper 3

Assessment: Practice 10 and 30 mark essays; knowledge quizzes