Sociology students will be inquisitive and motivated to learn more about the key issues and debates within the study of human behaviour in society. They will develop a greater sense of ethical issues surrounding the study of society and in turn develop a greater sense of tolerance and understanding. They will explore how understanding sociology has real world applications and how it is crucial to our everyday life. We look at this through a number of topics, such as Crime and Deviance (Y13) and Education (Y12).
St. Anthony’s and St. Aidan’s Sixth Form offers the students an exciting opportunity to study Sociology at A level. The course is available to all students and is a very popular subject with multiple classes every year.
Sociology involves studying human social life, groups and societies in a systematic way. Sociologists investigate and explain the social world and behaviour within it. They are particularly interested in understanding the ways in which society influences us and shapes our daily lives.
As a Sociology student, you will explore and ask questions about the workings of the society you live in. Studying society will help you understand how society is organised, and to make sense of your own experiences in it. Sociology can be thought-provoking and challenging because it encourages us to think carefully about our views and assumptions.
We aim to develop students who can:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sociological theories, concepts and evidence, sociological research methods
- Apply sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods to a range of issues
- Analyse and evaluate sociological theories, concepts, evidence and research methods in order to: present arguments; make judgements, evaluate ideas and draw conclusions.
Students follow the AQA syllabus including modules on Education, Families and Households, Beliefs in Society and Crime and Deviance. They also learn about research methods.
Links to GCSE
It is not necessary for students to have studied GCSE Sociology but it is essential for them to have a good command of English. All modules are assessed through examinations. There are three papers used to assess students at the end of Year 13 and these are all two hours long.
Trips and visits may be organised in relation with other departments such as the Politics/Law visit to London. Other relevant visits, as well as visiting speakers (such as professors, the police) are also organised when and where available throughout the year.
Education with Methods in Context
Families and Households
The Year 12 course has been organised to provide students with an introduction to sociological theory through areas of the course that they are most familiar with. We begin with Education, looking at GCSE achievement and how this is impacted by factors both in and out of school. This is considered through a range of pupil characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity and class. We also consider the way that education has changed over time and how it is being shaped by government decision’s today. In Families and Households we explore ideas such as the changing role of women, the growth of newer, diverse types of families and the implications this has for society. We also look at more specific topics such as the changing nature of childhood and how the birth rate, death rate and life expectancy in society has changed over time.
Beliefs in Society
Crime and Deviance
Theory and Methods
The Year 13 course takes a more advanced look at the ideas that we have studied in the first year of the A-level. We explore a range of ideas relating to religion, beginning with typical ideas of traditional major world religions and then considering newer forms of religious such as the growth of cults, sects and other new religious movements. We look at reasons that people may remain religious in parts of the world as well as explanations for secularisation, or why some parts of the world have lost their religious influence. We consider religion on a global scale, looking at newer ideas such as fundamentalism and globalisation. In Crime and Deviance, we consider the reasons for an individual or group committing a crime, we consider ideas such as new types of crime that are developed out of new technology and how sociologists may define ideas such as Green Crime or State Crime.
Theory and Methods takes all of the ideas that we have covered throughout the course and looks at them from a broader, much more general perspective. It helps students to understand the overall purpose of the study of Sociology and what impact it can have on society. It also develops their understanding of theories included throughout the course, many of which will heavily feature in undergraduate courses they may study after finishing their A-Levels.
Skills to be developed:
- understand, analyse and evaluate a number of sociological theories on a range of topics, drawing on ideas and relevant evidence from contemporary examples occurring in modern day and throughout history.
- evaluate and use evidence from theories to produce analytical explanations of concepts and make overall judgements on various sociological debates
- develop their knowledge, skills and understanding over the two year linear A Level course to evaluate with appropriate levels of sophistication, demonstrating a deep, complex understanding of the theory, current affairs and wider relevant literature.
We know from all those who internally, and externally, review the work of our school that our students are cheerful, creative, conscientious and confident young people. Employers regularly tell us that our students are professional and act with honesty and integrity. Our school has been very successful with numerous external accreditations, for the community and the individuals within it, over many decades. Our staff and students very much feel part of our Mercy community.
Our Sociology curriculum helps our students to develop the detailed knowledge and skills required to progress to the next stage of education, employment or training. Our teaching and learning programmes support our students to know, understand and remember more sociological knowledge. It provides them with further understanding of the world around us, the behaviour that we come to expect in society and how individuals might respond when those expectations are challenged. It provides us with a platform to discuss changes happening in the wider social and political context of the subject. They achieve subject fluency, which enables them to grow and develop as informed, critically thinking students. Students become aware of the sociological implications of current affairs. They learn about how sociology informs government policy and how important it is to question and critique ideas that are presented to us as members of society. Staff in the Social Sciences department support subject specific literacy and numeracy for all our students to help them succeed in their studies and they aim to develop holistically the gifts and talents of each individual within a caring, compassionate, charitable and challenging Christian environment.
Our impactful Sociology curriculum develops students with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to have a positive impact within family, friendship groups, school/college, university, the workplace and the wider community. It provides students with the opportunity to consider relevant careers and relevant routes of study when they complete their A-levels. Our wide-ranging and broad-based curriculum offer, and varied extended curricular opportunities, within Sociology provide an opportunity for everyone.
We know that our students are reliable, responsible, resilient and radical individuals who are ready to use their talents positively wherever life may take them. Generations of students have chosen St. Anthony’s over the decades and centuries. We are extremely proud of our alumni, many of whom are regular contributors to our school community as it continues to grow and develop. Many families have fourth or fifth generation connection to our school and many staff have given decades of service, such is the impact of being part of this school community.
Everyone in our community is aware of what it means to be an Antonian: to pursue excellence, to build community, to show concern for those who may be disadvantaged and to particularly support the education of women and girls.