At Ellesmere Port Catholic High School, we recognise that the understanding of contemporary society is vital in the modern world. Sociology gives students an insight into the world around them, awareness of the social issues that are faced by many and encourages tolerance of social diversity. KS5 Sociology also gives students the opportunity to learn how to think critically and independently and understand how to conduct research; skills that are valued by Higher Education institutions and employers. Students are constantly encouraged to analyse and evaluate the information they are presented with, looking at different sociological issues from multiple perspectives. The AQA specification includes the study of multiple aspects of society and looks at these from a range of perspectives. Theories are a key element of sociology and these run synoptically through the course. In year 12, students are introduced to studying society to begin thinking about the core elements, then they will focus on the topics of ‘Education’ and ‘Families and Households’; these are areas they have much experience in and can use to help them understand these core elements of society. Sociology helps students to explain and understand things that affect their lives directly.
In year 13 students’ study ‘Beliefs in society’ and ‘Crime and Deviance’. The beliefs module helps them to understand the role religion has in society, historically and in contemporary society, and the crime topic allows students to gain an understanding of why people commit crime and how, as a society, we address these issues. In addition, over the course of the two years students will study theory and methods, which develops their skills in critical thinking and furthers their understanding of how to practically conduct sociological research. Studying Sociology helps students to foster a deep understanding of societal issues and inequality. For example, in education consideration is given to why students from certain backgrounds are more likely to underachieve. We also cover broader themes of racism and sexism and consider the implications of those. Having this understanding allows students to go into the world as more tolerant, respectful, and compassionate individuals. Sociology is a subject which develops multiple skills for the future; it requires students to construct extended pieces of writing, to use evidence effectively to support arguments, to investigate facts, and to think analytically. It is so relevant to the world around them and gives students a solid understanding of societal issues.