Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Sociology teaches students not to take things at face value but to question the world around them.  Through asking why things are the way that they are, students are provided with a range of possible explanations to consider, analyse and evaluate.  This type of questioning and study allows our young people to move away from a simplistic acceptance of society towards a more mature understanding of the different factors which influence who we are, why we behave as we do and society as a whole.

We want our students to take an active role in their communities in a responsible and caring manner which results from thinking about the needs of others.  Sociology is just one subject which can be part of this process of developing the next generation to better understand and respond to those with whom they come in contact each day.


Emily Pike Subject Leader  
Kate Richards Teacher  

This subject is not studied at KS3

Sociology is currently offered as a one-year course to year 10 & 11 students. The exam board we use is AQA and students are assessed at the end of course through two written exams.  AQA is also the exam board used by Richard Huish, Exeter College and Petroc, so this provides an excellent basis for those wishing to study this further at post-16.


Sociology provides students with an opportunity to explore and ask questions about the workings of the society they live in.  Sociology can be thought provoking and challenging because it will encourage them to think carefully about their views and assumptions. It also allows them to develop their analytical and questioning skills through studying topics such as research methods. 




In GCSE Sociology, one of our topics is Education.  This includes studying the purpose of education and different types of school to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, for example private, state and specialist schools.  One of the schools we study is Sands School in Ashburton.  Sands was founded in 1987 and is a democratic school. This means that all decisions about the running of the school are discussed and voted on by everyone.  There is no headteacher, no uniform and no division between staff and students. There are lots of democratic schools across Europe and in the USA.

After some students from Sands School visited us in the Autumn Term, we returned to visit them on Wednesday, 11th June. When we arrived we were surprised by the appearance of the school as really it is just a large house!  After a guided tour we joined some lessons and discovered how independent the students were.  We also joined a school meeting where new rules were being discussed and the day to day running of the school took place.  We enjoyed lunch in the garden, meeting and chatting with staff and students to find out more before coming back to Tiverton.


Here are some of our thoughts…

“I really liked the relationship between the staff and students because they were like a big family”

(Zena Lee). 

“I liked the way everyone had their own identity and so much independence”

(Ella Hughes)

“I was surprised by the confidence of students in speaking in the meeting and how much input they had in the decision making process”

(Kelsey Ellacott)

“I liked the idea of their school but would prefer to stay at Tiverton because I like the structure of the education we receive here”

(Catherine smith)



Year 10

Year 11

• Studying Society

• Family

• Family/Education

• Education

• Crime and Deviance

• Mass media

• Inequality

• Revision

• Exam preparation

Paper 2 - Crime and Deviance



Learning objectives


What is crime and deviance?

To be able to define crime and deviance


Nature vs Nurture

To consider whether you can be born bad


Non Sociological explanations of crime

To investigate other explanations of crime


Sociological explanations of crime

To investigate sociological explanations of crime


Crime Statistics

To use statistics to investigate crime rates and explain how useful they are


Social Control

To be able to explain informal and formal control 



To explain how labelling effects crime statistics


Crime & Class

To be able to explain the links between class and crime 


Crime & Gender

To be able to explain the links between gender and crime 


Crime & Ethnicity

To explain the links between crime and ethnicity


Sub Cultures

To be able to explain the role of sub cultures within society


Crime - Age / Location

To consider the links between age, location and crime


Media Amplification

To be able to explain how the media amplifies the issues and what impact this has 


Youth crime

To use youth crime as a case study of current issues


Effects of crime

To be able to explain the effects on individuals, communities and society



To revise the topic



To practice exam technique and show what we have learnt

Within Sociology lessons we use a range of different teaching and learning styles and activities to ensure that we meet the needs of different learners.  For example, using plasticine to help kinaesthetic learners, video to help visual learners and group work to develop teamwork and thinking skills. 

We utilise peer and self-assessment to develop the students understanding of what makes a good exam answer and through the completion of regular assessments students set targets and can monitor their own progress. 

Tasks are differentiated where necessary to allow students to work at their own level.  For example, a set of questions which get progressively harder and are categorised G-E grade, D-C grade and B-A* grade.  Students are encouraged to stretch themselves to try the level above the one they are predicted to achieve.

This is the first year Sociology has been offered as a GCSE option.

Local colleges offer Sociology as an AS / A level qualification and students can also go on to study Sociology as a degree. 


It is a subject which links to a number of different career paths, for example working within social services, education and the criminal justice system, or within the voluntary sector, perhaps working as a fundraiser or community development worker.  Studying sociology also develops the skills needed to pursue a career in journalism, management or academia. 

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