Sociology is taught exclusively at A Level at Queen Elizabeth's School, which reflects the academic and rigorous nature of the subject. Sociology is the study of society. It explores what unites people in society, as well as the divisions and prejudices which surround us. Issues of wealth and poverty, sexism and racism run through the course.
The students are taught in small groups in classrooms with interactive whiteboards and in Sixth Form computer rooms. In recent years, the retention rate from AS to A2 has been 100%, which reflects examination success and the continued improvement of the Sociology Department.
Sociology lessons are interactive and participatory; all students contribute to discussion and debate, and open-mindedness and tolerance of the views of others is essential. Teachers frequently use electronic presentations to help them cover the substantial content of the course.
All course materials are available prior to the beginning of Year 12 on the learning resource area of the QE intranet. This includes syllabus and revision materials, as well as all the content covered in the six modules that make up the curriculum.
We follow the AQA examination board's Sociology syllabus. The first three of the following modules are for AS, with the remainder studied at A Level:
- Families and households
- Sociological research methods
- Theory and methods
- Crime and deviance.
All these units are assessed by short data-response and essay examinations, which take place in January and June of the two years.
There is extensive support and guidance on the learning resource area for pupils applying to read Sociology at University, and the department also helps them write their personal statements. We give additional help to those applying for SPS at Cambridge, in the form of mock interviewing and extended reading.
Every group has the opportunity to attend Sociology conferences, which are usually run by A Level specialist companies. These are enjoyable trips, extending pupils' knowledge and understanding, and giving them an insight into what to expect of teaching and learning at a university level. They are also encouraged to pursue their own areas of interest within Sociology through the provision of extension reading lists. We supply students with information on forthcoming events, such as talks by academics on recent sociological research.