Social Sciences and Business
Welcome to the Social Sciences and Business Department
The world is an intricate balance of societal and human relationships, our intent is to develop the student’s understanding of these issues and behaviours. Through the study of society we aim to give students a broad understanding of the world in which we live. Through teaching methods we develop students with the skills and knowledge to interpret and appreciate the impact of human behaviour on the wider society.
Sociology sits within the Social Sciences Faculty and is offered at both KS4 (GCSE) and KS5 (A Level). The aim of all Social Sciences is to encourage students to reflect on their position within the world and their relationship to it. As such, Sociology is no exception. Sociology is concerned with the ways that society works and attempts to answer important questions about who’s interests are met within the workings of society. The intention of the Sociology A Level is to offer students a broad and balanced understanding of important sociological skills and knowledge. Key to this is understanding that Sociology is often the study of the everyday but with a critical and academic eye.
Our intention is to give students a strong foundation in knowledge-rich sociological thought. This is carefully sequenced from the beginning of the GCSE and throughout the A Level (although taking the GCSE is not a requirement for A Level study). Sociological theories, such as Functionalism, Marxism, Feminism and Post-Modernism, run from the beginnings of the course through its entirety. Students are encouraged to evaluate and critically assess both the theories themselves and their applications to key sociological issues and problems. Our intention is for students to become experts and masters in their field, able to articulate their declarative knowledge of a range of theories, topics and studies from across the specification and beyond, including a detailed understanding of Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
As part of our Sociology curriculum intention, we aim to create successful learners who enjoy their sociological studies and are able to take this knowledge into many further aspects of their learning and careers. For example by continuing with Sociology, picking up other subjects from within the Social Sciences discipline, or simply by utilising the knowledge and skills they have developed in aspects of their everyday life.
Psychology sits within the Social Sciences Faculty and is offered at KS5 (A Level). The aim of all Social Sciences is to encourage students to reflect on their position within the world and their relationship to it.
Psychology is a broad area of study that covers many aspects of both scientific, biological, and environmental explanations for individual learning and behaviour, as well as more philosophical and social aspects of humanity, such as humanism. The intention of the Psychology A Level is to offer students a broad and balanced understanding of important psychological skills and knowledge so that they can independently evaluate themselves and the world around them and to prepare individuals who choose to do so, with the foundational knowledge and more importantly interest in, entering undergraduate study.
The intention is also to give the students a firm understanding of the range of psychological approaches, what the intentions, philosophical and historical content, key studies and findings, and an evaluative knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of both individual pieces of research and whole approaches.
Psychological areas of study include Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology in the first year of the course, as well as Research Methods, Issues and Debates Within Psychology, Approaches to Psychology and then three of nine optional topics in the second year. Typically, students will choose Forensic Psychology (criminology), Schizophrenia and Relationships. Students are encouraged to evaluate and critically assess both the theories themselves and their applications to key psychological issues and problems. The understanding of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is crucial to this approach.
The Psychology curriculum intention is to create engaged learners who enjoy their studies and are stimulated to train in the field and develop a specialist Psychology career.
Law sits within the Social Science Faculty and is offered as KS5 (A level). There is no GCSE level study proceeding the A level.
The intention of the A level course is to develop a knowledge-rich insight into key areas of law (criminal, tort and contract) as well as a more general understanding of the nature of law and how the English legal system functions. Throughout the course students develop their knowledge of case law and its application to increasingly complex scenarios. Subject specific knowledge is be thoughtfully sequenced to aid student understanding and there is a key focus on the understanding of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
Students learn how the law is applied through a range of case analysis, whole class discussion, mock trials, small group debates and extensive independent research. The study of law also allows students to develop transferable skills of analysis, reasoning, problem-solving and critical thinking, all of which are invaluable as they move on to study a range of subjects at university.
Business studies sits within the Social Sciences Faculty and is offered at KS5 (A Level). The aim of all Social Sciences is to encourage students to reflect on their position within the world and their relationship to it.
The Business department believes passionately in the subject they teach and feel that A-level business is an important qualification to study in an ever-changing society. In the commercial world businesses range from single person ownership to large multinational corporations such as McDonalds that have outlets and headquarters throughout the world. The current pandemic has wrought havoc on the business world and students can see the impact of economic and social shocks and the way that business has responded to this. Our intent is very much that they can see the concepts and themes studied at play in the real world. The Brexit vote of 2016 is another powerful way in which students can see economic, political, and societal change shaping business decision making. Students will learn how and why businesses differ and how they may evolve from small scale to a very large global entities. It has never been more relevant to consider the ethical impact of some of the global entities that whilst satisfying he needs and wants of their consumers, are often called out for tax evasion, obscure supply chains and the like. Business is important because it is relevant; students will be able to use their knowledge as consumers and citizenships and apply this experience to a range of business theories and concepts. The course also equips students with some insight into the different functional areas of business which may support a future career path.
There is no GCSE level study proceeding the A level offered in Business.
The teaching of the course follows a carefully sequenced, logical order that allows for a knowledge-rich understanding of all key topics. The nature of the subject also means that real life events may mean that we may take a minor detour to another topic if a logical opportunity to activate some prior learning or learn something new in a topical context. The understanding of Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary is of paramount importance throughout the course.
Our intention is that a study of A Level Business Studies provides an excellent grounding for future study, apprenticeships or the world of work.
Key stage 4
We offer the opportunity to study GCSE Sociology. The GCSE syllabus is split into two components:
Component 1: Understanding social processes which covers the following topics:
- Key concepts and processes of cultural transmission
- Sociological research methods
Component 2: Understanding social structures which covers the following topics:
- Social differentiation and stratification
- Crime and deviance
- Applied methods of sociological enquiry
Key stage 5
The main focus of the department is in sixth form study. We offer A levels in Sociology, Psychology, Law, and Business Studies.
At A level the core themes covered are:
- Socialisation, culture and identity
- Social differentiation, power and stratification
Students study the following specific topics:
- Education with theory and methods
- Crime and deviance with theory and methods
- Families and households
- Beliefs in society
At A level students start by looking at the following introductory topics:
- Social influence
Students then look at psychology in context, covering different approaches in psychology, biopsychology, research methods and current issues and debates within the subject.
Students then elect to study a number of additional topics in detail. The topics offered include:
- Eating behaviours
- Forensic psychology
At A level students study the following aspects of law:
- The nature of law and the English legal system
- Students look at law-making, the criminal and civil court systems, and how law interacts with society, justice and morality.
- Criminal law
- Students study a range of criminal offences against the person, such as assault and battery, actual bodily harm (ABH), grievous bodily harm (GBH) and homicide, before moving on to study theft and robbery.
- Students focus on the main tort of negligence and its application to different scenarios (psychiatric injury, pure economic loss, occupiers’ liability). They then study one of the other main torts, namely nuisance.
- Law of contract
- Students look at all aspects of contract law, including the formation of a contract, terms of a contract, discharge of a contract and remedies for breach of contract.
The business studies A Level is structured around four themes:
- Marketing and people
- Students are introduced to the market, explore the marketing and people functions and investigate entrepreneurs and business start-up.
- Managing business activities
- Students explore the finance and operations functions, and investigate external influences on business.
- Business decisions and strategy
- Students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in theme 2 and explore influences on business strategy and decision-making.
- Global business
- Students develop their understanding of the concepts introduced in theme 1 and explore business activity in a global context.