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GSO Test

Est. 1921




What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

  • Pupils will enjoy lessons, feel challenged and motivated to achieve

  • Pupils will gain secure knowledge of the academic subject content

  • Pupils will develop transferrable skills including analysis, application and critical thinking

  • Pupils will learn to question and consider more deeply their taken for granted assumptions about the world

  • Pupils will develop empathy and understanding as well as an awareness about social issues which will enable them to become responsible citizens

What do we expect students to get from this subject?

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of areas of social life including crime, education, families and stratification and inequality. In particular, to understand how different social groups experience these differently

  • To be able to critically analyse information and use evidence to make informed arguments and reach judgements and conclusions

  • To gain understanding of sociological theories and be able to apply these to understand social issues, debates and changed over time

  • To be able to use sociological terminology correctly and appropriately

  • To be able to describe and evaluate the appropriateness of different sociological methods in different contexts.

  • To develop literacy skills through producing essay responses which are well-structured, address the question and make accurate use of sociological vocabulary

  • To develop ICT skills through the completion of independent homework projects involving online research.

  • To become more open-minded and willing to question their own assumptions and consider the opinions of others. 


How does learning develop over the years?

  • The sociology GCSE course is a 2-year course which develops on skills which have been acquired through studying other subjects in Years 7 to 9 but also requires learners to develop new skills and attitudes. Skills gained in history, English and geography are likely to be useful.

  • Sociology GCSE is a 2-year course which is divided into units.

  • The first unit is an introduction to the subject followed by each of the substantive topic areas.

  • Each unit begins with an introduction to the topic and then considers the relevant issues raised in the specification.

  • Students will develop subject knowledge in a linear fashion, studying units one after another, the same skills will be reinforced throughout the 2 year course. The same themes concepts, theories and ideas will also be revisited in each unit.

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

  • We ensure that we incorporate contemporary and where possible local examples in lesson planning so that students are able to relate the theory they are learning about to their own experiences and the wider world

  • Our curriculum is focused on the requirements of the exam board specification (Eduqas GCSE Sociology).

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • In addition to timetabled lessons the Sociology departments has built links with Liverpool University and has visited Liverpool University with year 10 for a taster day.

  • We also offer revision sessions after school as well as targeted intervention to raise the achievement of all students.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: Identity and cultural diversity are central themes in Sociology GCSE. We consider the different aspects of our lives which make up our identity and we also consider cultural differences around the world, in the UK and within institutions such as schools.

  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles: As part of the stratification unit students are encouraged to consider differences in life chances including physical and mental health on different social groups. They think about the causes and consequences of these differences.

  • Community participation: By developing a greater awareness of social issues such as discrimination, inequality and poverty students are more likely to take an interest and participate in events and activities within their local community.

  • Careers and enterprise: Sociology teachers discuss with their students the possible career destinations which studying sociology can lead to. These include teaching, social and community work, work in the criminal justice system and policing. Many of our GCSE students go on to study Sociology at A Level, Degree level and embark on careers in these fields.

  • Technology and the media: As part of our study of the influence of agencies of socialisation on individuals and different social groups students will be encouraged to consider and question the impact of the media on our behaviour, beliefs and attitudes. Students are also encouraged to engage with the media outside of the classroom in order to search for examples to support their learning in the classroom.

  • Creativity and critical thinking: Critical thinking is essential to the study of Sociology. Students are constantly encouraged to question, challenge and compare different sources of information and different sociological theories. Students will be required to weigh up the information they have learnt in class and make a critical judgement about it in essay questions.


What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

  • Assessments are carried out regularly in class throughout the course. All assessments take the form of GCSE exam style questions and students are given the opportunity to practice a wide variety of exam style questions.

  • At the start of the 2-year course students are given support and opportunities to plan and practice assessments before completing them. This support is gradually reduced as students approach the final exams.

  • Students also complete mock examinations at as part of the school examination timetable. These take place twice per year

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

We can judge the success of our curriculum in a number of ways:

  • Through the use of student voice

  • Through scrutiny of work in student's books

  • Through exam outcomes



Click here for the Sociology KS4 Curriculum Map for 2022/23

For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 4 courses page.


Year 12

Click here for the Year 12 Curriculum Map (Foundation Subjects) for 2021/22 Academic Year

Year 13

Click here for the Year 13 Curriculum Map (Foundation Subjects) for 2021/22 Academic Year

For more information, click here to visit the Key Stage 5 courses page.


Click here for the Sociology/Psychology wider reading list