The Sociology Department aims to deliver a challenging, varied and inclusive curriculum that will enable students at Regents Park Community College to widen their perspectives and understanding of the society that they live in and the world around them. Throughout the 2 year KS4 GCSE, students will be given the opportunity to study the following units: Social Stratification, Crime and Deviance, Education, Family and Research Methods. Please note that this is a GCSE subject and is not available for KS3 (Years 7, 8, and 9) students.

Is it fair? Does society function well? Is our criminal justice system effective?: These are some of the big questions we tackle in Sociology. Our intent for the curriculum is for pupils to have a holistic understanding of how institutions and individuals operate within society; understanding how everyone in society is impacted by external factors, as well as individuals. The Sociology department has high expectations of students and encourages them to develop critical thinking, both in their written work, and verbally. Through learning sociology, students are encouraged to become curious about the world in which they live, and to understand how society historically operated, how it operates now, and how it should work in the future. Sociology equips students with the skills they need to assess the most important social issues; how to solve them; and to see the world with verstehen (Weber’s idea of sociological empathy; putting yourself in others’ shoes).


Students master a range of transferable skills, through the encouragement of academic writing styles focusing on logical chains of thought in debates; strong discussion and critical thinking skills; and puzzle solving skills. Students will be pushed to challenge their own ideas of the world around them.

Students will understand various sociological perspectives, to enable them to analyse the society they live in, the groups they belong to, and the influences which impact upon their lives. Students will analyse and evaluate social phenomena, to consider the role of education and families; the social construction of criminality; and the way in which social stratification impacts on society, as well as the life chances of individuals. Students will explore the causes of social problems and functions, and will be equipped with knowledge on social policies and political literacy. Students will have 150 minutes of lessons a week for GCSE Sociology, looking at the following topic areas, linking to two exam papers.


GCSE Sociology is assessed by AQA and the students will sit two exams at the end of Year 11. These exams are equally weighted (50% each) and both carry a total of 100 marks per paper. Both exams are 1 hour and 45 minutes long and follow the same question pattern in both papers. For example, both sections of the two papers have two multiple choice questions followed by a range of short and extended responses.

Paper 1: The sociology of families and education and relevant areas of social theory and methodology. Paper 2: The sociology of crime and deviance and social stratification and relevant areas of social theory and methodology.

Course Details

Below are just a select few of the questions that the students may be answering throughout the course:

Social Stratification

  • What is the biggest factor affecting life chances: social class, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability, religion and beliefs?
  • How can socio-economic class divisions effect outcomes?

Crime and Deviance

  • Who reports the most crime – males or females?
  • How do prison systems work? Is there only one type of prison? Are they all run in the same way?
  • What is the difference between ‘white-collar’ and blue collar’ crimes? Do they have same punishments? Are they committed by the same ‘types’ of people?


  • Statistically, ‘white British boys’ do the worst in education within the United Kingdom, why is this?
  • What is a ‘ladette’ culture and how has this affected education?
  • What is ‘role allocation’ and how does it link to education?


  • What effects do marriage, divorce, children and death have on the family and also in the wider society?
  • What are conjugal role relationships?
  • How do family forms differ in the United Kingdom in comparison to the rest of the world?

Research Methods

  • What ethical issues must be considered when conducting research methods?
  • What is the difference between ‘overt’, ‘covert’, ‘participant observation’ and ‘no-participant observation’?
  • How can various primary and secondary sources be used in specific areas of research?


The department offer Sociology revision classes after school on Thursdays (2:40pm – 3:40pm). For these sessions, the students are encouraged to speak to Ms West in advance to ensure that topics of their choice can be prepared for.


Feedback is focused and we give the students an opportunity to reflect and work on areas they need to improve upon. Following assessments we identify areas of weakness and we use different approaches to address misconceptions within lessons both individually and in a whole class setting. Appropriate interventions will be put in place to further support those students who may be struggling.

After each unit, students will have a test on their knowledge and skills, using exam questions to see if they have refined this technique in lesson. This is used to inform students and parents about what they should be working on at home to help them prepare for their GCSEs as well as informing class teachers about what they need to reteach to fill in any gaps that students have.

A full Monitoring and Evaluating schedule with key dates is published so all department members are fully aware of what will be monitored to develop a more open and positive ethos on drop ins and book looks.

There are clear expectations for staff and these are delivered though both department and school policies.

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