Quick Links

GSO Test

Est. 1921




What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

  • To produce students with high aspirations and self-confidence

  • To create responsible citizens with awareness of social issues such as inequality, prejudice and discrimination

  • For students to make good progress towards meeting or exceeding target grades

  • To encourage students to lead healthy and happy lives by developing awareness of social issues which they can apply in their own lives

  • To produce students who are confident in developing and expressing their own informed opinions but are also respectful of the views of others

  • To encourage students to challenge taken-for granted assumptions and question their everyday understanding of social phenomena

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 potential A/A* grade 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. There are set ‘formal’ assessments throughout each unit as well as an end of unit test, the results of which are recorded on Go4Schools and will be marked by teachers. In addition, teachers carry out informal practice assessments in class which may be marked through teacher, self or peer assessment.

  • 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 in the last half term of year 10 and before Christmas in year 11.

  • The purpose of all assessment is primarily to provide students with feedback on how to improve as well as to give them an opportunity to practice working in timed condition in preparation for the final exams. For all formal assessments, students are provided with information about how they have performed and DIRT tasks to improve their work.

  • Furthermore, assessments allow teachers to make a judgement about how well the students in their class are progressing and adapt their teaching to address any areas of weakness or misconceptions.

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 achieving good exam results in line with or above national averages.

  • Through the high uptake of Sociology A-level by those who have studied it at GCSE.

  • Through the positive behaviour of students in the majority of Sociology lessons.



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


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