The Social Science department aims to engage students in appreciating and evaluating how our lives are shaped by our environment and especially others around us.
Through the different subjects in the department we consider this question at all levels: whether this be in terms of the psychological factors influencing us individually; the structures in society which affect how different groups are treated; the economic forces that affect our lives or the political systems that govern whole countries, up to ways of thinking and belief systems that underpin people’s whole approach to living.
Sociology GCSE encourages pupils to examine the forces in society that affect their lives.
They consider a range of key questions in a number of topics including:
The family – Is marriage still important? Why is the divorce rate increasing? How has the ‘typical’ family changed over the past 30 years? Who does the housework in most families and why?
Education – What is the purpose of education? What affects how well you do at school? Why have girls improved more rapidly than boys over the last few years? How has the education system changed over the past 30 years and what effects has this had?
Poverty and the Welfare State – How can we explain poverty? How is poverty measured? What benefits are provided for people? Is the Welfare State a success or a failure?
Work - How have jobs changed over the past 30 years and how has this affected workers? What affects the type of job we get and how likely we are to be promoted? Do men and women have equal experiences of work?
Crime - Why do people commit crime? Do we have an accurate picture of the amount of crime committed? What structures in society encourage us to follow the laws and rules of society?
The pupils follow the AQA syllabus and 20% of their final grade is assessed by a coursework project which is completed at the beginning of Year 11. The other 80% of the course is assessed by a written exam at the end of Year 11.
Health and Social Care vGCSE
Health and Social Care is a vocational GCSE that aims to give pupils an insight into the knowledge, skills and issues involved in work in this sector. The pupils follow the EDEXCEL syllabus and follow 3 units:
Unit 1 – Investigating a Health and Social Care provider
This unit is assessed by a coursework project in which pupils have to describe one local health and social care organisation, the jobs within that organisation and the clients that the organisation serves.
Unit 2 – Promoting Health and Well Being
This unit is also assessed by a coursework project in which pupils have to produce a personalised health plan for one individual
Unit 3 – Growth and Development
This unit is assessed by a written exam at the end of Year 11. The pupils learn about the various factors that influence how we grow and develop throughout our whole lives.
Business Studies GCSE
Pupils follow the EDEXCEL syllabus in which they study 5 units:
Business activity and the changing environment – what types of business organisation are there? How do government and technology influence businesses? How do we know if a business is doing well?
Human resources – how do businesses recruit and train their staff? How can bosses motivate their workers? What do trade unions do?
Accounting and finance – Where do businesses get money from? How do you work out a budget? What does accounting involve?
Marketing – What types of advertising are there? What can and can’t you say on an advert? How important is branding? What is market research and how is it used?
Production – What are the different methods of production? What is productivity and how can it be improved? Why is quality control important?
The pupils also complete a coursework project based on one of the above units which is worth 25% of their final marks. The other 75% is assessed by a written exam at the end of Year 11.