Sociology

Curriculum Intent

Sociology is the study of human social relationships and institutions. Our intent at The Charter School North Dulwich is to introduce students to a diverse range of topics and ideas so that they can critically and actively engage in the world around them. At both Key Stage 4 and 5, the sociology curriculum challenges students to look beyond appearances and set aside their personal beliefs to enable them to develop as active, compassionate citizens. They will be encouraged to question taken for granted assumptions about culture, identity, social differentiation, power and inequality. Students will learn about a range of sociological skills and knowledge and the work of key sociologists. 

Overview by Key Stage:

Key Stage 4

GCSE sociology introduces students to the 'big ideas in political thought, and where possible, make links to the contemporary world. This course begins with learning about core sociological themes such as socialisation and the nature/nurture debate. The 'Families' topic which follows provides a more detailed insight into the socialisation process and gender roles. There is also the opportunity to include a global context to family life, for example, different marriage types and child-rearing practices. 

The critical theories of functionalism, Marxism and feminism are introduced, and we start to develop evaluation skills by comparing these perspectives. In the second term, we start Research Methods teaching students about different data types, their strengths and weaknesses and core concepts such as validity and reliability. Students can carry out small scale pilot studies on a topic related to Families to bring methods alive and practice application skills. The final components in Year 10 are learning about education, crime, and deviance. 


Year 11 continues Crime and Deviance and then finishes with Stratification. All components are supported with knowledge organisers and key study booklets. Homework includes a knowledge consolidation task one week followed by a timed exam question the next. 

Key Stage 5

Students study Culture and Identity at the beginning of year 12. This topic explores key sociological debates such as free will versus determinism, modernity and postmodernity and the impact of globalisation on societies. Students study a key piece of reading and exam question each week. Students are taught the skills of academic reading and note-taking skills to support this self-study. In term 2, students study Education and Research Methods, directly applying to key education studies to deepen knowledge and understanding. Students will also carry out a pilot study on an education-related question, learn how to write a final research report and present their findings to the rest of the class. In the summer term, students study Theory and Methods.


In Year 13, students learn about Crime and Deviance plus Beliefs in Society. Students can apply Crime and Deviance to examples from contemporary society through case studies of institutional racism/misogyny, corporate and state crimes. In 'Beliefs', students learn about different belief systems and the rise of fundamentalist beliefs. The same focus on retrieval applies, and learning exam technique applies to Year 13. Students experience one timed exam question a week.


Our curriculum also includes opportunities for developing cultural capital. These include events to hear from Charter Alumni who are sociology graduates and partnering with Behind Bars to run a conference for students on the role of prisons, including the opportunity to interview ex-prisoners.

Overview by Key Stage:

RSE Overview

GCSE sociology introduces students to the 'big ideas in political thought, and where possible, make links to the contemporary world. This course begins with learning about core sociological themes such as socialisation and the nature/nurture debate. The 'Families' topic which follows provides a more detailed insight into the socialisation process and gender roles. There is also the opportunity to include a global context to family life, for example, different marriage types and child-rearing practices. 

The critical theories of functionalism, Marxism and feminism are introduced, and we start to develop evaluation skills by comparing these perspectives. In the second term, we start Research Methods teaching students about different data types, their strengths and weaknesses and core concepts such as validity and reliability. Students can carry out small scale pilot studies on a topic related to Families to bring methods alive and practice application skills. The final components in Year 10 are learning about education, crime, and deviance. 


Year 11 continues Crime and Deviance and then finishes with Stratification. All components are supported with knowledge organisers and key study booklets. Homework includes a knowledge consolidation task one week followed by a timed exam question the next. 

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