Social Science

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In the SPH Sixth Form you have the opportunity to study Sociology and Psychology at A-Level. Lessons involve a range of learning styles including; class debates, article and newspaper analysis and practical tasks (such as creating brain hats and skittles sampling). As an A-Level only department, Miss Hoole is able to provide a range of resources which help students make the jump between GCSE and A-Level style learning, with a focus on organisation to help students become fully independent workers, so they are equipped for life after SPH, be that university or the world of work.



Sociology A-Level provides students with the skills of analysis and evaluation. They are able to examine what is happening in the world and explain it from many different perspectives including Feminism and Post-Modernism. The use of evidence is essential in this subject, and students gain an understanding of how sociological research is collected and the benefits and pitfalls of many research methods including the use of official government statistics. The A-Level develops students’ critical eyes and allows them to examine the news and current affairs in an in-depth manner, considering the impact these events may have on society in the short and long term. The course also focuses on the effectiveness of social policy and therefore gives students a historical and political awareness making the students well rounded social scientists. Currently at SPH, the topics taught are: Education, Families and Households, Mass Media and Crime and Deviance.



Psychology is one of the most popular A-Level options at SPH. In Psychology A-Level students examine a range of debates such as nature versus nurture and free will versus determinism, which allow them to critically assess the value of a range of topic areas. In addition, the A-Level develops students’ research skills and data analysis, as students have to have an in-depth awareness of methodological strengths and limitations as well as some competency in statistical testing and graphical data. They are then able to critically examine the validity and reliability of published research in essays. The course provides students with an understanding of the uniqueness of each of us, meaning they gain the ability to empathise with others, essential in a world more complex than ever. At SPH, the optional topics which students explore are; gender, aggression and schizophrenia where they consider why psychologists are in disagreement about the causes of behaviour. This is in addition to the compulsory units of Attachment, Social Influence, Memory and Psychopathology. 

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