Curriculum Intent

The Curriculum intent for Sociology is closely linked to the OCR exam specification for A-Level study and has been chosen because of its range of important sociological issues, not least it’s emphasis on identity and inequality. These are two key areas that we feel are vital in an appreciation of the global world today and ones that our students will benefit from studying in detail.

In essence this is a study of UK society from 1900 to the present day and the range of sociological studies that have attempted to analyse society during that period but focusing very much on the last 30 years.

Our curriculum intent means a clear understanding of key sociological concepts and theories such as Marxism and Functionalism are required to move to a deeper appreciation of the complexities of society in an ever-changing world. This is especially relevant in the topics of Crime and deviance and the Digital World undertaken in Year 13.  

In recent years we have accentuated this understanding with Enrichment Days involving the local Criminal Justice System, celebrating cultural diversity in London, talks by teenage mothers and by looking at youth subcultures in more detail.

A Level: Years 12 and 13

Exam Board: OCR 

Aims and learning outcomes of the OCR syllabus at OPGS.

The main purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners by providing a suitable foundation for the study of sociology or related courses in higher education. This is something we pride ourselves on in the Sociology department at OPGS where a large percentage of our students go onto study Sociology at Russell Group universities. For example last year’s cohort are studying sociological courses at Bristol, Bath, Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, Exeter, Warwick and Queen Marys amongst others.

Equally, the purposes of this qualification are to prepare OPGS learners intending to pursue careers or further study in social sciences, or as part of a general education.

The OCR A level specification in Sociology chosen by OPGS enables learners to: Recognise that their sociological knowledge, understanding and skills help them to develop an understanding of the interrelationships between individuals, groups, institutions and societies.

Analyse critically the nature and sources of information and to base reasoned judgements and arguments on evidence; organise and communicate their knowledge and understanding in different and creative ways, and reach substantiated judgements

Appreciate the significance of theoretical and conceptual issues in sociological debate

Understand and evaluate sociological methodology and a range of research methods through active involvement in the research process

Develop skills that enable individuals to focus on their personal identity, roles and responsibilities within society

Develop a lifelong interest in social issues.

At OPGS we encourage this lifelong interest by having strong links to ex-students who often come into school to talk about their careers and interests. We recently had a speech from Dr Frost from London School of Economics about Sociological courses offered at under-graduate level.


Key Topics

Identity: This is a crucial topic in the understanding of how society works, and we look at Sexuality, Gender, Class, Ethnicity, Nationality and Age to allow students a better understanding of what identity is and how it affects us all.

Agents of Socialisation: We choose this topic due to its wide-ranging impact on the world around us with topics such as The Family, Education, Peer groups and Religion being studied.

Youth Sub-cultures: Students look at the emergence of youth subcultures and how they are important to society along with Marxist theory to try and explain them.

Social Inequality: This is one of the most important topics on the course, and we look at Marxism, Feminism and Weberian theory on social inequality and why it is present in the UK today.

Crime and Deviance: Students look at extensive data on crime and explanations such as Marxism, Feminism for these statistics as well as the patterns and trends in crime. This topic is often a favourite with our many potential lawyers or police officers.