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The Rugby Free Secondary sociology curriculum allows students to develop an understanding of the world around them and how different social structures, processes and issues impact their day to day lives, as well as the lives of others. 


This gives students an opportunity to delve deeper into the many areas of their life that will shape their behaviour, identity and beliefs, while respecting those with different experiences. This knowledge and skill set will equip them for further study, as well as ensuring they never view the world in the same way again.

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You don't retire 

from sociology any 

more than you 

retire from life. 


Laurie Taylor

(BBC Radio 4 presenter)

Sociology Department - Overarching Curriculum Intent (September 2023


RFSS Curriculum Vision Statement: 

To build an inclusive curriculum which is aspirational for all and empowers our students to make outstanding academic and personal progress.  


Sociology Curriculum in Context:


We live in an ever-changing world, where the impact of globalisation has led to greater diversity, less economic security and more technological change than ever before. These changes in wider society can be felt in schools too. They have led to wider gaps in achievement of groups such as the disadvantaged, ethnic minorities and students with additional needs within schools nationally and have also limited their access to other areas of society as well. Often these students are drawn to Social Science subjects, with A Level Sociology drawing in the more disadvantaged students than any other subject according to the Fischer Family Trust (2022). Often this is to make sense of their position in society, our curriculum has been designed to not only meet their needs and encourage inclusivity, but also allow these students to understand why these changes are happening through the exploration of current events and more recent studies. This has led to a focus on vocabulary throughout Key Stage Four and Key Stage Five to ensure that students have a secure understanding of key terminology that they are often introduced to for the first time in the subject. The elaborate vocabulary and concepts that students are introduced to can also be used in other subjects to show an enhanced understanding, with the 2019 AQA Paper 2 English Language Examiners report quoting that the strongest responses demonstrated an ability to engage with “’the big ideas’: politics, economics, gender, aesthetics, class, morality, psychology, even philosophy”. Throughout the RFSS Sociology curriculum, students will explore the different perspectives views of society and evaluate whether they are still relevant now. The curriculum allows students to explore contemporary issues, ensuring they are aware of political, economic, cultural and social changes that are occurring in society nowadays and can confidently apply them not just within the Social Science subjects, but the wider curriculum too. The curriculum also allows for students' personal development, giving students an opportunity to delve deeper into the many areas of their life that will shape their behaviour, identity and beliefs, while respecting that those with different experiences will likely hold different perspectives from them because of this. They will learn how sociologists strive to improve their society, making it a more equal place for all, but do so from different viewpoints and show resilience when others critique them because of this. Our intent is that our students will be offered a curriculum which is academically rigorous but also helps them to develop into curious and well-rounded young people, who will never view the world in the same way again. 


Curriculum Aims: 


Our curriculum aims to: 

  • Promote mastery, while encouraging students to be curious, resilient learners who can work independently and in groups to employ research skills that will be used into Higher Education and beyond.  

  • Develop students ability to analyse and evaluate through the exploration of different sociological perspectives. 

  • Ensure all students can make good progress by mastering core vocabulary, identifying trends in data and having a sound understanding of key concepts.   

  • Support students to understand their social world and experiences through the study key texts associated with some of the leading sociologists of the 20th century 


Our broad and balanced curriculum concentrates on developing our students’ key knowledge and skills, and enhances their understanding of the world around them.   

We do this by: 

  • Sequencing learning in a way that allows knowledge to be built upon so that students can make synoptic links across topics. 

  • Promoting curiosity, collaboration and resilience through independent and interdependent activities such as research projects and extra-curricular trips. 

  • Exploring key themes throughout the course, such as Gender, Social Class, Ethnicity, Age, Power, Wealth, the Media and Inequality, linking these with historical and current events. 

  • Introducing students to challenging terms and concepts through the study of twenty-five key texts that have shaped Sociological thinking.  

  • Participating in debates to improve oracy and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different sociological views, collect evidence to support their arguments and accept that people have different opinions. 

  • Promoting challenge for all through the use of additional studies and evaluative points. 


Our curriculum is focused on the development of communication, character and cultural capital of each individual student, so they become: 

  • Curious about their position in society and the ways that they can improve upon it 

  • Empathetic to the experiences of others and aware of how inequalities within society may effect their position 

  • Effective communicators who are able to see both sides of an argument and consider alternative perspectives.  

  • Critical thinkers who are able to evaluate alternative viewpoints and support their views with statistics and academic studies.  

  • Confident students who can apply their sociological imagination to other curriculum areas around the school. 

Curriculum Outcome: 

Students studying Sociology will leave RFSS as empathetic students who no longer take the interactions that they view on a daily basis on face value. They will forevermore apply sociological perspectives to the most simple events in their lives, will be fully equipped to employ skills desired by further education providers and employers alike, such as critical thinking, planning research and extended writing.  

Please view or download our 'Sequence Overview' document for Sociology

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  • Kindness
    We regularly give ‘shout outs’ for staff who have gone above and beyond and demonstrated an exceptional display of one of our values We encourage and try to support flexible working requests and promote ‘family values’ as something that makes the workforce distinctive. We try to ensure staff have the opportunity to attend personal events or celebrations when requested and within agreed time frame.
  • Collaboration
    We have an active Staff Wellbeing committee who meet regularly to discuss staff wellbeing and workload. We provide all new staff with a ‘buddy’ to provide support and advice. We plan a variety of staff social events across the year. We provide staff with a free lunch on the day of their duty. We have regular staff breakfasts, provide food on all CPD days and occasional treats such as Pizza!
  • Curiosity
    We invest heavily in staff CPD and both promote and support opportunities to develop staff. We provide opportunities for all staff to network and visit other schools to improve their practice and share great ideas.
  • Respect
    We have a Staff Room, where staff can meet, work and even socialise Each faculty has its own staff work room We have regular appraisal conversations to discuss career progression
  • Resilience
    We promote resilience through our reflective CPD pathways. We have an area in the staff room dedicated to wellbeing which is used to promote health and wellbeing. We share weekly health and wellbeing information.
  • Endeavour
    Promote a work life balance by being considerate when sending emails and holding meetings. We will endeavor to celebrate our staff and their achievements on a regular basis, for example; a black tie celebration evening.
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