Social sciences look at how the human world works – how we think, how we function as a society and how we keep ourselves and others healthy. We help students to craft an understanding around how people behave, how different societies and cultures function and how our actions and beliefs shape the world around us.
The social science curriculum develops lifelong skills that will allow all students to appreciate different perspectives and think holistically regarding the reasons why we, and others in society, behave the way that we do.
Social scientists will develop an awareness of people around them, which includes differences within their own culture and an understanding of societies or cultures that are different to their own. This will be achieved by developing students’ fluency in the ability to express themselves in the language of social sciences. Social science subjects are windows to other worlds, students will understand the world of the prison system, cultures such Hidatsa tribe and complexities between social class, gender and ethnicity.
Students will acquire inquisitiveness around politics and their place in society including understanding democratic systems, the role of the criminal justice system and as a consequence of this students will learn to respect cultural differences. This is then developed for students to critically think of their own world around them and understand through different eyes how the world may be. This will include developing the student themselves as they will learn to develop the confidence to challenge ideas and misconceptions around them.
Within social science the key skills of application, analysis, interpretation and evaluation are developed and revisited throughout key stage 4 and key stage 5. These skills will encourage students to present arguments, make judgements and draw conclusions. Students will also analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, to develop and refine experimental design and procedures.
Subject specific terminology and language is introduced from the start of each course and reinforced and embedded throughout all topics. This vocabulary is the foundation of all knowledge and understanding, fluency of which allows students to master the key skills and develop their confidence and competence to achieve their potential. It is important students understand how knowledge is transferred between topics but also across the social science disciplines at each key stage. For example, understanding key concepts of reliability and validity is an integral part of research methodology which underpins theoretical understanding. Knowledge is sequenced progressively to facilitate long term retention through careful sequencing of the curriculum to build on foundations. For example, psychologists learn about all of the different approaches in their first topic which they then constantly apply throughout the rest of the course.
The social science curriculum not only enhances student’s understanding of the subject content but also develops many interpersonal skills which allows students to feel equipped with skills which are essential for a postmodern society. The nature of social science subjects constantly encourages students to be open minded as they learn about different cultural and social practices to their own.
This fosters a love of learning and students are inquisitive about behaviour they witness outside the classroom as they wish to apply their knowledge to real world situations. This also enhances student’s empathy levels as their greater understanding of others allows them to be respectful of differences between people which they then apply to real life when they encounter others in society. Within certain topics students are given the opportunity to carry out their own piece of research in an area of their choice which enhances their curiosity for the subject. Students work together to design complex studies and overcome the many barriers that are likely when trying to assess human behaviour which fosters a resilient approach.
The social science faculty relishes in opportunities to ensure all students have rich experiences. This allows students to use their knowledge and understanding from the formal curriculum and apply this to wider contexts stimulating their academic curiosity. Our curriculum offer develops skills such as debating through guided discussion and open mindedness when hearing others lived experiences. For example all students have the opportunity to attend the feminist society where they can discuss important issues relating to gender and have the opportunity to engage with others in discussion. Students are also offered the possibility of attending a criminology conference, as a window into the world of ex-offenders and motivations and implications behind crime.
Health and social care students are given the opportunity to visit the settings in which they are learning about, such as a local nursery/primary schools. Offering these opportunities allows for Tuxford social science students to have experiences they can use in later life in careers they may pursue. It develops their cultural capital as it promotes engagement with a wide range of issues that go beyond pupil’s day-to-day experiences. This is also reflected in the classroom, teachers in social science foster a love for reading around the subject. This can be in the form of book recommendations or a library of books for students to borrow from. Social students become well rounded and respectful citizens who are prepared to challenge and over adversity.