Social Subjects

Social Subjects are recognised as important and high achieving subjects in St Andrew’s. The faculty comprises three departments Geography, History and Modern Studies. The study of the past, the present and how our world was formed gives young people a deeper understanding of fundamental issues today. The three discrete departments each form crucial parts of the broad general education young people receive in St Andrew’s from S1-S3.

Modern Studies

The study of Modern Studies involves pupils studying different political systems and theories as well as current affairs and is crucial in ensuring that our young people develop into responsible citizens with an appreciation of the rights and freedoms we have which are often taken for granted.

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Our young people are exposed to a variety of issues affecting the world today:

  • S1 - Citizenship (Human Rights and Democracy)
  • S2 - Rich World Poor World & The Terrorism unit
  • S3 - Democracy in Scotland and the UK
  • S3 - Social Inequalities – Wealth and Health
  • S3 - International Issues – The USA

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At the National level, pupils can specialise in up to two Social Subjects

National 4 and 5 Modern Studies

Course Content

The topics covered and methods of assessment are listed below:

  • Democracy in Scotland and the UK
  • Social Inequalities – Wealth and Health
  • International Issues – The USA

Assessment

At National 5 level, pupils must pass three end of unit assessments, complete an assignment of their choice during the year which accounts for 20% of their grade. Finally, pupils sit a final exam worth 80% of their grade. 

Pupils will get an October assessment in N5 Modern Studies.  

At National 4 level, pupils complete an assignment of their choice and three unit assessments in order to pass. There is no final exam.

Further Information

S5 & S6 Modern Studies

The faculty offers higher qualifications in all three discrete subjects, details of which are listed below:

Higher Modern Studies

Course Content

  • Democracy in Scotland and the United Kingdom
  • Social Issues in the United Kingdom – Wealth and Health Inequalities
  • International Issues – The USA

Assessment

At Higher level, pupils complete an assignment of their choice during the year which accounts for one third of their grade. Pupils sit a final exam worth two thirds of their grade.  

Pupils will get an October assessment in Higher Modern Studies

Further Information

Advanced Higher Modern Studies

Course Content

In Advanced Higher Modern Studies we focus on Law and Order and research methods

In topics A–C, candidates use a comparative approach to analyse and evaluate similarities and differences between the UK (including Scotland) and other international countries in relation to complex law and order issues. Candidates have flexibility in the international countries they choose to compare with the UK. In topic D, candidates study social science research methods and issues. Relevant case studies and examples are used from either contemporary contexts, academic contexts, or the candidate’s own use of social science research methods.

  • Understanding Criminal Behaviour
  • Responses by society to crime.
  • Social Science research methods and issues

Assessment

At Advanced Higher level, pupils complete a dissertation of their choice during the year which accounts for 50/140 marks, roughly 1/3rd of their grade. Pupils sit a final exam worth 90/140 or roughly 2/3rds of their grade.

Further Information

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Higher Politics         

Course Content

  • Political Theory
  • Political Structures
  • Political Parties & Voting
  • Higher Assignment

Assessment

At Higher level, pupils complete an assignment of their choice during the year which accounts for one third of their grade. Pupils sit a final exam worth two thirds of their grade.  

Pupils will get an October assessment in Higher Politics. 

Further Information

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Sociology

Purpose and aims of the course

Sociology will help you develop a sense of yourself as part of society. The sociological approach encourages you to ask questions about the social world in which we live, and to use evidence to support explanations for human social behaviour.

You will develop knowledge and understanding of the sociological perspectives, theories and concepts used to investigate and explain aspects of the social world. This sociological understanding enables you to question commonly-held assumptions about society and to consider sociological explanations.

Course Content

The course consists of three areas of study:

  • Human society
  • Culture and identity
  • Social issues

Assessment

Question Paper

The question paper has 80 marks out of a total of 110 marks for the course assessment. The question paper assesses your use of skills, and their knowledge and understanding of sociological perspectives, theories, and concepts. You will use sociological explanations and research evidence to respond to questions.

Assignment

The assignment has 30 marks out of a total of 110 marks for the course assessment. You will carry out your own secondary research into a topic of choice and produce a report on their findings. Assignment topics can range from examining how social media influences our concept of body image to exploring the link between social class and crime.

Pupils will get an October assessment in Higher Sociology.

Further Information

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What Skills are Developed in Social Subjects?

Learners will develop transferable skills such as problem solving and teamwork when collaborating with others. In addition, the Social Subjects faculty uses cooperative learning and Making Thinking Visible learning techniques which encourage the development of both academic and social skills.

Pupils will be able to:

  • Work cooperatively with others
  • Develop social skills
  • Improve literacy and numeracy skills
  • Develop ICT skills
  • Develop skills of problem solving
  • Gain an understanding of key social subjects concepts
  • Explore issues such as health and well being.

How is the Social Subjects BGE framework structured?

  • Social Subjects BGE is divided into level 3 and level 4 experiences and outcomes.
  • Level 4 outcomes will prepare pupils for SQA National 4 and National 5 qualifications and beyond.

What are the features of effective learning and teaching in Social Subjects?

  • Personalisation and choice in the nature of classroom tasks to support skills development. All tasks encourage creativity and imagination alongside higher order thinking skills.
  • A combination of independent, differentiated learning and collaboration among pupils to complete larger tasks.

How do we build on prior learning?

  • Increasing challenging contexts develop learners’ practical skills and depth of understanding.
  • Course content connects with learners’ experiences and interests in the real world and builds upon their existing knowledge.

What are the broad features of assessment in Social Subjects?

  • Assessment will focus on cooperative work and on creative tasks
  • Other assessments will include short summative (written) approaches.
  • Peer and self-assessment also play a significant part when progressing through the course.
  • Formative assessment (oral and written feedback) by the teacher.

Connections with other areas of the curriculum

  • The development of problem solving skills provides links to Maths, Science and Technical subjects.
  • The development of literacy skills including extended writing is closely tied to English
  • Creative tasks have links to art and design.
  • Activities to support development of skills in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing are embedded in activities throughout the course.
  • Use of digital technology to enhance learning through of iPads
  • Skills for work are built into our courses links with world of work.
  • Nurture principles are incorporated into in our courses

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