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History & Sociology


To develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of the past and see how it shapes the present. Lessons should inspire curiosity through the teaching of key events, people and discoveries.


Students will learn about the past through investigating a series of engaging enquiry questions that may cover; first and second order concepts, a topic or theme in breadth, or delve into a narrower topic in depth. Through investigating the answers to enquiry questions students develop a broad base of knowledge of the past as well as developing key historical skills such as causation, change and continuity, interpretations and using sources.  Consideration has been given to ensure progression across skills throughout the time the students are in school as well as ensuring that students develop a sense of chronology. Opportunities for assessment have been clearly identified and planned for. Cross curricular themes have been specifically linked – for example literacy and citizenship. (See the Curriculum Map and Curriculum Overviews for further details)


Students’ exercise books, online learning areas as well as completed assessments and exams provide evidence of a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate they have developed key knowledge and skills.

By the time they leave Notre Dame RC Girls’ School students will be able to:

  • Show an understanding of the present through a respectful engagement with the past.
  • Engage in the process of historical enquiry and understand how history is created.
  • Engage with evidence and interpretations in meaningful ways.
  • Understand the development of history over long periods of time as well as in the short term.
  • Show an understanding of a diverse, broad range of periods and people.
  • Engage with the history around them

History Curriculum Map

History Curriculum Map

History Links

Sociology (KS4)

Course Outline

Sociology students at Notre Dame enjoy the course immensely and achieve good results (87% 4 or above in 2019)

Sociology is the study of human behaviour and society. It is a Social Science with its’ own set of guiding principles which are used to question, research and explain our social world. If you are someone who enjoys questioning their own life and why we have to do the things we do, this subject will allow you to thrive. If you are interested in why the riots of 2011 started, how family can influence the choices you make or how schools and media shapes our opinions then you should choose Sociology. You need to be happy to challenge your own opinions and respect others.

AT GCSE, students explain and evaluate different sociological theories such as Feminism, Marxism, Functionalism and social research that explains how humans have constructed our society. Particular focus is placed on the role of gender, ethnicity, social class and age in society today. The themes of power and inequality are explored through all of the units on the course which include; Researching Society, the Family, Education, Crime and Deviance and The Mass Media. Sociology is an academic subject, and students should be prepared to analyse statistics, construct their own social research, evaluate sociological evidence and write extended answers.


The course is assessed by 2 written examinations that are worth 50% each. Both these written exams are sat at the end of Year 11. There is no controlled assessment or coursework.

Paper 1: Understanding Social Processes – including families, education, cultural transmission and sociological research methods (50%)

Paper 2: Understanding social structures – including social differentiation, crime and deviance  (50%) 

Sociology Additional Information

Sociology at GCSE is useful for a range of careers including Journalism, Media, Health Care, Law, Teaching, Social Work, Politics, Criminology, Public Services and much more. Sociology is a discipline that can be studied at A-level , degree level and beyond for those who wish to work within the civil service and government departments, pressure groups, overseas development, public relations welfare and probation services.

More information on the Eduqas GCSE course can be found here: