WOW! Politics 2014 - Teaching & Learning Resources for the GCSE & A Level Sociology Classroom

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Modern Slavery - in Britain

Monday, December 01, 2014

Slaves? In Britain? Yes - I'm afraid so - and the problem may be much worse than most experts thought according to new data published by the Home Office.

There could be between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, higher than previous figures, analysis for the Home Office suggests.

read more...»

WOW! Sociology 2014

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WOW! Sociology is a brand new CPD course that follows the popular format used in our sell-out course for Economics & Business Studies. 

WOW! Sociology 2014 will provide teaching colleagues with a fantastic collection of resources that can be used immediately in the GCSE and A level Sociology classroom.

We've asked a superb team of experienced and passionate Sociology teachers to develop their best-ever lesson resources for GCSE and A Level Sociology. 

The result is a superb collection of teaching resources that students will find engaging, challenging and enjoyable.

Further information about the contributors and resources provided on the course will be added to this blog entry in the near future.

You can make provisional bookings for the inaugural WOW! Sociology 2014 course now using this online booking form.

Greater Protection for sub cultures in Manchester

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Here's an interesting news story about how sub cultures are to receive greater protection from hate crime in the Manchester area.  The change has been prompted by the dreadful murder of 'goth' Sophie Lancaster in 2007.

Follow this link for more information.

Useful tool

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Try using this to ensure students understanding key, and often difficult concepts.  It also will force you to consider your explanations carefully!

Streaming in schools

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Streaming is no longer commonly used in schools, often viewed as divisive and unfair.  However, some schools have adopted the approach and defend it as a means to stretch and challenge the top cohorts.  Have a look at this video about how it works at Crown Woods, in Eltham, London. 

Gender and the Media

Monday, December 03, 2012

In the wake of the Leveson report, surely required reading (at 2000 pages, you may prefer the key points), here is a great summary of some of the issues raised in relation to gender and the press.

Corporate crime

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A great resource to discuss and debate the issue of corporate crime and responsibility in terms of tax etc.  The comments are particularly wonderful. 

Unit 4: Developing AO2 skills at A2

Saturday, November 10, 2012

One of the weaker areas for many students lies in the AO2 skills - analysis, interpretation and evaluation.  Here are some resources that I have used in lessons to help develop these skills through PEEL paragraphs, using brief examples from real essays.

AO2 skills

21 mark essay question Crime and the Media

Rape as an issue

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rape comes up a lot during discussions when teaching Crime and Deviance, particularly at A level, but also at GCSE. Whilst it can be a difficult topic for some, I welcome the discussions and am particularly keen to get students discussing current political views.  The American Presidential elections are proving most fertile as grounds to engage students... 

Views of rape as expressed by various candidates 

SCLY1 Families and Households Revision

Families and Households assessment consists of a 1hr exam, answering 3 short questions and 2 24 mark essay questions.

This unit can be split into 7 topics, all of which of course have links with one another:

·  Demography

·  Functions of the Family

·  Couples and the Domestic Division of Labour

·  Family Diversity

·  Childhood

·  Social Policy

·  Marriage, Divorce and Cohabitation

read more...»

Parents and Educational attainment

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Supportive parents do more than good schools to boost children's exam results, a study suggests.  The BBC highlight a new report from the US telling us what we probably already know!  Read about it here . 

Sociology Inequality - taught my capuchin monkeys!

Experiments with capuchin monkeys show that they understand the concept of fairness and inequality - perhaps better than humans!  A greater starter for lessons.

read more...»

Suicide and the Modern Middle-Aged Male

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A somewhat worrying report here in the Telegraph  which focuses attention on the relatively high rates of suicide among middle-aged men, particularly the poor.

read more...»

Domestic abuse: new guidelines

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The definition of domestic abuse has been widened so it covers forms of non-violent coercive behaviour and under-18s for the first time. Read about it on the BBC.  

Education around the World - Compare and Contrast these Classrooms

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A fascinating series of images here in this Guardian photostream  which illustrate a variety of classroom environments around the globe.

read more...»

Do you feel rich or poor?

Can the difference between rich and poor be measured, in some way, by how wealthy people "feel"? What factors determine whether someone feels poor or well off?

This feature in the Guardian  features some mini interviews with a variety of adults, each with different occupations, remuneration, accumulated savings and housing.

Some fascinating insights into how individual circumstances and attitudes help shape our perception of personal wealth.

SCLY2 Education with Research Methods: Answering Methods in Context Q5

20% of your whole mark for the paper comes from this essay question and it is a tricky one! This question requires you to APPLY your knowledge of research methods to a particular issue in education, this year’s examiners report from AQA states that still, many students are failing to apply the strengths and limitations of the given method to the particular issue presented in the item and that many responses are simply ‘methods essays.’

When answering this question there are 3 aspects to consider:

read more...»

Disadvantage and socialisation

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBC's Panorama showed a fantastic programme this evening, looking at life on a housing estate in Blackburn, 'Trouble on the Estate '.  The programme is available online and provides fantastic opportunities for discussing issues relating to crime and deviance as well as socialisation and social inequality.

Schools in the UK - Social Segregation

A major new comparative study from the OECD suggests that the UK's school system is socially segregated, with immigrant children clustered in disadvantaged schools. The extent of the segregation and potential educational disadvantage appears to be more significant than most other developed economies.

You can read about the report here in the Telegraph.  Lots of good data in there.

The OECD conclude from their research that:

"The socio-economic composition of UK schools poses significant challenges for disadvantaged students and students with an immigrant background,"

Child Poverty in the UK - “It Shouldn’t Happen Here”

The charity Save the Children, best known for helping some of the world's poorest families, has launched an appeal to help UK children, focusing the scale and impact of poverty amongst Britain's poorest communities...

read more...»

Trade union membership still concentrated in the public sector

Monday, September 10, 2012

Some useful stats here on trade union membership in the UK  - albeit from the Telegraph's Deputy Political Editor (so the data comes alongside some political comment and opinion).

read more...»

Class, Globalisation and the “Corruption” of Britain’s Public Schools

Saturday, September 08, 2012

A number of core themes are addressed in this short opinion piece by the Telegraph's Damian Thompson  in which he argues that the traditional ethos of public schools is being "corrupted" by the the growing influence of very rich foreigners.

Thompson accepts that public schools in the UK have always been happy to accept students from overseas and the substantial income that brings. However, he argues that the process of globalisation and rapid economic growth experienced in emerging markets such as Russia has created a new breed of foreign student:

"for the past 20 years, globalisation has been sharpening the greed of a certain sort of public schoolboy. Often this is combined with vague benevolence, but it’s the benevolence of the billionaire smirking as he writes a cheque rather than that of the volunteer whose aim is to liberate ordinary people."

Thompson also argues that "minor" public schools have taken advantage of this change and now actively seek to exploit the parents or guardians of overseas students.

Should children be allowed to be Fifty Shades of Grey?

Saturday, September 01, 2012

BBC magazine carried an article a couple of days ago about issues surrounding censorship and the media. In short, the debate was whether or not there should be similar controls on book sales as there are on television (the watershed) and film (age restrictions). Certainly a fertile topic for discussion with lots of scope to develop ideas relating to childhood and the influence of the media.

Gender and commercialism

Plenty of people will have seen this by now, but it should be a great talking point for students at GCSE or A Level when discussing gender issues.  I suggest asking them to write their own review!
Bic for Her!

Families - Who’d be a Foster Parent?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A thought-provoking article here which addresses the challenges faced by those in the UK prepared to take on the daunting work of fostering.

According to the Telegraph, there are 87,000 British children in care today. Each one needs a stable, loving environment and children’s homes are a last resort. But with a new child coming into care every 22 minutes, Britain’s fostering system is struggling to cope.

read more...»

The Glasgow Effect - Do Poverty, Inequality or Crime Explain the High Mortality Rate?

Friday, August 24, 2012

What is it about living in Glasgow that means people there die significantly younger than elsewhere in the UK?

This feature in the Economist - “No City for Old Men” - explores the fact that Glaswegians die younger than other Britons, but nobody seems to really understand why.

read more...»

The Rich Get Healthier…and the Poor Get Poorly?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is there a direct, causal link between social class and poor health? This article in the Guardian reports on the findings of a new survey by the King’s Fund health thinktank which suggests that there is a clear and widening gap in the health of people in England as measured by their social class.

read more...»

Sociology Teacher Resource Newsletter

Our Sociology Teacher Newsletter provides email updates on tutor2u and other teaching resources of interest to GCSE and A level Sociology teachers. To add yourself as a recipient, please complete the form below and then respond to the confirmation email we send you.

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AQA AS Unit 1 Families and Households Scheme of Work

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I have recently updated my Unit 1 scheme of work (although there are still a few finishing touches that remain).  Please feel free to make use of it or adapt it to suit your students.  If you would like to ask about any of the accompanying resources then please get in touch.

read more...»

TV in 80 years?

An interesting take on the future development of television as a starting point for discussion.  Listen here.

Olympics and statistics

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Olympics is proving fertile ground for considering the validity of statistics. A great defence of Ye Shiwen’s outstanding performance, against accusations of doping, is provided by the BBC.

Life long learning

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A heartwarming story albeit with a bitter-sweet ending!
Read it here.

teacher student relationships

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A great one for teachers and a good one for students to consider the importance and difficulties of teacher student relationships in school.
Read it here.

the Queen’s speech

Thursday, May 10, 2012

essential reading for budding young sociologists.  Read here.

Sociology Ferret - video clips

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Some great and fun videos created by a sociology teacher and her students to illustrate some of the key ideas in A level sociology.

Media and the law: privacy issues

Sunday, April 01, 2012

New legislation proposed by government would allow them to monitor all emails, calls and web use, without requiring permission from a magistrate.  A great debating point for any lesson, and am important issue.
Read a brief article about it here.

Teen gangs programme

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This looks like a potentially interesting programme, tonight at 9pm.
teen gangs

AQA AS and A2 revision handouts

Monday, March 19, 2012

These form part of the revision pack I put together for students.  They include a checklist of topics (from the specification) and examples of all past questions up to the most recent summer exam (I hold back the January exams for mocks).

The AS guide is for Unit 1: Families and Households and Unit 2: Education with Research Methods
The A2 guide is for Unit 3: Mass Media and Unit 4: Crime and Deviance with Theory and Methods.

Please feel free to adapt and use.

read more...»

History of Marriage

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a neat little summary of the history of marriage.  10 key moments.


Monday, March 05, 2012

The question of what it means to be ‘British’ is one that appears to have greatly vexed the Government.  They blame a lack of ‘Britishness’ for any failings in society and have a test specifically designed to weed out those not ‘British’ enough to own a British passport.  Teachers are expected to instil British values in students and it is promoted in society.  But what on earth is it?

read more...»

privatising policing

Saturday, March 03, 2012

The recent news story about the privatisation of certain police services has already sparked some vibrant reactions on facebook and other social media.  I am using it as a starter in my next crime and deviance lesson to consider what impact it might have on policing and society in general.  It offers a great opportunity to reflect on different theoretical perspectives. 

This is how it has been reported on the BBC.

GCSE sample answers - education

Sunday, February 26, 2012

An exercise looking at, and marking, sample 5 mark answers to help develop an understanding of the marking criteria at GCSE.

Remember to take the marks out when giving to students!



Friday, February 17, 2012

For those wanting a more humorous way into discussing the weaknesses of interviews as a method of research, this letter by Mark Twain might prove useful.

Parenting the French way

Thursday, February 09, 2012

A fascinating article about cross-cultural differences in parenting.  It would make a great resource for discussing the question of ‘child-centred’ families.

Population statistics

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I’ve seen a number of interesting stories and programmes exploring ideas relating to population levels.  The most recent was this morning on the BBC, asking if the number of people alive today (about 7 billion) outnumbers the number of people that have ever lived on earth.  Most of these debates centre on the fear that at some point there will be too many people for the world to handle.

read more...»

Media and Image

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This is a fantastic commentary of the images of women portrayed by the media, commenting on how they project an impossibly flawless ideal.  Jean Kilbourne argues, not just that this image leads to increasing eating disorders and mental health issues among teenage girls, but that the objectification of women’s bodies contributes to a growth in violence against women.

Watch the video and see if you agree.

read more...»

right to die - suicide

Friday, January 27, 2012

This story of a man’s campaign to the right to die, would make an interesting contemporary update for those studying suicide in Unit 4.  Read it here.

TED - videoed talks

Monday, January 23, 2012

TED is a fantastic resources of talks on a multitude of subjects.  Go and have a browse - you are sure to find something interesting / fun / challenging / useful / eye-opening… 

I like this selection on ‘what makes us happy?’

Methods: strengths and weaknesses

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Some card sorting activities on methods, for GCSE or A level.

Wikipedia ‘blackout’

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia’s decision to stage a 24hour ‘blackout’, in response to threatened US legislation, should make an interesting discussion starter for anyone studying media and / or crime and deviance.

read more...»

Feminism and Technology

Sunday, January 15, 2012

This year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has caused some controversy, with companies employing ‘booth babes’ to help promote their products.  You can watch a news clip here, featuring interviews with attendees and ‘babes’.

read more...»

Evaluating Research methods

A simple evaluation template for research methods.

Single Sex education

Sunday, January 08, 2012

An article in the Guardian about the benefits of single sex education for girls.  Read it here.

Routine and exam success

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Apologies for the radio silence, but I have been enjoying a well-earned holiday!  I plan to upload some new resources as soon as I can grab a chance between A level re-sit revision sessions, but in the meantime, take a look at this article on the link between daily routine and exam grades.

Policing the riots

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Home Office report on policing the riots.  Essential reading for Crime and Deviance students.

Violence and terror - Bauman

Monday, December 12, 2011

Zygmunt Bauman: ‘No one is in control. That is the major source of contemporary fear’ – video.  For Zygmunt Bauman the world is marked by a division between power and politics. While politics is defined by nations, power no longer recognises national boundaries

Health - animated lecture

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Great animated video about research into the benefits of exercise.  Watch it here.

Mass Media: Facebook

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Facebook provides plenty of fodder for lessons on the mass media at A level or GCSE.  Try this story summarising what people are actually talking about on facebook the most.

Traditional family?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A survey by the Centre for the Modern Family suggests that few people feel part of a ‘traditional’ family.  Read about it here.

Crime and Deviance - London riots

Monday, December 05, 2011

The government published last week their interim report on the violence during the summer.  You can find it here.

The LSE and the Guardian newspaper also carried out research, interviewing many of those involved.  The findings are summarised in an article here.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Useful article about the impact of the introduction of the contraceptive pill.

Press Ethics

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Any student studying Mass Media for Unit 3, should be aware of the Leveson inquiry - a goldmine of examples!  The BBC have been doing a rolling commentary on the witness statements, including that by Campbell here.

Family incomes

I’m having trouble uploading resources to the website currently, but there are plenty of stories in the news that provide a good basis for discussion.  One on the BBC today questions how easy it is to live on £40,000pa (the average combined income for two adults in the UK).  Read it here.

GCSE quizzes and games

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If anybody else is feeling like me at the moment, then it is a good time to (re)discover Chris Gardner’s excellent website: lots of quizzes, games and notes for GCSE Sociology, several of which I use profitably with AS level as well.

Research methods: questionnaires

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A great online exercise for evaluating questionnaires.

Educational Attainment and reading

OECD study shows the importance of reading to children in their first years at school.  Read it here.

Growing populations

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The growing population of our planet is of great interest to sociologists, and of concern to many.  This neat app on the BBC lets you work out what ‘number’ you are - a great little starter for discussion.

Suggar Daddies

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sugar Daddy parties in the UK - is it a form of prostitution?  Is it sexist?  Or is it simply a rebirth of traditional relationships where the man is the provider?  You decide.
Read the story here.

Gender and educational achievement

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An interesting link I came across recently which explores the issue of boys underachievement at GCSE in more depth.  There is a chapter you can download, along with a presentation, both of which contain useful information that could be adapted for use with sixth-former, or potentially GCSE students.

Politics and democracy

Friday, October 21, 2011

An interesting discussion of recent changes to electoral procedure; useful as a starting point for discussions about democracy and the balance of power.  Read here.

African-Caribbean underachievement

Interesting and baldly stated article about reasons for underachievement by black boys.  A good starting point for a lesson.

modern crimes and moral panics

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nice story for a starter about a father in trouble for taking a photograph of his daughter in a shopping centre.  Read it here.

Race and Identity

Fascinating programme about race and identity on BBC2 tonight, that will be repeated Tuesday 11:20pm and Wednesday 12:20am.

read more...»

year 10 assessment

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Here is an assessment I put together for my year 10, based mainly on the studying society element of Unit 1.  It is accompanied by a detailed peer marking exercise with model answers to assist.

read more...»

4 thought - mixed-race marriages

Sunday, October 02, 2011

4 Thought on channel 4 present short viewpoints on a wide variety of subjects that might be useful as starters for discussion points.  Yesterday’s was on mixed race marriages.  The BBC have also commented on the issue, here.

Educating Essex

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don’t be misled by the title or the pictures on the website, this series is a great fly-on-the-wall look at comprehensive education today.  There is bullying, dating, teaching and even some learning.  Take a look at the programmes here.

sleep and learning

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A joint research carried out by UAB and Ramon Llull University, published in the journal Cultura y Educación, indicates that children sleeping less than nine hours and with bad sleeping habits - such as going to bed late - do worse academically. The study was carried out in several schools with children aged 6 and 7.

You can read an executive summary here.

children as brand ambassadors

The BBC discusses the ethical issues of using children as brand ambassadors to sell products.

community sentencing or punishment?

Interesting discussion of the point of jail and the merits of community sentencing.  Read it here.

riots and statistics

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An excellent piece on the BBC looking at the statistics associated with the riots.  Good ‘methods in context’ material for A2 Crime and Deviance.
Read it here.

Plotting the riots

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another map, this time linking the homes of those charged in relation to the riots in Manchester, to areas of deprivation.  A good stimulus for discussing causes of crime.

Targeting crime ‘hotspots’

A study led by University College London suggests that targeting crime ‘hotspots’ is a good way of cutting offending, because most criminals are too lazy to go elsewhere.  The study has been printed in the Jourmal of Experimental Criminology and you must be a subscriber to download the full report, but the abstract is below.  Mark Easton, writing for the BBC, has also discuss the study, here.

read more...»

Boys underperformance at GCSE

This discussion thread on the TES website might prove a useful tool in discussing boys’ underachievement with sixth formers.


Sunday, September 04, 2011

For those of you introducing capitalism to AS students in the next few weeks, or trying to get A2 students to develop their understanding further, this article might make a good discussion point.  In particular, it could help students to apply the theory to contemporary issues and events.

Social surveys

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A lovely article from the BBC about the ONS and some of the surveys it has carried out: from how many bras women owned in 1941, to sex and contraception in 2001.  Read it here.

The ONS survey highlights would make a good starter for lessons on methods and / or social change; read it here.

the London riots and poverty

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I’m not sure who put this together, but this map overlays locations of recent unrest with areas of deprivation.  A good starting point for discussion about the root causes…  (warning - it can be slow to load)

Carrot or Stick - A Horizon Guide to Raising Kids

BBC4 are screening a Horizon documentary this evening (Thursday 11th August, 8-9pm), looking at how parenting techniques have changed, and theory behind those changes.  Sure it will be worth a watch, and I shall be recording it for future A level lessons on childhood.

Social climbing

Sunday, July 31, 2011

An interesting article about whether ‘social climbing’ is a good thing.  I wonder whether the assumption that it is still viewed as a negative aspect, remains true today anyway.  What do you think?

Family types card game

Friday, July 29, 2011

A card game for GCSE students studying the family, to help them identify types and definitions.  It’s a simple pairing exercise - instructions included.

The Happiness Index

People in the UK believe their well-being should be measured in terms of health, friends and family and job satisfaction, according to a report by the Office of National Statistics.  Read the article here.  The report can be downloaded here.

Children who don’t know their own name

A snippet from Radio 4 highlighting the problem of children arriving at school who don’t even know their own names.  The blame is levelled at television and the internet and the failure of families to engage in discussion.  Listen to it here.

children behaving badly

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The BBC screened a programme, Classroom Secrets, earlier this week, that showed footage of how children really behave in class.  You can see the programme on BBCiplayer, and there is a short clip along with brief details about the programme, here.

Ben Goldacre - bad science

Friday, June 24, 2011

For those that haven’t yet come across Ben Goldacre, he debunks examples of bad science.  His articles are insightful and make useful starting points for discussion at A2 (value-free research / the positivism debate) and AS (for those looking at health particularly).  His website can be found here.

The end of gender?

A neat article bringing together some of the most recent stories about challenging gender.  Read it here.

Britain’s mysterious baby boom

Monday, June 20, 2011

More discussion about fertility rates and the apparent ‘baby boom’ of the first part of this, the 21st century.  Is Tony Blair the ‘daddy’?  A good starting point for discussion.

are children being forced to grow up too quickly?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

In case you missed it earlier in the year, following a great deal of debate around the subject of the commercialisation, and particularly the perceived sexualisation, of children, the Government have commissioned a review.  Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union is leading the review which will focus on 4 key areas:

read more...»

class division - the battle continues

Friday, June 03, 2011

The BBC, in an article that not so subtly advertises a new book (Owen Jones - Chavs: the Demonization of the Working Class), discusses the controversy around the term ‘chav’ and the continued class division that exists in the UK.

Crime and Deviance: Miami mega-jail

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The exam boards are generally looking for up-to-date examples wherever possible, so why not take a look at this article on the BBC about the Miami mega-jail.

‘Imagine a jail where dangerous inmates awaiting trial live 24 to a room and fight each other under a violent gladiatorial code. This is life inside Miami’s mega-jail, writes Louis Theroux.’

Revision links

Friday, May 13, 2011

If you haven’t found it already, go and look the website for Ken Browne’s Sociology books for A level.  There are lots of sample chapters and some useful quizzes and matching exercises that are great for revision.

Gender Socialisation

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A last minute case study on Gender Socialisation for either Family topic on SCLY1 or Education on SCLY2; Researchers from Florida State University, have found kids’ books are likely to feature a male hero rather than a female heroine and could be reinforcing gender inequality. Adding that in recent years animal characters were twice as likely to be male as female.

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