Social Sciences

Subject Leader: Mr T Heaton

Overview

Gal 4The Social Sciences department at Cheam High School continues to be judged as outstanding based on the department review of 2017/18.

Mr Heaton is the Subject Leader for Social Sciences and the department is made up of four teachers who teach Sociology and Psychology.

The Social Sciences team are cohesive and talented and are keen to evolve by embracing new technologies and methods that support and enhance the learning experience.

Strengths

The drive, ambition and enthusiasm of the Subject Leader is one of the major strengths of this department. 

The entire Social Sciences team are on board with new initiatives, keen to offer suggestions and take the lead. They have an excellent work ethic and are highly collaborative.

All A Level courses examined last year showed some outstanding outcomes.

IMG_5805The teaching and learning of all observed lessons was judged as outstanding.

Marking and assessment are very strong and there is much consistency due to the sharing of best practice and careful monitoring by the Subject Leader.

Thorough target setting and tracking and monitoring  ensures students make sustained and positive progress.

The use of learning tables to support the lesson content and provide differentiation in class for students has proved very successful. 

Schemes of work are well planned and innovative,  with many different learning activities tailored to different learning styles. 

Extra lessons on exam preparation and character building are run each week for Year 13 Psychology and Sociology students.

The environment for learning in Social Sciences is excellent; much thought has gone into the classroom environment which is based around the 5 senses. 

The Subject Leader shares his teaching and learning ideas and experience with the wider school through training sessions for new and experienced teachers alike.

Recent training has included : Exam Preparation, Preparing for Key Events, The Learning Environment, GRIT and Growth Mindset.

He has also launched a book club for staff to read and discuss some othe latest research and ideas on teaching and learning.

This sharing of best practice amongst the team and school community mean that students benefit from a wide range of expertise and innovative thinking.

Results

A Level Psychology: 75% of students achieved grades A* - C with 98% passing at grades A* - E.

A Level Sociology: 100% of students achieved grades A* - C.

Students' Views and Attitudes

In the most recent survey of student views,puplils commented that they felt their teachers had high expectations of them. They know how to improve their work and that lessons are planned and delivered to enable them to make strong progress. 

Students praised the usefulness of the learning tables and the file structure to support organisation and how approachable and supportive the Social Sciences team are. 

The students appreciate the extra support after school and the enthusiasm of the team. 

Overall, the Student Voice questionnaires showed Social Science students to be very content, happy and engaged with their studies. 

Enrichment and intervention

The KS5 Literacy Leader is a member of the Social Sciences department. 

There are structured writing frames used to support students’ responses to essay questions in exams and activities in class to support use of key terminology and command words. 

Two extra-curricular opportunities run regularly for students, the Psychology Society and the Social Sciences Clinic where students are invited to come along for discussion and advice. Some pupils may be directed to attend to support progress. 

The Sixth Form CEC policy is used well to support students identified as struggling in some areas of their work. 

Relevant lectures, books, articles, exhibitions and plays are advertised to students. 

Photo 5 Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3

Destinations

A great number of  students have gone on to study Psychology and/or Sociology and Criminology based degrees at a range of different universities for example, Cardiff, Kent, Loughborough, Surrey and Sussex. 

The Social Science department put considerable emphasis and time into sharing post 18 courses and careers with their students; this is reflected in the number continuing in their studies at university. 

Future Developments

  • to continue to evaluate and improve resources and the learning experience for the courses on offer
  • to focus on developing students oracy skills by utilising ideas from the Voice 21 programme
  • to grow students character and minds by drawing on some of the best practices of other outstanding schools
  • to further develop the belief that 'there is room at the top' for every student by using the latest research to give pupils the knowledge and skills as to what constitutes 'high performance learning'