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Social Sciences
The truth is rarely pure and never simple
Oscar Wilde

Social science is, in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us.

Like all sciences, social sciences evolve through the interplay of the ideas and theories of academics and the evidence that supports or refutes them. Social Sciences at the Alice Smith School focus on developing the individual by expanding their knowledge and encouraging them to think critically about issues surrounding society and the individual within it.

Studying Social Sciences here is an interactive experience in which students have the opportunity to carry out social research and develop their understanding of the world and their own identity.  In addition to thinking critically, students develop empathy and an independence of thought through a number of innovative teaching strategies, catered to the needs of every learner. There are 4 subject specialist staff with a range of expertise, from biological and clinical psychology right through to beliefs, criminology and social influence.

Social Science is steadily increasing in numbers reflecting the expanding popularity of the subject and its relevance in today’s competitive career market and global economy. It is an area of study that can be applied to and aligned with a wealth of different subjects from the Sciences and Economics to Politics, History, English and Philosophy.

Psychology

Psychology is the study of the mind and behaviour. It looks at where behaviour comes from in both humans and animals in order to better understand and possibly even control that behaviour with the aim of improving and helping society and the individual within it. Psychology is offered at GCSE and A Level, where the focus over the four years of study is not simply about the mechanics and origin of human behaviour, it also covers maladaptive and deviant behaviour as well as how best to address and treat these issues. It is a versatile subject which links with many others, such as Biology, English, PE, Business Studies and Economics. And given the applied nature of the subject, it is also relevant to many careers and not just to the field of Psychology. An example of this would be Law as the course seeks to understand memory in the context of Eyewitness Testimony and the legal ramifications associated with it (Cognition and Law). Psychology covers a vast array of topics; exploring themes such as the influence of nature and nurture, to how we process information to greater issues such as understanding how genocide can happen.

Sociology

Sociology is the study of societies and it looks at how people live, behave and work together in groups. It asks questions about the world we live in and tries to explain why it is the way it is.  Sociology is currently offered at A Level. Sociology students develop skills and knowledge applicable to many careers, such as an understanding of social and cultural issues, high quality communication and practical research skills. Sociologists attempt to answer questions as varied as: Why do people commit crime? Is religion in decline? How can we explain suicide? What is the role and purpose of education? What are the changing patterns in family structures? What is the role of taxation and the economy?

The truth is rarely pure and never simple
Oscar Wilde
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