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Hampstead School

A-Level Social Sciences


Social Sciences offers a wide range of engaging and exciting academic subjects at AS and A Level. This includes Geography, History, Government and Politics, Sociology and Psychology. Each subject encourages students to develop critical thinking, different perspectives on global, national and historic issues whilst cultivating independent learning. Teaching is led by subject experts and receives excellent results when students graduate in Year 13, with many choosing to continue studies of Social Sciences at University.

What is unique to Social Sciences?

Seminar Weeks

Social Sciences provide the unique opportunity for University, seminar style learning. Seminars create an academic environment that encourages critical thought and discussion which in turn, develops speaking and increases confidence in articulation. Seminars equip students with the skills to undertake challenging academic writing and reading tasks, whilst preparing for further education and analysing and evaluating exam questions. Previous seminars titles have included;

  • ‘British democracy is in terminal decline’, how democratic is the UK?
  • Bridging the Development Gap, “Which Way for the Magreb?”
  • ‘What makes me schizophrenic?’, Clinical Characteristics and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • “Gandhi’s 1920-22 campaign was an utter failure”, to what extent do you agree?

Assessment Books

Social Science Assessment Books allow students to write, reflect and redraft on all assessed in one key location. They allow students and teachers to track and moderate their progress and act as a revision tool around examinations.. At the start of each academic year, one lesson a fortnight (per subject teacher) will be identified for Assessment Book learning. Feedback activities range from identifying targets to full redrafting of essays.

What enrichment opportunities do Social Sciences offer?

Visit from the US Ambassador, Matthew Barzun

This term, Hampstead School was honoured by a visit from the US Ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun. The Ambassador engaged within discussion with Social Science Sixth Form Students. The focus largely centred on US policy, guns, foreign policy, diplomacy and humanitarian aid. Students posed thoughtful, knowledgeable and at times, controversial questions throughout. Embassy staff stated that they were thoroughly impressed with the students’ global understanding, ability to phrase emotive questions and confidence to partake.

Visit from Holocaust Survivor, Harry Bibring

Due to the continuous work that has been going on at Hampstead school on developing work around Holocaust Education, Hampstead School was selected to have Holocaust survivor Harry Bibring come to speak to a selection of Social Sciences sixth form students about “Why is Holocaust Education Important” for an article he wrote for the London Jewish News. This article is for a Holocaust Memorial edition of The LJN, to commemorate 70 years since Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated.

Taking Learning out of the Classroom

Social Sciences offer a range of opportunity to take learning out of the classroom. This includes two Geography expeditions at Year 12, previously they have focused on urban regeneration in East London and flood defences at the Thames Barrier. Other opportunities have included an annual trip to Parliament for Year 12&13 Politics students, a trip to Trafalgar Studios to engage within a theatrical performance exploring the Global Food Crisis and a series of revision conferences for History, Sociology and Psychology.

Developing Independent Learning Skills

Pesonal Learning Checklists (PLC)

Personal Learning Checklists are designed to be a comprehensive list of course content. They give students an opportunity to assess their knowledge to inform revision. At the start of the course, students are provided with a PLC for each unit, of which will be continually referred to throughout the year. The sheet allows space for students to write a brief comment on how to improve their knowledge. Below you will find a a model PLC completed by a year 12 Geography student. She has clearly identified areas of weakness within her knowledge and annotated where she has reviewed her knowledge.