It’s been a couple of years since I last posted any Sociology Transition materials (work set for students to complete over the summer holiday to ease the transition between GCSE and A-level or Year 12 and Year 13) so I thought it might be useful to update the list with some more-recent materials culled from the labours of hard-working Sociology teachers.
As ever you might find exactly what you’re looking for in the stuff below or, more-likely perhaps, it might inspire you to create something of your own.
Either way, it’s all free.
If not necessarily easy.
GCSE to A-level
The first batch of resources is designed to ease the transition from a GCSE mode to an A-level orientation:
AQA Summer Transition Booklet: 24-page, booklet that provides useful information and tips about what students should expect when they begin their A-level course (from What is Sociology? to what students will study) combined with activities, questions and tasks built around four main areas: Introductory Sociology (key sociological terms, norms and values, introducing theory); Education (differences in educational achievement), Family Life (housework) and Race, Inequality and the Criminal Justice System.
AQA Sociology Transition Work: Combines some simple instructions about what to watch / read before the course starts with a couple of tasks: one covers family life while the other involves creating a small scrapbook of articles on the topics of Families and Households, Education, Crime and Beliefs in Society.
Urmston Grammar School Transition Work: Two tasks, the first of which involves writing a 500-word answer to one of four questions on Family, Education Crime or Inequality. The second involves completing a table about the key characteristics of different sociological perspectives. This, rather oddly, includes the New Right but not Action Theory (an oversight that’s easily fixed because it’s a Word document).
Scarborough 6th Form College: Three related tasks that are a little different to the usual run-of-the-mill stuff. The first involves half-a-dozen debate-type questions that ask for the student’s opinion, that of someone else (such as a parent) and any evidence surrounding the question the student can find. The next task is to select one of the debates and “write a little rant about it” followed by writing a short rebuttal to the rant. This is either nascent genius on the part of the teacher or some nefarious scheme to create schizophrenic sociology students.
Bemrose School A-Level Sociology Induction: A two-page document that identifies some key ideas relating to the topics to be covered in Year 12 (Introduction to Sociology, Methods, Family, Education) and sets two tasks: the first involves “preparing a mindmap, poster or a powerpoint presentation which has the central theme ‘Things which shape our identity’” while the second requires the student to discuss the statement “The identity of young people in Britain today is influenced too much by social media”.
Sociology Summer Work Booklet: If you’re looking for an aggressively in-yer-face set of tasks to set your proto A-level students over the summer months then you may well have found it in this Myton School offering. Its 13 pages start gently enough with a quick overview of what students will study, picks up attitude by telling them what Sociology is Not (Psychology. In the main) and goes completely off-the-rails with a multiple-choice test on “What kind of Sociologist will you be? that leads into a one-page deconstruction of different sociological perspectives (one of which, postmodernism, is illustrated by Foucault and is likely to leave any student foolish enough to have chosen it scarred for life…). If you’ve ever seen Ted Lasso, think of it as the kind of challenge Roy Kent would set.
The Booklet then goes into overdrive by setting a load of questions about each perspective which should take students most of the summer (presupposing they dispense with luxuries like sleep) and then just keeps motoring along (define key sociological terms, research a social issue that interests you, draw (or build a *&**%$£ model) of society and write a page explaining it), culminating with some relaxing TV / vid watching (although you “have to make notes on” anything you watch. Which should go without saying, but. Students…).
Finally(!) there’s a list of stuff students are expected to bring to the first lesson that probably deserves its own special place in the pantheon of passive aggression: Arched folder “labelled with your name on” and “Sociology (spelt correctly)”, plastic folder dividers which are “better as they are tougher” (you’re probably going to be grateful for this as you bite down on them) and the veiled warning-cum-threat that “we use a lot of post-it notes and highlighters so have plenty of those“.
I feel exhausted just having written the above…