Social Sciences

Psychology:

The vision for psychology is to allow all students to be able to think in an analytical manner, with high levels of empathy and understanding of the world and others around them. The aim of psychological study is to allow students to develop a deeper understanding of why people behave the way they do in society, including those from different countries and cultures; taking time to analyse and appreciate the differences in people from different cultural and societal backgrounds. This also gives students the tools to develop higher level critical thinking skills, as the vision of the subject is to make all those who study it question and query all that they encounter. Students learn about famous psychological theories, models and experiments which investigate the behaviour and cognitive thought processes of humans. Students then evaluate these, questioning and considering whether they are truly appliable to all humans and across all situations and even time periods. This breeds discussions about what makes humans and situations differ, prompting higher order thinking involving continually investigating the validity of various ideas. Thus, the vision is to develop students who can carefully assess, analyse, and empathise.

Learning these psychological theories also provide students with a broader knowledge of how people think and behave in general life, which transfers to several areas of interest such as careers in marketing, human resources, advertising, healthcare, childcare, social work, teaching, and many more. The understanding of how other people think and perceive their world can be a powerful tool in any career when working with others, and can be particularly of benefit when working with vulnerable people.

The vision is also to develop a strong knowledge of research methods utilised by psychologists, which is a key thread running through the subject, and promotes learning and development of numeracy skills such as interpreting graphs and other data, as well as knowledge of science and how to conduct experiments. Through the promotion of students explaining how to design their own experiments, this is an excellent way in which to develop application skills and an understanding of how to control variables in a scientific manner. This gives students a powerful understanding of how to understand and apply scientific methods, construct hypotheses, and to think in a pragmatic and methodical manner. Thus this relates to the vision of students having high order critical thinking skills in relation to data analysis, developing students who excel in both discussing ideas and empathising, as well as knowing how to produce and understand quantitative evidence in order to support their arguments and ideas.

Law:

When studying law, students will develop a passion and knowledge of our legal system which is highly valuable and gives an insight into British values. The Hart school vision for law is for all students to be able to form legal arguments, carefully analyse legal scenarios, and understand the rule of law which underpins the purpose and drive behind our multifaceted legal system and Sovereignty of Parliament. This develops students into well rounded individuals with an expertise in the importance of the history of Parliament, how the law is enforced, and how to apply the law themselves independently. Students not only develop knowledge of how the legal system functions, but to understand how it enables a democratic society, where each of us having the freedom to make our own choices and do what we want within reason. The philosophical ideas behind law are also constructed by students, with an aim of them being able to comment on how morality links with our legal system, and to analyse whether morality always goes hand in hand with law creation and enforcement. Students also gain a wider understanding of the world they live in, fostering knowledge of the powers the government have, and the differences between democracy and dictatorships. The vision is for students to have a strong sense of justice and morality which springs from building knowledge about the intricacies of Parliament and Government.

Furthermore, students will be able to formulate a reasoned argument to support a particular proposition by reference to the relevant legal rules and principles that support that argument, developing their reasoning abilities and boosting the capacity for advocacy skills. The vision is to build student’s confidence through the study of this subject, inspire them to verbalise their arguments, and be able to use pragmatic reasoning to defend arguments when giving a different viewpoint to a case.

Empathy skills are also well developed, as students will understand how to perceive a case both from a prosecutor and defence point of view. This gives the ability to see the world and situations from different perspectives and be able to use robust arguments to defend whichever stance they are taking, countering the opposing argument in a clear, mature and logical manner. This ability to construct a persuasive argument to solve a problem will flourish and thus the aim is to have students who are passionate, determined and tenacious in getting their ideas across.

Sociology:

Sociology’s vision is to understand how the western world has developed and how that affects the individual. Additionally, sociology will foster the comprehension of how society has grown and changed over time and continues to do so. This will give students a firm basis in their understanding of the role they play in their communities, as well as the wider world. Students will analyse the role of individuals and their importance whilst continually building a world together as human beings. This builds on student development of critical thinking skills as they are prompted to assess how best to work together and understand issues which arise from an array of social problems.

Students will also understand what culture and identity is, and how this applies to different social groups in society. This increases overall understanding of how this might affect relationships with different people, developing high levels of empathy in being able to consider the cultural values and societal differences of those from different countries and/or cultures; this further embeds the knowledge of the values, ideas and beliefs of others whilst appreciating not to impose our own others. Thus, the vision is to promote and establish ideas of how to develop and thrive as a pluralistic society.

The vision further encompasses students being able to use and engage with different research methods that can be applied in the world of work, also an understanding of limitations of these research methods. Students will build a knowledge and understanding of how societies are studied and how to formulate and analyse both qualitative and quantitative data, in order to be able to absorb the functionality of society. This further develops knowledge and passion for important numeracy skills, including how to interpret graphs and charts, as well as ways in which to gather data in order to analyse it, and give students a sense of how to support ideas and theories with hard evidence and statistically significant figures. This builds on student’s knowledge of numeracy and combines this with an ability to understand the nature of statistics; further allowing them to apply this in their every day life; embedding a knowledge of ‘fake news’ which is so important in this digital era.