Criminology @ Sacred Heart Catholic College Intent, Implementation, Impact

What is the rationale behind the choice of the syllabus you have chosen? How does it prepare students for further study?

WJEC provides a Criminology syllabus which combines traditional psychological concepts with sociological theories as well as constitutes of law whilst allowing students the support to be formally assessed in a potentially more fitting way. WJEC Criminology cultivates critical thinking and decision making; vital skills for not only students wishing to progress within associated fields but also for well-rounded, considered individuals managing an ever-changing society. By providing such a broad range of topics from the disciplines of psychology, sociology and law, students are able to experience a wide range of theorists and circumstances, allowing for personal preferences to be discovered and allowing for academic constructs to be understood in the context of the criminal justice system. The nature of the specification allows students to read, write, talk and ultimately think like Criminologists at a pace more suited to students who may have not enjoyed or succeeded the traditional format of an academic A Level.


How is material sequenced to ensure progression in understanding and skill?

Units of study are deliberately designed to provide a breadth of study and are delivered following the suggested pattern from the exam board which ties in with suitable assessment points.

Vertical progression moving from Year 12 to Year 13 is governed by 3 guiding principles

  1. The transition from predominantly basic and fundamental knowledge e.g. ‘Types of crime’ in Unit 1 and ‘Explanations of crime’ in Unit 2 to units with enhanced synopticity e.g. ‘From crime scene to courtroom’ in Unit 3.
  2. An increase in challenge in terms of applying knowledge and developing understanding through increasing evaluations, critical thinking and decision making in synopotic circumstances/situations.
  3. The location of the Unit 1 Controlled Assessment at the end of the first term of  year 12 to provide students with the opportunity to divulge their Criminological knowledge gathered so far and allow for appropriate time to mark and prepare for the Unit 2 formal examination.

Lateral progression

  1. The facilitation of dynamism through the broad cross section of sometimes opposing theories allows for students to become versatile within the discipline as a whole.
  2. An increase in challenge in terms of applying knowledge and developing understanding through increasing evaluation and critical thinking specifically in relation to novel and sensitive real world experiences.
  3. An increase in the frequency and magnitude of relevant recall, specifically in relation to content delivered during the second part of each year, but also in skills of application to modern case studies and societal change.

How are the core skills necessary for A Level success, including mastery, planned for and promoted?

  1. Real world applications relevant to students current societal experiences are delivered providing practice of use of psychological and sociological theories, understanding of importance of theories of behaviour in society as well as ambition and aspiration within the curriculum –  structuring and scaffolding enabling access for all
  2. Application skills are integrated into a variety of contexts throughout the duration of the course.
  3. Ambition and curiosity are cultivated throughout the delivery of this course through the inclusion of relevant and sometimes controversial case studies and events as well as through consistent discussion of university experiences.

How is homework planned for and used to support the above aims? How are students challenge with at least 1 hr daily extra valuable work per subject?

Homework compromises of:

  1. Preparation and/or completion of knowledge and assessment activities associated with concepts, topics and case studies delivered during the course.
  2. Wider reading/watching of curriculum enriching documentaries to support challenge as well as promote curiosity and ambition.

How is assessment used proactively and adaptively in planning?

Assessment activities are followed by timely feedback, whether this be verbal or written, as well as ’dedicated improvement and reflection time’.

  1. Students receive written assessment feedback weekly by one of their teachers (this applies specifically to examined units due to exam board constraints). Formal assessments can take various forms including low-stakes progress checks, essays and exam sections.
  2. Students experience departmental mock examination periods throughout their studies to prepare them for their final examinations from January onwards.
  3. Students are prepared for their formal Controlled Assessment experiences from September to December.

Short term: patterns/trends feed planning with individual classroom teachers aware of students’ strengths and concepts/case studies/skills which require support through additional experiences

Long term: patterns/trends harvested through departmental data collection e.g. mock exams identify areas of strengths and areas where support is necessary determining resource manufacture, extra-curricular revision content and frequency, targeted intervention and potential parental engagement and magnitude/timing of future assessment opportunities.

How is pupil initiative and independence nurtured and extended?

Internal: Curiosity into wider realms of the subject through research is encouraged focused on personal preferences and future desires. A supportive rapport between students and teachers are emphasised to allow for students to develop confidence in their ability and remove barriers of fear. Independent time is facilitated with the invitation for Year 13 to attend Year 12 lessons when able to support their own revision and understanding as well as gain the skills of becoming a focused and independent learner.

External: Links and connections made and developed with higher education community, particularly Liverpool John Moores University providing insight into further education. Opportunities to learn from experts in different fields through visiting speakers and webinars including the Anthony Walker Foundation and Criminal Analysts within the Lancashire Police. 

Criminology Year 12 Curriculum Map

Criminology Year 13 Curriculum Map