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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

Social Sciences

Team Leader - Mr M. Grisley

The Social Science Team is an established specialist team providing A Levels in Economics, Government and Politics, Philosophy and Ethics, Psychology and Sociology and a GCSE in Religious Studies. The team is also responsible for the provision of Religious Education at Key Stage 3.

Each subject is well resourced with reference collections, general and specific texts and a wide range of journals and daily newspapers in the School Library. It is pleasing to note that many students use the Internet to find appropriate materials, making make good use of the school intranet and its web links. 

The 5 A Level choices available within the team are incredibly popular choices for students at A Level. All subjects encourage critical thinking and are designed to stimulate debate and discussion among students. The staff in the team work hard to ensure that all subjects remain relevant and fresh and have expert subject knowledge that brings out the best attainment in students.

Regular home learning is set to ensure that students are stretched and challenged. Such home learning may focus on the development of examination skills or on wider reading with a view to developing debating and discussion skills in class. The team works hard to ensure that effective and rigorous intervention takes place across all subjects at all Key Stages to bring out the best achievement in students.

A Level Economics

In simple terms, Economics is concerned with scarcity and choice. The subject matter is divided into two interlocking parts, micro and macro, the former concentrating on individual markets and the latter on the whole economy.

In year 12 you will focus on Markets and market failure and some aspects the national and international economy.

In year 13 you will focus on Economic principles and issues and revision for the final year exams.

Economists, unfortunately, use a lot of jargon! You will need to develop your literacy skills in both discussions and written work.  It has been said that examination questions do not change much from year to year but the answers do! To some extent this is true, because policies, tools, aims and priorities do change over time and this reflected in the examination.

Paper 1

Economic methodology and market failure, Individual decision making, Price determination I a competitive market, Production, costs and revenue, Perfect competition, imperfectly competitive markets and monopoly, The labour market, The distribution of income and wealth.: poverty and inequality, The market mechanism, market failure and government intervention in markets.

Paper 2

The measurement of macro-economic performance, How the macro economy works: the circular flow of income. AD/AS analysis, and related concepts, Economic performance, Financial markets and monetary policy, Fiscal policy and supply-side policies, The international economy.

Paper 3

Paper 3 is a paper that is assessed differently from the first two papers and draws from all parts of the specification.


All 3 papers are of equal weighting and are all 2 hours long and are scored out of 80.

Papers 1 and 2 consist of 2 sections. The first is 2 data response questions and you choose 1 from 2. In the second section, you choose 1 essay from 3. Both sections are worth 40 marks.

Paper 3 also has 2 sections. The first contains 30 multiple choice questions and in the 2nd there is a series of extracts that you are asked questions on. Again both sections carry the same weighting.

In this section I have included a series of links to the AQA Examination Board where you can find further details.


A Level Government and Politics

A Level Government and Politics is a popular option for those wishing to pursue a career in law or public service. It is a subject that combines well with Humanities, English and other Social Science subjects.


A Level Philosophy and Ethics

A Level Philosophy and Ethics is the most recent addition to the Social Science family and has proved popular with students wishing to continue their studies of Religious Education beyond Key Stage 4.


A Level Psychology

A Level Psychology is the most popular subject in social sciences. It demands a good deal of scientific understanding as well as mathematical aptitude. Successful students will also have the ability to express ideas in a cogent manner and engage in critical discussion across a wide variety of topics.


A Level Sociology

A Level Sociology is a popular choice for students considering careers in education and criminology. It combines well with a wide range of other subjects within English, Social Science and Humanities. Sociology is research driven and requires dedication from students with regards to the wider reading that is expected of them.

Year 12 Sociology

  • Education with Theory and Method
  • Families and Households

Year 13 Sociology 

  • Crime and Deviance with Theory and Method
  • Beliefs in Society

A good student of any A Level Social Science subject is a student who is willing to go that extra mile outside of the classroom undertaking wider reading and research. A good student will also make full use of the study group system that exists in the school that aids peer to peer learning and develops group learning and a range of other important skills. Most importantly a good student is a student that approaches their studies with an open mind and the ability to articulate an opinion in front of a wider audience.


Key Stage 3 Religious Education and GCSE Religious Education

Please click on the hyperlink below for more information regarding the provision of Religious Education at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Social Science subjects sit comfortably with other areas such as Natural Sciences, Humanities, Arts or Modern Languages.  Many students progress to Higher Education to study for either BA or BSc degrees. The study of Economics, Government and Politics, Philosophy and Ethics, Psychology and Sociology opens more doors than they close.

Any enquiries about the study Social Science subjects at Northampton School for Boys should go to Mr Grisley. For subject specific guidance please speak to Mr Grisley (Economics), Mr Evans (Government and Politics and Sociology), Mrs Checkley (Psychology) and Miss J. Davies (Religious Education).


Social Science Team

Mr M. Evans (Government and Politics and Sociology)
Mrs L. Checkley (Psychology)
Mr M. Lyon (Religious Education)
Miss K. Ayres (Psychology)
Miss J. Davies (Religious Education)
Mr W. Kneeshaw (Religious Education)
Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240