Subject taster workshops

Throughout the year, we send current postgraduate students to schools and colleges to deliver one subject specific taster workshops to Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 students.  These one hour workshops are designed to inspire your students to study a social science and to give them an insight into new topics and build upon their current subject knowledge.

We are flexible in how we offer these workshops and are able to deliver them both in person and online in the following subject areas:

  • Business (coming soon)
  • Geography and Environment
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Sociology and Social Policy

These workshops are free of charge to schools and colleges. Please be aware that due to a limited budget we can only deliver live in person workshops to schools which are within two hours of the university by public transport.

To book your workshop, please complete the booking form here.

For more information on our subject taster workshops please contact us on socialscience@leeds.ac.uk

Please browse our workshop selection below:

Geography and Environment

A changing climate - Y9 - Y13

This session will give an overview of climate change, including the importance of climate change and key processes that are driving climate change including the burning of fossil fuels and volcanic activity. Students will be challenged to consider the importance of natural and human drivers of climate change which will lead into a class debate on what the largest driver of climate change is. Students will also look at the effects of climate change from rising sea levels to risk to food security, and consider actions that can be taken to tackle global climate change. 

Introduction to microplastics in the environment - KS4/5

This interactive session will give students an overview of the presence and impact of microplastics in the environment. The aim of this workshop is to develop students’ understanding of microplastics, gaining a detailed introduction to microplastic pollution – an issue that has prompted recent headlines due to the scale of the problem. Key themes covered in this session include sources of microplastics, how they are transferred through the environment and their impacts in the environment on living organisms. Students will then apply the knowledge they have gained throughout the session by creating new government strategies to combat microplastic pollution in the environment.  

What next after COP26? Environmental policies for the future - KS4/5

Last year, Glasgow held COP26 in which world leaders discussed plans to save the planet. However, there is tension between the relatively conservative policies being proposed by policymakers, and the ambitious ideas set out by young people. This workshop will bridge this gap by having students collect data online and collaborate with their peers to help create environmental policy which takes a holistic approach. Students will learn skills that help them improve their data gathering and data analysis, as well as creative problem solving. While this activity has been adapted from a politics course, it is open to students who are studying any social science subjects or those who have a particular interest in environmental issues more generally.

Law

Law and social justice: The impact of technology on education - KS4/5

Law and Social justice is concerned with the equal distribution of wealth and resources to give everybody the fair chance to grow and thrive in whatever field they choose. Students are introduced to using law for social justice by investigating social issues and inequalities in contemporary education. This session allows students to consider the relationship between the law and different aspects of time in schooling and the implication of technology. Students will learn whether laws are merely rules or if they are derived from varying perspectives, particularly in tackling new inequalities. Following a mixture of discussion and interactive activities, students will get the opportunity to put their newfound knowledge into practice by acting as policymakers to tackle inequalities in education. This taster session is ideal for students who have an interest in law, the nature of social developments, and want to learn about careers in the legal profession, public services or the third sector.

Politics

Are Politicians evil? Y9 - Y13

“The personal is political” changed what we consider to be political. However, in recent years, the political has become increasingly personal. 

This session will explore how political discourse in both media and academia have developed problematic levels of personalisation. Jokes about the PM’s holiday destinations and dancing skills can be funny and even humanizing, but it has the danger of clouding our judgement of policies. 

The aim of this session is to explore discourse on social media sites such as Twitter, and discuss how it can impact our political views.  

We will discuss how we can look at the content and context to better critically judge policy. After this session, students will be able to tell the difference between rhetoric and reality, and will critically analyse policies based on what they are, rather than what they seem to be.  

Introduction to Parliamentary debate? KS4/5

In this interactive and lively workshop you will learn about the idea of Parliamentary debates, the importance of them, and why they are such a key part of democracy. Covering everything from “What’s better, cats or dogs?” right through to “Should euthanasia be legalised?”, you will uncover how debating impacts on decisions made that determine the future of the country.

Please note that this session is available as a series of three separate one-hour sessions (designed to take place across the course of the year)  or as a standalone session.

The politics of pirates - KS4/5

When you think about pirates, what do you think about? A movie you’ve seen? A book you’ve read? A costume you’ve seen over and over again at Halloween parties? Pirates have been commercialised but the history of piracy seems to have been forgotten.

Did you know pirates held democratic elections for positions of power on their ships at a time when just 3% of people in England could vote, that women and people of colour had significantly more rights on many pirate ships than on nearby continents and that the first health insurance system in recorded history was set up by a pirate?

The session will look at pirates in popular culture, the history of piracy, the role of pirates in the transatlantic slave trade, assessing the argument whether or not pirates were ‘floating proletarians’ and the dark side of piracy.

What next after COP26? Environmental policies for the future - KS4/5

Last year, Glasgow held COP26 in which world leaders discussed plans to save the planet. However, there is tension between the relatively conservative policies being proposed by policymakers, and the ambitious ideas set out by young people. This workshop will bridge this gap by having students collect data online and collaborate with their peers to help create environmental policy which takes a holistic approach. Students will learn skills that help them improve their data gathering and data analysis, as well as creative problem solving. While this activity has been adapted from a politics course, it is open to students who are studying any social science subjects or those who have a particular interest in environmental issues more generally.

Sociology and Social Policy

Is chivalry really dead? KS4/5

The Chivalry Theory states that women are treated more leniently than men by the criminal justice system. Crime Statistics, Media Narratives, Public and Political discourse may contribute as evidence to the claim of chivalry among men towards women, but many scholars have argued otherwise. This session explores the relevance and validity of the Chivalry Thesis in relation to the treatment of women at various stages of the criminal justice system. Students are encouraged to participate and critically engage with sociological theory and concepts to identify the drawbacks of Chivalry Theory and the value of new Sociological Thought. In doing so, students are exposed to the relevancy of Sociology as an ongoing discipline, constantly assessing and discussing issues related to contemporary society.

Sociology of media: online or offline - KS3/4

With the rise of social media in recent years, more and more people are involved in the shift of social norms towards online means of communication and interaction. In particular, social media offers a new avenue for human interaction, creating new behaviours for sociologists to examine and study. As a result, Sociologists are increasingly interested in the many ways social media has impacted human relationships. This new aspect of sociological understandings has led to an interrogation of new power dynamics that have developed online. Are some voices stronger than others? Are there differences in generational usage of social media?

During this session, through the use of interactive group activities and individual thinking, students are encouraged to reflect on the significance of social media on a micro and macro level.  Students will explore relationship between sociological research and its interest in the media and look  at trends and changes in contemporary society that inform wider action research and policy making. 

The sociology of disabilities - KS3-5

Can the topic of disability be studied from a sociologist’s perspective? If yes, how would you define ‘disability’ and how is it impacted in one of society’s key institutions? E.g. the education system.

This session will enable students to engage in the topic of disability and recognise the social inequalities society portrays because of one’s disability. This session will allow the students to identify hidden disabilities and discuss if a learning disability has a similar impact as physical disabilities, whilst developing an awareness of how disabilities can be seen from various ways. 

 

 

The sociology of migration: diaspora and transnationalism - KS4/5

Sociologists primarily focus on the social and cultural integration and movement of migrants, both regular and irregular. The contribution of those who move both in terms of human and financial capital, is what impacts on the social, economic and political development of a society. Migration and development are interrelated processes that shape human civilization. The overall development potential of people in the diaspora can reach significant levels, involving business creation, investments, remittances, skills circulation, exchange of experiences and even impacts on social and cultural roles of men and women at ‘home’. This has triggered policy initiatives to collect data and reach out to diaspora groups to answer one main question: what can be done today to maximise the development benefits of migration for all? Using interactive group activities, students will learn how the diaspora negotiate their hybrid identities in a different political and cultural space and the challenges they face.