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Véronique Pin-Fat

Welcome to the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester! Your decision to come here is a very important one in your life. It affects the friends you will make, the things you will learn, the opportunities you will have, the skills you will develop, the degree you will leave with, the career you will be prepared to enter into and the goals you will set yourself once you’ve graduated. You are about to embark on one of the most significant experiences you will ever have. The School of Social Sciences will provide you with everything you need to make the most of the opportunities at University. You have chosen to study in one of the top three places for social science in the UK. You will be engaged and intellectually stretched by social scientists who are internationally recognized as amongst the best in the world. As a result, your degree programme is at the cutting edge of social science knowledge globally and is recognized around the world for its quality. We know that getting the most out of your experience here is so much more than just the time spent in a lecture theatre or seminar room. This booklet shows you how and where to access everything that we provide for you to ensure that you can graduate with an excellent degree, leave with lifelong friends, and with all the employability skills that will help you in your chosen career. Dream big! As this booklet shows, you are in the right place to achieve ambitious goals. The key is to access the many opportunities for success we provide you. On behalf of everyone in the School of Social Sciences, I wish you every success and a year full of new experiences. Véronique Pin-Fat Director of Undergraduate Studies




Think big

With students and staff of more than 70 nationalities, you’ve joined a large and diverse community in the School of Social Sciences. We have lots of events going on throughout the year so get to know us and get involved.

University is just the beginning. Whether you plan to go straight into a career or want to spend some time volunteering, getting some work experience, or studying abroad it’s never too early to start thinking about the future.



p3 Welcome

p12 Personal Development: An Enhanced Student Experience

p14 Your Learning Community p15 Get Involved

Think outside the box

Ask Questions

It’s not just about what’s on your timetable. You’ll have lots of opportunities to try new things and make new friends. Join a society. Volunteer in the local community. Be a Student Ambassador. Make your spare time count.

We don’t expect you to have all of the answers. If there’s something that you don’t know or don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask. Make sure you know exactly what you need to do to get the most out of your degree. See: p8 Academic Expectations and How to Meet Them p16 Personal Support and Wellbeing

Get Organised If you’re going to be successful you need the right tools to help you. There’s a wealth of resources available to help you achieve your full academic potential. See:

See: p14 Your Learning Community p15 Get Involved

Look after Yourself Starting University is a big change so it’s perfectly normal to feel a little bit anxious. If something is affecting your wellbeing, whether it’s personal, medical, financial or social, talking to someone will help. See: p16 Personal Support and Wellbeing

p10 Meeting Expectations: Academic Skills





Arthur Lewis Building (ALB)

The School of Social Sciences is located in the Arthur Lewis (ALB) and Humanities Bridgeford Street (HBS) buildings. (No. 36 and 35 on the campus map) The Undergraduate Support Office is based on the ground floor of the ALB. The office is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm during term time and 10am and 4pm during holidays. The Undergraduate Admissions Office is located next door to the UG Support Office. It is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm throughout the year.

Academic Staff Arthur Lewis: 2nd Floor: Social Anthropology 3rd Floor: Economics and Sociology 4th Floor: Philosophy and Politics Humanities Bridgeford Street: Ground floor: Social Statistics All academic staff have office hours when they are available to students. You can email them directly or make an appointment through SOHOL: intranet/ug/sohol


Humanities Bridgeford Street Building (HBS)

Computing and Library Facilities The UG Cluster (the left hand cluster on the Ground Floor ALB) is available during normal office hours. There are also PCs available in the Arthur Lewis Common Room.

In the back of the Kantorowich Library, in HBS, there are two common rooms for undergraduate students. The outer room is similar to the Arthur Lewis Common Room, with soft furnishings and work spaces. The inner room is set up for group work, presentations, and society meetings. You can book this room with the Kantorowich librarians.

Room 2.88 in HBS is available during normal office hours. The HBS clusters 2.1 and 2.2 are generally available until 8pm.

All of these spaces have a strong wireless connection. All the common areas have notice boards for society and general use.

The Kantorowich Library is located on the ground floor of HBS. There are work places and some computers here and the library has a section on general social theory and research methods.

Cafés Arthur’s Brew, Arthur Lewis Building Open Mon – Fri 9am to 3.30pm Kaffé K, Humanities Bridgeford Street Open Mon – Fri 9am to 3.30pm (Term Time only)

Common Rooms There are work stations and social spaces in both buildings. In the Arthur Lewis building on the ground floor, you’ll find the Arthur Lewis Common Room (ALCR). This is a popular space with students where you can work or just relax.



ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS AND HOW TO MEET THEM ABOUT ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS The first task of preparing for success is defining and understanding the expectations we have of you this year.

Our expectations of each other We have expectations of you, and you have them of us. You will find these in The University of Manchester’s Student Charter. It was developed jointly by the University and the Student Union and clearly expresses what our expectations and responsibilities are.

Degree programme-level expectations These are in the degree programme handbook for your degree, and are specific to each programme, so it’s advisable to know what they are. The conditions for passing the first year and progressing into the second year are called the “First Year Examination”. What you need to know will include the number of credits to be passed, the pass mark (40%), the regulations determining how to compensate for failed course units, and the rules determining referrals.

Course unit level expectations These are in the course guide for each unit. You are likely to see these expressed as ‘intended learning outcomes’ (ILOs). ILOs typically include expectations of the kind of knowledge you should gain about the content of the course unit as well as intellectual skills, such as independent research and analysis.


Assessment expectations

Academic practice expectations

All course units have their own forms of assessment. In the School of Social Sciences a variety of assessments is used: exams, projects, essays, presentations, quizzes, multiple choice tests, book reviews, posters, wikis, etc. The marking criteria of each form of assessment are laid out clearly and systematically in course unit guides. You will also find that each subject area has produced guides for you on how to get good grades. They’re incredibly useful!

You are expected to complete assignments and assessments that are the product of your own study, research, analysis and ideas during your undergraduate studies. This includes avoiding all forms of academic malpractice: plagiarism (including submitting the same work more than once), collusion, fabrication or falsification of results, or any other form of malpractice. But more than this, the school aims to produce independent learners and thinkers, and we encourage you to develop your own views, opinions, arguments and approaches.

Workload expectations If you are a full-time student you are expected to spend about 40 hours per week studying, the same as a full-time employee at work. One of the things you will need to develop, then, is effective time-management strategies and habits. This is especially the case if you combine your degree with a part-time job. The University of Manchester’s Manual of Academic Procedures specifies that a 20 credit unit entails 200 hours work by students including lectures and other class times. A 10 credit unit entails 100 hours work. So, depending on the contact time in the course unit, you will normally be required to spend a considerable amount of time outside formal teaching sessions studying independently and/or in groups. If you’re struggling with your workload the Humanities Study Skills website should be your first stop. It has great time-management resources for you under ‘Organising Yourself’.


Important: the School of Social Sciences uses plagiarism software called Turnitin. If you plagiarise, including your own work or that of another student, Turnitin will find it easily. Do not even think about plagiarising! The penalties are very serious and can lead to loss of credit and even expulsion from the University.


MEETING EXPECTATIONS: ACADEMIC SKILLS In order to give yourself the best chance of success, it’s worth thinking about how your academic skills will change and develop over your time at university. The relevant skills you’ll need this year include those detailed opposite. Try to take advantage of the various sources of advice to improve these skills.

Where to find support for academic skills: 1. MyLearningEssentials for courses: academicsupport/mylearningessentials 2. School of Social Sciences Student Support Officer: Dr Paul Smith email: 3. ‘Guide to study skills website’: 4. Speak to your Academic Advisor. 5. You’ll find discipline specific guidance in a range of formats on the SoSS UG intranet site: intranet/ug/useful 6. Economics PASS sessions – find out if your course is running one of these weekly study groups.


Library skills: university libraries are not just about books anymore! You’ll need to learn how to find and use books, journals, and electronic sources of all kinds. There’s more information available than ever before and you’ll need to know how to benefit from this.

Reading: there are many types of reading and it is good to know the style of reading you are using: speed, active, in-depth, critical, and so on. You’ll also need to learn what types of thing you need to read.

Writing: you’ll learn to write in different genres, and develop general skills such as referencing, writing concisely and grammatically, writing for different purposes, and avoiding plagiarism.

Note taking: taking notes from written material is different from taking lecture notes. You’ll have to learn to make your note-taking useful and effective, as it serves many purposes.

Listening: a big component of any degree! Listening to others, finding the message, contextualising and acting on it are all important aspects of your listening skills.

Numbers and data-handling: the ability to handle and analyse numbers, statistics, and graphical representations of data is vital for any social scientist.

Presenting: communicating a message to others orally in SoSS’s international setting is an ability that you will need to develop, both for university and beyond.

Analytical skills: what does it all mean? Being able to find and communicate the significance of ideas is (roughly) what we mean by ‘analysis’.



PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: AN ENHANCED STUDENT EXPERIENCE You’ve chosen to invest in your future by studying with us. We work very hard to provide you with a vast array of opportunities to enhance your learning and also to enhance your desirability to future employers.

Employability This year the School of Social Sciences will be hosting its first ever ‘Reading Week Extra’ event, in which a series of extra-curricular activities are provided in week six of the first semester. This is a great opportunity to start to think about your employability. It will also showcase what is provided throughout the year by the School, its alumni, and the University’s central services. These are some of the things that will be running during Reading Week Extra and beyond: • “Team Work Challenge” Getting work experience is a competitive business. It’s a vicious circle; you can’t get work experience without a job, and you can’t get a job without work experience. So how can you start to build your CV? This two-day workshop will challenge groups of you to develop a proposal and ‘pitch’ your idea to a panel of seasoned professionals. • “Succeed at Psychometric Tests” An opportunity for students to learn why companies use psychometric tests in the recruitment and selection process and how to improve your results. • “Careers using Social Sciences” Hear from individuals who have a graduated with a social science degree or who are working in a sector commonly pursued by social scientists about how they got into their career and what their average work day entails. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to ask questions, get advice and start making contacts with individuals employed in the public, charity and private sector. • Subject area events Each subject area (economics, politics, social anthropology, sociology and philosophy) also arranges events.



International Exchanges

Internships and placements are short periods of professional experience. During an internship or placement, you will be doing similar work to a normal employee of the organisation. Many employers use internships and placements as a fast track onto their graduate programmes. Perform well, and you might be offered a full-time job.

Your first year can go by quickly and if you’re interested in studying abroad you need to start thinking about it now.

University College for Interdisciplinary Learning Your second year typically provides you with the opportunity to indulge your intellectual curiosity and take a course beyond your degree programme should you wish. The University College presents you with the chance to broaden your educational horizons. It offers course units that showcase the breadth and depth of research and knowledge found at the University.

Free choice course units Learning a language or taking a University College course is an excellent way of giving your studies some breadth. Check your Programme regulations to see what courses are available to you.


The Study Abroad programme is open to students who do well academically in their first year (normally an average of above 60% is required). The main English language destinations are covered by universities participating in the World Wide Network, whilst study in a European country (Erasmus) often requires fluency in that language. The application process starts in your first semester at Manchester when you will be given information in your programme core course and invited to attend meetings organised by the Study Abroad Programme. To find out more go to the Study Abroad pages: studyabroad


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: YOUR LEARNING COMMUNITY You’re part of a vibrant and exciting community so don’t miss out on the opportunities that are open to you. This is your chance to share your passion for your course, debate the issues of the day, learn a new skill, give something back to the community, or just make some new friends.

Societies University isn’t all work, work, work. Joining a society is a great way to meet people from across the University. These are just some of the Societies that our students are involved in. • Anthropology Society • BA Econ Society • BEconSc Society • BA in Social Science (BASS) Society • Criminology Society • The Post-Crash Economics Society • Finance, Accounting and Business (SOFAB) • Manchester Debating Union • Philosophy Society • Politics Society • Politics, Philosophy and Economics Society • Think Soc: The Manchester Philosophy and Politics Society

Volunteering Volunteering is a fantastic way to feel part of a community, meet and spend time with interesting people you might not otherwise have met, gain in confidence and skills and make a good impression on your CV. The Careers Service The Careers Service has lots of useful information about why you might want to volunteer, how to find an activity that matches your experience and aspirations as well as case studies from students who have already volunteered in the greater Manchester area. Volunteering and Community Engagement Team The University has a dedicated Volunteering and Community Engagement Team, situated within the Careers Service to support with volunteering. It has a brokerage service available which advertises hundreds of volunteer opportunities. Students Union – Student Action Manchester You can also volunteer through the Students’ Union. Student Action is a volunteering group that has a wide range of projects, from working with children to the elderly and caring for people with disabilities to helping the homeless.

For contact details for societies across the University: Explore the Students’ Union website


Student Ambassadors If you are looking for a part time job that is rewarding and fits around your studies then applying to be a student ambassador is the perfect solution! You’ll meet lots of other students on different courses, and work with a wide range of people from primary school children, to sixth formers and teachers- great to put on your CV! You’ll also get a chance to share your experiences of your course to prospective students, show off your university and raise the aspirations of the younger generation. To find out more see The Crucial Guide (Volunteering)

Student reps serve as the main channel of communication between the School and the student body and have regular opportunities to meet academics and discuss School issues at programme and School committee meetings. If you think you could be a voice for your fellow students you’ll find more information at intranet/ug/reps

Have Your Say! We’re constantly working to improve the student experience and we can’t do this without your help. At key points in the year surveys will be sent out to you asking what you think about teaching and learning, support services and other aspects of University life.

Get involved Student Representatives Would you like to influence School policy or make a difference to how your programme is run? Fancy enhancing your CV? If so, why not consider becoming a student rep?


Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your say and help us to improve your experience.



There is a wealth of support for you and it comes in a variety of guises. Whatever query or difficulty you have this year you don’t need to face it alone.

Your Support Network There are lots of different people on hand to offer you practical advice and support throughout your time at University. They want to help so don’t be afraid to get in touch. • UG Support Offi ce • UG Admissions Offi ce • Programme Directors • Academic Advisors • BA (Econ) Programme Tutors • Course Unit Tutors • Peer Support (Peer Mentors/PASS) • Support for International Students • University Support Services

When things get difficult for you: Mitigating Circumstances We understand that illnesses and difficult or distressing personal circumstances can occur as part of everyone’s life and that these issues may have a profound effect on your studies. This is a normal part of life and you mustn’t be afraid to contact us if you find yourself in a difficult situation. We have a ‘mitigating circumstances’ procedure in place that means we can make sure you get the support you need to get you back on track. Don’t sit in your room and worry about things. If something is upsetting you, then it’s not trivial! Come and see us.


Undergraduate Support Office • Assessment Queries • Appeals and Complaints • Course Unit Selection Queries • Coursework Submission • Examination Queries • Feedback • Interruption Queries • Mitigating Circumstances • Signposting to Specialised Support • Timetable Queries

BEconSc: Melanie Legge Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4868 Email: BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics/ BSocSc Social Anthropology : Lynn Dignan Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4000 Email:

From registration to graduation, the UG Team will be there at every point to support and guide you through your three years in Manchester. They have an enormous amount of experience so don’t hesitate to contact them. Make them your first port of call for any queries you have regarding your academic progress or personal welfare.

BSocSc Politics and International Relations: Julie Tierney and Chantel Riley Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: 0161 306 6906/ 275 2499 Email: or chantel. BSocSc Sociology: William Start Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 3953 Email:

Programme Administrators BA Social Sciences/ BA Philosophy: Joseph Barrett and Guro Buchanan Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: 0161 275 3204/ 275 7129 Email: or

Undergraduate Office Manager: Amanda Brereton Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4745 Email:

BA(Econ): Shau Chan and Bernadette Julien Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: 0161 275 2500/ 275 4822 Email: or




Student Welfare Officer

• Advice and support • Liaison between students and DSO

• Peer Mentor and PASS Schemes • Societies • Mitigating Circumstances • Signposting to Specialised Support

The School of Social Sciences is committed to supporting students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties. As UG Disability Co-ordinator, Melanie works closely with the University’s main Disability Support Office to provide you with advice and support. Melanie Legge Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4868 Email:

Student Support Officer

Philippa works with Peer Mentor and PASS schemes in the School and is also there to support societies. She can advise you and offer support if you have mitigating circumstances, and will be on hand to help you access specialised support from both within the School and from University services. Philippa Wilson Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4878 Email:

• Study Skills • Appeals • Study Abroad • Student Representatives Dr Paul Smith is the School of Social Sciences’ student support officer. Although he takes an interest in any aspect of the student experience, he’s a good point of contact with regard to study skills and adapting to life in higher education, and will happily discuss any aspect of this with you. He also works with student representatives and can help with student-led initiatives. Paul cooperates extensively with the University’s central services and is in a good position to refer you if you need attention from somebody outside the School. Dr Paul Smith Undergraduate Support Office, Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4746 Email:


Undergraduate Admissions Office

Amanda Grimshaw Undergraduate Admissions Manager Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4748

• UCAS Requirements • Entry qualifications • Application queries • Open Days • Student Ambassadors • Transfers

Kirsty Egerton Senior Admissions Secretary Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2291

You’ve probably already spoken to someone in the Admissions Office and you’ll certainly have received information from them before accepting your place. The Admissions Team are responsible for recruiting for all programmes in the School and they’ll be on hand to help and support you during Welcome Week. Look out for emails from the Admissions Team as they will be looking for Student Ambassadors to help out with Open Days.


Anna Bakhda Admissions Assistant Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 275 1473 Huw Peters Management Information Assistant Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4470 Dr Tom McCunnie Admissions Tutor/Widening Participation Manager Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 275 1752


PERSONAL SUPPORT AND WELLBEING UG Programme Directors • Appeals and Complaints • Course Unit Selection Advice • Interruption Queries • Mitigating Circumstances • Programme Change • Student Representatives Your Programme Director is in charge of your degree programme and can advise you on a number of issues. BA Social Sciences Programme Director: Michelle Obeid 2.048 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 306 6934 Email: BA(Econ) Programme Director: Adam Ozanne 3.070 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4814 Email: BEconSc Programme Director: Ralf Becker 3.072 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4807 Email: BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics Programme Director: John O’Neill 4.045 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4853 Email: john.f.o’ BSocSc Politics and International Relations Programme Director: Liz Richardson 4.062 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 0879 Email:

BA Philosophy Programme Director: Graham Stevens (Semester 1) 4.033 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4886 Email: Sean Crawford (Semester 2) 4.041 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 1756 Email: BSocSc Social Anthropology Programme Director: Tony Simpson 2.012 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4896 Email: BSocSc Sociology Programme Director: Gemma Edwards 3.028 Arthur Lewis Building Tel: +44 (0)161 275 4902 Email:


Academic Advisors

BA(Econ) Programme Tutors

• General academic support • Advice on course unit selection • Essay writing • Plagiarism • Exam preparation • Time management • English Language issues

• Advice on course unit selection • Mitigating Circumstances • Attendance Issues

Your advisor is there to support your academic development and progress throughout your time at University. They’re on hand to advise on a number of academic issues from your initial transition to independent learning to more specific areas including essay writing and exam preparation. If you do have a problem, e.g. illness, a request for time away from university or worries about the degree, don’t wait for it to get worse. Make an appointment with your advisor as soon as possible: that’s what they’re there for!

If you need to see a BA(Econ) Programme Tutor you can make an appointment by contacting Shau or Bernadette in the UG Support Office.

BA(Econ) Programme Tutors have ultimate responsibility for the supervision and support for all students on the BA(Econ), and have a crucial role to play in your progress through the programme.

They’re also there to share in your successes so keep in touch and tell them about positive developments. Your academic advisor may be the person who provides you with references for employment or further study, so the better they know you, the more informative and useful their references will be.


Course Unit Tutors Both your lecturer and the person leading your tutorials (often a Course Tutor) will be able to offer you course specific support. All academic staff have office hours when they are available to students. Your course unit Tutor and your Course Convenor have a dedicated timeslot each week when you can meet with them to discuss any problems and questions you may have.


PERSONAL SUPPORT AND WELLBEING Peer Support Peer Mentors In your first year, another good person to talk to if you are struggling is your peer mentor. Many students go through the same problems, and having had similar experiences might help your mentor to give you exactly the kind of advice that you need. PASS You’ll find that some Economics course units will have Peer Assisted Study Schemes (PASS). Facilitated by level two and three students, these sessions give you the chance to discuss difficult aspects of your course informally in small groups. You’re not only improving your academic skills, PASS is also a way to meet people on your course and make new friends.

Support for International Students International Advice Team • Immigration Issues • HOST Programmes • Academic Problems • Accomodation Issues • Childcare and Schools • Council tax • English Language Courses • Finance and Funding • Personal or family issues • Work and work permits The International Advice Team, based in the Student Services Centre, is a great source of support and advice on a variety of issues that may affect you. Contact the International Advice Team on: • Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5000 (option 1) • email:

HOST UK HOST is a voluntary organisation, a network of UK residents, who welcome adult international students to their homes for a weekend, or Christmas visit. The purpose is to give students an insight into the way of life in Britain. It’s a unique opportunity for international students to get away from the campus and out into the community for a weekend; to meet British residents and to find out more about the everyday life of this country by sharing it for a short time. To find out more contact the International Advice Team or visit the HOST website at The University Language Centre • Online Diagnostic tests • In-sessional courses • Academic writing tutorial service • Online Resources The University Language Centre supports students who want help with written or spoken English through a wide range of services. academicsupport Academic writing tutorial service International students can arrange a one-to-one tutorial service to support them in their written academic work. Each academic writing tutorial is based around a sample of the student’s own writing so the tutor’s advice is tailored to their specific needs. Feedback will focus on areas such as structure, referencing and appropriate use of English. academicsupport/tutorial-service 22

The International Society The International Society, located on Oxford Road, is a busy centre for international students based in the Manchester area. The society has over 3,000 members from over 150 different countries, making it a great place to meet friends and make contacts during your stay. The society arranges weekend trips around the UK, offers over 40 different classes each week and organises over 100 different social events throughout the year, helping you to make the most of your time in the UK. For full details of forthcoming events and to find out more about the society, visit

University Support Services – When you need specialised support If you need specialised support: There are other support services which you can access and are available for you. The Counselling Service – free, confidential help from trained counsellors on any personal problems affecting your work or wellbeing. Disability Support Office – support for disabled students. International Advice Team – help and advice to all international students. This can include immigration advice, academic problems, accommodation issues, childcare, council tax, English language courses, funding, employment and personal issues. English Language Support – This is provided by the University Language Centre. Student Services Centre – A central point for information and advice including immigration, examinations, certificates, transcripts, funding, fee payment and registration. Students’ Union Advice Centre – The Students Union is dedicated to the social, educational and welfare needs of all of you. Accommodation Office – Provides all accommodation related advice. Manchester Student Homes – A University run service that helps you find privately rented accommodation. Student Money Advisor – specialist money advice and information service. All contact information is available via My Manchester and the Crucial Guide.


School of Social Sciences Undergraduate Support Office Arthur Lewis Building The University of Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL tel: +44 (0) 161 306 1340 email:

DW918.09.13 The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL Royal Charter Number RC000797

SoSS School Handbook  
SoSS School Handbook