Faculty SMSC Statements
Click on a button below to see the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural statement for each subject.
During KS3 English, students study many aspects of SMSC and British Values. They begin their study of English with the concept of villains allowing them to explore the differences between right and wrong and the moral issues within the context of each text they study. For example, themes of racism, jealousy, manipulation and trust (or a lack of it) are explored in ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare.
Issues of identity are explored in texts such as ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley early on in students’ English learning journey and as this is a nineteenth century text students are encouraged to think about how attitudes are different now and how things have changed over time. Another example of this is the portrayal of the Rule of Law in Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’. Within this text students analyse extracts centred around the Parish and discuss how this is the unit of administration for the Poor Law. They understand the writer’s purpose as the text is a sustained attack by Dickens on the British Poor Laws, a complex body of law that forced poor families to labour in prison-like "workhouses.". One of the novel's effects is, simply, to describe what poverty was like in nineteenth century England. Students can then make links to laws and government policies today such as benefits and food banks.
Extracts studied from ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Great Expectations’ also link to attitudes towards poverty, prejudice towards the poor, criminality, the importance and power of religion within the community, taking responsibility and tolerance of others.
Throughout KS3 students study various authors and playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and form an understanding of their place within the canon and their British literary heritage.
The class reader canon across Y7 and Y8 is carefully chosen to ensure students experience a variety of texts by authors from diverse backgrounds such as Bali Rai, Benjamin Zephaniah, Onjali Rauf, George Orwell and Padraig Kenny. The class reader series covers a range of themes and includes titles such as: ‘Tin’, ‘Welcome to Nowhere’, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ in Y7 and ‘Roll of Thunder’, ‘(Un)arranged Marriage’ and ‘Face’ in Y8.
We endeavour to explore some challenging topics in the texts we read and study and some of the stories contain strong, racist language. We feel it is important that we do not censor this language and that students are able to learn about the history and source of some of this language in the context of the text and learn why it is wrong to use it in any other context. We follow Benjamin Zephaniah’s lead when he said in the author’s note of his book ‘Windrush Child’: ‘I think I would be cheating readers if I were to gloss over some of the language that is used by racists.’ To erase such language from our canon would risk students mistakenly believing that it had never existed. At Hathershaw we strongly believe it is important to confront this language in order to provoke thought and discussion.
Moving into KS4 and their study of GCSE English Language students continue to read and discuss a wide variety of texts centred around various themes including personal trauma, survival, endurance, extreme weather, sports, transport and schools. The texts cover the different experiences of people from all over the world with many different cultures, races and nationalities so they learn to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity in their own experiences through reading about other peoples’.
For GCSE English Literature, students study a broad range of literary texts and explore the challenging themes which these texts encompass. When reading the modern play ‘An Inspector Calls’, students study themes of social injustice, responsibility, social class, prejudice and gender roles within society in 1912 and 1945 in comparison to modern day society. When reading Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ students focus on the key themes of love, death, age, identity, gender, revenge and marriage which all link to aspects of SMSC. The plot also looks carefully at the consequences of people’s behaviours and actions and the importance of mutual respect and tolerance. In particular, students study the patriarchal society of the Elizabethan times as important historical context for the play and how this differs to today’s society. For both of these plays, students use their imaginations and creativity to study this text as a construct designed to be performed on stage and discuss different dramatic adaptations of the play.
Students also study poems at GCSE which include themes of personal and worldwide conflicts and they are asked to consider their own understanding of the issues raised in this poetry. The poems cover issues such as World War I and the Troubles, the freedom of choice in war, or lack of it and propaganda. Equality for all and the fight for democracy are explored through views on power and conflict in different contexts. Ideas of fairness and liberty are discussed when the poems present a lack of social injustice and ideas of freedom of thought and freedom of speech are visited through poetry from the Romantic Era. Students explore poetry that facilitates their understanding of the society that they inhabit today, thus increasing their sense of identity.
Students often work together in English, discussing ideas and using debate to practise presenting their viewpoints publicly with confidence and flair. This involves students developing a range of social skills and working with those from different backgrounds, often outside of their normal friendship group. This provides good preparation for life in the work place and modern Britain.
Spiritual development in Mathematics
The study of mathematics enables students to make sense of the world around them and we strive to enable each of our students to explore the connections between their numeracy skills and every-day life. Developing deep thinking and an ability to question the way in which the world works promotes the spiritual growth of students. Students are encouraged to see the sequences, patterns, symmetry and scale both in the man-made and the natural world and to use maths as a tool to explore it more fully.
Moral development in Mathematics
The moral development of students is an important thread running through the mathematics syllabus. Students are provided with opportunities to use their maths skills in real life contexts, applying and exploring the skills required in solving various problems. For example, students are encouraged to analyse data and consider the implications of misleading or biased statistical calculations. All students are made aware of the fact that the choices they make lead to various consequences. They must then make a choice that relates to the result they are looking for. The logical aspect of this relates strongly to the right/wrong responses in maths.
Social development in Mathematics
Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to mathematics through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas. Students are always encouraged to explain concepts to each other and support each other in their learning. In this manner, students realise their own strengths and feel a sense of achievement which often boosts confidence. Over time they become more independent and resilient learners.
Cultural development in Mathematics
Mathematics is a universal language with a myriad of cultural inputs throughout the ages. Various approaches to mathematics from around the world are used and this provides an opportunity to discuss their origins. This includes different multiplication methods from Egypt, Russia and China, Pythagoras’ Theorem from Greece, algebra from the Middle East and debates as to where Trigonometry was first used. We try to develop an awareness of both the history of maths alongside the realisation that many topics we still learn today have travelled across the world and are used internationally.
SMSC and British Values are promoted throughout the KS3 and KS4 Science provision at The Hathershaw College. The subject naturally provides students with a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them, whilst drawing on their use of imagination and creativity. As an example, many of the big scientific ideas are taught through the use of models to allow pupils to visualise invisible concepts such as particles, waves and electricity. When studying cells and digestion at KS3, pupils engage in creating their own models and when using chocolate to model the rock cycle, students also evaluate the use of models.
In addition to this, students regularly engage in practical work in order to develop their scientific inquiry skills and investigate theory in practice. At KS3 our scientists develop familiarity with scientific equipment, methods and how to work safely in the lab. This extends beyond topics specified on the National Curriculum and includes content that is topical and interesting, for example, first aid, aquaponics, forensic science and yearly themes selected during National Science Week. As part of their GCSE Qualification students develop their scientific writing and build on these skills further to confidently carry out and remember Core Practicals such as the rate of respiration in small organisms, separating mixtures and investigating force, mass and acceleration. This often involves group work and discussions, promoting the development of social skills, preparing students for life in the workplace in modern Britain.
There is also a strong focus on developing students morally through ethical debates and reasoning tasks where they must respectfully discuss sensitive topics such as organ transplants, stem cell therapy, selective breeding programmes and IVF. Through these lessons students develop empathy and listen to alternative perspectives. This strand is further explored, when discussing the rule of law respective of drug and alcohol use and misuse. The Healthy Lifestyle unit of study in Year 8, teaches students to recognise the difference between right and wrong and the impact of their choices and behaviours on themselves, others around them and the National Health Service. Furthermore, in Year 9 students reflect on the effect that human activity is having on the planet and deliberate ways to counterbalance the detrimental impact on biodiversity.
Finally, learning in a multicultural context allows our students to appreciate and celebrate a range of cultures that shape their own heritage and the heritage of others. Cultural development is promoted further in Science by acknowledging the contribution of various Scientists from around the world e.g. Dalton, Darwin, Curie and Herschel and the historical context that has influenced the way that theories have developed. Additionally, cultural differences can often influence the extent to which scientific ideas are accepted, used and valued in the classroom e.g. Human Evolution, however this is typically developed into an opportunity for discussion.
In Core PE, SMSC and British Values are promoted as an integral part of the subject. The subject naturally provides students with a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them fostering a culture of enjoyment and fascination about a plethora of activities. As an example, PE allows students to use a range of social skills that can be developed in a variety of different situations. Students have the opportunity to mix in a social capacity with their peers from an array of different religions, ethnic and socio economic backgrounds. Students in PE have the opportunity to participate in many different social settings, including by volunteering through our Sports Leaders programme and extensive extra-curricular programme to cooperating well with others as part of a team.
Physical Education is embedded with the fundamental British Values and students have an acceptance and positive engagement of these values throughout their PE lessons. Democracy is demonstrated by the nominations and democratic voting process that has established a school sports council, with each year group having a female and male representative. Rule of Law is entwined with the rules of all the sports the students participate in. Students across the Key stages are given the opportunity in the role of match officials to enforce the rules of the games and the participants to act in accordance with these rules to ensure the sport is played in a safe and fair manner. This is particularly prominent at Key Stage 4 where the curriculum is planned around the Roles and Responsibilities of both leaders and officials. Lessons are planned to allow students to be creative and express their skills and knowledge, linking kindly to their individual liberties.
Physical Education gives every student the opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that they can take with them in to all areas of their educational and home lives. The level of co-operation with team sports, the development of leaders and the respect and tolerance of their peers and staff alike stands the students in a positive position to fully contribute in modern Britain. Students are provided with regular opportunities to self-reflect through both Key Stages where analysis of their own performance and that of others plays an integral role.
Students participating in PE at Hathershaw develop a high level of social conscience. Through PE, students are taught the difference between right and wrong, they are taught the rules of the games/sports they play and are encouraged to deploy these high moral values through all areas of their lives. Physical Education allows students to express their own views on moral and ethical issues, for example, the question is often posed regarding the use of prohibited drugs in sport to enhance performance. Students are comfortable sharing these views discussions are often formulated based on differing viewpoints.
The cultural and spiritual aspects of physical education are threaded through the curriculum. Students have had opportunities to play sports not necessarily linked with the sporting culture of Britain, but games such as Kabaddi have allowed students to experience different cultures and gain an understanding of the heritage of others. The PE Faculty runs annual trips to Professional Football (Male and Female) and Netball Games that allow the students to experience different sporting and cultural opportunities. Thus allowing students to be more imaginative and creative in their PE lessons when given the responsibility of creating their own practises and developing their own strategies and tactics.
In Design and Technology, SMSC is delivered as a central part of our teaching and curriculum. The subject content naturally teaches students to reflect on the world around them and we always aim to bring and sense of interest and awareness of the wider world in our teaching. An example of this is in Key Stage 3, students explore the work of existing designers and look at new ideas and technologies such as biomimicry, smart materials and technical textiles which can all be used to promote creative thinking and encourage students to think alternatively from the stereo typical responses that they are more familiar with. It also makes them aware of different cultures and ideas that are often unlike their own.
In KS3 and KS4 students are required to produce new design ideas for users other than themselves which requires them to think creatively and to also consider the needs, values and viewpoints of others. In the Yr8 Inclusive Design project students design a product that will help users with varying impairments to independently access everyday tasks. This involves students conducting research to help them to understand the needs and feelings of different groups, whilst sensitively developing solutions that meet their requirements. Within these design and make tasks pupils are also given the opportunity to reflect on their solutions and consider other ways they could make their work better. As well as considering the needs of the primary user we also teach students to reflect on the cultural or environmental impact that a product or design may have during its lifecycle. Through product analysis students are encouraged to question the how a product is made, where a product comes from and whether a product has a positive impact or not. This is aimed at encouraging students to become reflective and conscientious consumers and to think about their product choices and how it may impact on the world around them. In KS4 students learn about globalisation, manufacturing methods and obsolescence which promotes debate about moral and ethical issues and often challenges cultural stereotypes, such as clothing being manufactured overseas because of cheap labour rather than the high skill set in that country. When possible we aim to link our teaching with ‘real world’ contexts through the use of current newspaper articles or news clips, for example the alternative use of paper because of the environmental effects of plastic or the current concern with textile ‘throw away fashion’. This gives students a better understanding of how designers and manufacturers have a role to play in improving our environmental future as well as encouraging students to reflect on their own consumer choices, developing skills and attitudes that will allow them to make positive contributions to modern Britain.
When working in the workshop students are expected to follow health and safety procedures to ensure they are keeping themselves safe and others around them. After practical lessons they are responsible for cleaning and organising their workspace, developing skills for life to be used outside of the classroom. In class students are given lots of opportunity to work collaboratively to encourage them to develop social skills and teamwork outside of their usual friendship groups.
In Citizenship, SMSC and British Values are a fundamental part of the subject. The curriculum is designed as a spiral-curriculum, which is age appropriate, with an aim of developing well-rounded global citizens. From Year 7 through to Year 11 the students are challenged to think about their perspectives on many fascinating and important topics. The subject therefore naturally provides a sense of fascination and enjoyment as the pupils explore their thoughts and opinions and respectfully debate with others. As an example, the students are taught about the British democratic political system and have a chance to develop an understanding of what this system means for them as British citizens. In each year the students revisit politics and build on their knowledge throughout their school journey. They are given the opportunity to reflect on their beliefs which will help them to make informed decisions when they reach the voting age.
The students explore their place in the world as global citizens. They learn about the freedoms we enjoy as British citizens and the rule of law. They are given the opportunity to investigate how other countries treat their citizens. The students are taught about collective responsibility which enables them to think about how other people live around the world and their role in the world community. They learn about different cultures and develop a strong sense of tolerance.
Careers education is also taught in citizenship and the pupils are encouraged to think about their future and reflect on their possible pathways. The students are provided with opportunities to investigate different careers and learn about the labour market. This builds a sense of fascination as they explore and develop ideas of their dreams and goals.
Relationship, health and sex education are also taught in citizenship. The new statutory guidance, September 2020, forms an essential part of the curriculum. The students are encouraged throughout each year group to understand how different relationships work and to develop a strong sense of tolerance. The teaching and learning also helps the students to explore moral issues and which will enble them to make informed decisions as they grow into young adults.
The students often work together in groups to discuss and respectfully challenge other opinions. This helps develop their social skills as they work with people from different backgrounds, working outside of their usual friendship groups and developing strategies to communicate in a respectful way.
Spiritual development in MFL
Students are taught to accept and embrace other languages and cultures through the teaching of MFL. In relation to this, students are educated on the religious beliefs of the people in countries of the language they are learning, particularly Catholicism in France and religious restrictions. A whole range of GCSE topics, and KS3 material covers topics from travel to education, healthy living and social awareness. Students are encouraged to be empathetic to the cultures, beliefs and traditions of others and stereotypes are challenged where necessary.
Moral development in MFL
Students are encouraged to show empathy and understanding to others and learn about right from wrong and the choices historical figures from French culture have made. Stereotypes and intolerance are challenged through the teaching of language and culture. The MFL schemes of learning identify and explore many moral issues in a global society context. It covers famous people, equality of education within a global content, travel as a means of exploring the world, and media and new technology.
Social development in MFL
Students are encouraged to work independently in lessons and proactively use the target language in classwork, whether through pair work, co-operative learning techniques or group work. Students are often differentiated in groups of varied abilities to encourage social interaction with others in the class with whom they may not usually interact. Students are encouraged to experiment with language and learn from their mistake. There is a supportive environment in MFL classes where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, rather than as failures. The students are encouraged to use each other as a learning tool and develop social strategies for dealing with confrontational situations or problems.
Cultural development in MFL
Cultural development and cultural awareness are fundamental in language learning at The Hathershaw College. At all stages of MFL teaching and learning, cultural development is at the forefront of our success criteria. Exploration of language and culture is key to language learning, whether through lessons or school trips. Students are encouraged to embrace ‘difference’ at all stages of their linguistic development and accept ideas which may be ‘alien’ to them, as culturally significant. Students are encouraged to discuss and challenge stereotypes within a national and international context. Media and new technology are encouraged to explore students’ interest in language and culture in all aspects of their learning.
SMSC and British Values play an integral part of the History Curriculum at The Hathershaw College. The curriculum has a strong focus with SMSC and challenges the students to engage with these concepts from Year 7 through to Year 11. Within classrooms all students sit alongside their peers from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students are regularly encouraged to work collaboratively with their classroom partners through activities such as; Think-Pair-Share and through peer and self-assessment. All students are encouraged to have mutual respect and tolerance for those around them which is essential to the classroom environment.
The engagement and fascination of learning is deep rooted within all aspects of the History curriculum. Throughout their study students are encouraged to develop their skills of imagination, creativity and reflection through tasks which explore empathy and inference. For example, students are often asked to consider the perspective of different groups within society, this could be of a soldier from Oldham in World War I, or an Indian native experiencing partition at the end of World War Two. The curriculum is planned to maximise student interest with subject specialists collaboratively and creating medium term plans in order to utilise areas of expertise. Key case studies are embedded into the curriculum to further engage and fascinate students. Some examples include the life of Mansa Musa, the History of Black Tudors and the actions of Saladin.
Students are also encouraged to develop reasoned arguments; many history lessons build on the students understanding overtime in order to answer a larger enquiry question. All arguments in History are based on precisely selected evidence, often from primary source information. This encourages the students to produce reasoned views when investigating moral and ethical issues in society, E.g. “Why do people make dangerous journeys?”. These debates spark an interest in the students and bring the study of History into today’s current affairs. It also encourages the students to have a mutual respect for those around them and to appreciate the viewpoints of others on moral and ethical issues. The idea of right and wrong and consequences are also a theme throughout. Some examples include the students discussing and coming to a consensus on the impact of the British Empire, the outcomes of German post war divisions and the Slave Trade.
Furthermore, students are able to engage with different people’s faiths, feelings and values at various points in their five-year journey. For example, in Year 7 students are able to explore the developing and changing role of the Church, the Reformation, the Crusades, as well as comparisons with the Islamic World at the time. This theme is further explored through the study of the Holocaust in Year 9 History. The enquiry into the Holocaust begins with students investigating the growing anti-Semitism of the 20th century and the key issues that led to the Holocaust with comparisons being made to other examples of 20th century genocide. In addition, the students engage with this during the study of the American West when studying GCSE content. During this unit students investigate the key beliefs and structure of the Plains Indians of America and are encouraged to investigate the reasons for conflict with the white settlers. This helps students to understand the causes of division and secularism within a society and the value of other people’s beliefs.
Throughout the curriculum there is a strong appreciation of the influences that have shaped the students’ own cultural heritage ranging from links to the two world wars, industrialisation, the Peterloo Massacre, and Indian after 1947. Furthermore, the development of British political and social history plays an integral part of the History curriculum. From the beginning of year 7 students start their journey into the development of British democracy overtime. Beginning with the Norman Conquest, students study influential changes to law such as the Magna Carta, the role of the Chartists, and the journey to the vote. Students are also encouraged to make parallels to the rule of the law today. An example of this can be seen when looking to the idea of proportional representation in Weimar Germany vs the notion of first past the post. There is also strong theme of minority voices within the History curriculum with a particular focus on the social development of women and migrant populations.
SMSC and British Values play an integral part of the Geography Curriculum at Hathershaw College. From the moment students begin their study in Year 7, their lessons are filled with the lives of people, cultures and traditions from real places around the world. Within the Geography classroom all students sit alongside their peers from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students are regularly encouraged to work collaboratively with their classroom partners through activities such as Think-pair-share. All students know that a mutual respect and tolerance for those around them is essential to the classroom environment.
The curriculum is planned to maximise student interest with subject specialists collaboratively creating medium term plans in order to utilise areas of expertise. This enables students to develop a love and fascination of Geography. For example, in Year 7 students are able to learn about how cities are changing, why our climate is changing climate and how our landscape has been constantly changing due to Ice Ages, plate tectonics and human interference. As students’ progress through their 5 year journey they are faced with further challenging issues such as the human trafficking and the spread of diseases such as Ebola, each of which increases student interest and value of Geography.
Students are able to develop their understanding of other cultures, religions and values throughout their day to day study of Geography. For example the concept of ‘contrast’ runs through the Year 8 curriculum. This allows students to develop an appreciation of the similarities and differences between the UK and contrasting localities such as Africa and Asia. Through the theme of ‘challenging world’ in Year 9 students are asked to critically examine the world around them with a focus on topics such as population and sustainability in order to recognise the interdependencies of populations around the world, as well as recognising and accepting cultural differences. Throughout Geography, topics like this enable students to reflect and share their own experiences and make comparisons between other populations around the world. By studying real people, and real places students are constantly making links and able to develop spiritually.
Alongside this, the study of Geography intends to develop students moral understanding. Much of the Geography curriculum focuses on investigative issues, with students being encouraged to create evidence backed solutions to key geographical issues around the world. Examples of this include the impact of Human settlement on hazards and the ongoing affects of drought in areas of Africa. Furthermore this encourages students to investigate, debate and a take into consideration different viewpoints. For example when considering physical topics such as rivers, flooding and coasts consideration is given to how much these issues that arise are man-made and is because of exploitation. Similarly when studying issues such as the development gap, students are encouraged to consider why there is a huge gap in development of different countries around the world.
Throughout the curriculum there is a strong appreciation of the influences that have shaped the students’ own cultural heritage ranging from links to the development and emergence of settlement in UK and Oldham. Students are also encouraged to make comparisons to British democratic values and rule of law. For example, students make parallels to the UK rule of law when looking at the distribution of government support on issues such as the Syrian migration crisis and the demographic crisis in Russia.
Expressive & Performing Arts (Art, Music, Photography and Performing Arts)
Within the faculty we are committed to establishing and developing long term cultural partnerships to extend students awareness. We endeavour to present opportunities for cultural engagement, museums, theatres, studios, orchestras, community based music groups, galleries, and creative practitioners. As a MiSST partner school our students have access to classical music education, and a programme of excellence, removing barriers between them and classical music. MiSST unlocks the potential and builds confidence and social skills. Participation and achievements are a source of pride within families.
We strive to develop an appreciation of the arts with students of all year groups. Our schemes of work have been devised to expose students to a wide range of different cultures, beliefs and to assist them in seeing the world from other points of view. For example in year 8 Art and design, students complete a cultural world tour and study the importance of the visual arts within different cultures.
We reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society through images, classroom displays, exhibitions, performances and showcases of work. The arts equip students with the skills and knowledge to face current and topical issues that will also allow them to respond with resilience to future change and challenge within their personal lives and wider world. Our students are encouraged to see the world around them as a source of inspiration, visually, conceptually, politically, spiritually and culturally. The courses delivered within the faculty are dependent on the student’s ability to enquire and communicate their ideas, meaning and feelings. Our students develop confidence and also their understanding of themselves. For example within performing arts, students examine the purpose of performance to inform, educate, raise awareness and challenge and discuss the themes within Oh! What a lovely war. In performing arts students develop an understanding of what is universally right or wrong, covering different angles, perspectives and cultural values. Students develop mutual respect and the views of others.
The arts develop personal management and communication, challenging imagination and creativity and always celebrating diversity. Our schemes of work inspire students to achieve their best in a creative way as well as create their own work. We want our students to enjoy and have a lifelong appreciation of the arts. We encourage independent thinking that will enable students to develop their ideas and intentions. For example within photography we use the weekly hook and connect tool. This tool encourages students to evaluate, analyse and identify their next steps in their own self-development.
The arts are subjects which encourage students to question things that could limit their self-knowledge, self –esteem and confidence –For example, lack of aspiration, discrimination, injustice etc. Personal opinion and justification within the arts are vital skills in being able to progress in the creative process as well as contribute towards a cohesive society. As students’ progress through the key stages they are taught to view their own and others work critically through oral and written discussion. Students respect each other’s opinions and respect the value of working collaboratively.
In Computing and ICT, SMSC and British Values are promoted as an important part of the subject. The subject naturally provides students with a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them and allows students to explore how technology has improved our everyday lives. Computing also allows students to reflect on how computers can sometimes perform better in certain situations than humans but ultimately understanding that human interaction and input is necessary and paramount to the output being produced. It opens up opportunities for students to debate on aspects like ‘should humans be replaced with robots for particular jobs’. This makes students think about how evolving technologies will shape future generations. (The recent events of A Levels and GCSE exam results demonstrated the need for this and the implications of over reliance on computer algorithms alone).
Using technology safely and responsibly is embedded within all aspects of the Computing and ICT provision. Through real-life scenarios, students are given the opportunity to consider issues surrounding the misuse and access rights to personal data. This encourages students to make informed judgements based on the evidence rather than their preconceptions whilst allowing the students the time to reflect on the origins of their perception of the topic. Students consider the effects of social networking and the consequences of cyberbullying; they also consider the legal aspects of Computing including the Computer Misuse Act and Copyright legislation. They consider the implications of file sharing, downloading illegally and the penalties for engaging in this type of activity. Throughout the Computing and ICT lessons, students are consistently reminded of the correct protocol and behaviour of using the internet safely.
The Computing/ICT curriculum helps students to explore aspects of real and imaginary situations and enables them to reflect on the possible consequences of different actions and situations. It can raise issues such as whether it is morally right to have computer games whose aim is killing and violence, and whether it is fair that some people in this country and other countries cannot use the internet. This will allow students to recognise the difference between right and wrong, unlawful acts, understanding the potential consequence of their behaviour and actions.
Within the Computing and ICT lessons, students are taught to produce work which is suitable for the needs of a diverse audience. Students develop their skill in a range of software to help present work which is fit for purpose. This allows students to express themselves clearly and to communicate effectively. Students are encouraged to carry out group activities and collaborate to help develop their social skills. This is particularly prevalent through the design aspects of a project where student provide feedback to each other.
Computational thinking is embedded in the curriculum which encourages students to develop and explore their problem-solving skills. Students can apply the skills learnt in programming to other subjects e.g. Maths. Students explore how developments in technology have changed our culture, particularly the increasing use of social networking sites and the ability to communicate instantly across the UK and International borders. This allows students to recognise how technology has reduced cultural barriers and improved communication with other parts of the world whilst at the same time being aware of the wider implications of having unequal access to technology both individually as well as by groups/regions. For example, developing countries may not have the infrastructure or the capabilities of having readily available access to the internet or the challenges faces by those living in rural locations. They learn more about modern technologies such as cloud storage and computing and explore issues surrounding inclusivity and accessibility. Cyber security is also explored further and students gain a better understanding of why systems are attacked and both the moral and legal implications of breaches are looked at.
In GCSE Business, SMSC and British Values are promoted as an integral part of the subject. The subject naturally provides students with a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them. As an example, it does this by providing an insight into where the money we spend comes from, why we buy the products and brands we do and where they come from. In addition, students are regularly faced with scenarios that involve them thinking through sequences of events as if they were the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Governor of the Bank of England, making decisions about interest rates and then thinking through the impact of these decisions on the rate of inflation and unemployment. Students also develop their creative skills when applying their understanding of maths to resolving financial problems for example calculating the break-even point and modelling the impact of changes on this.
There is a strong theme of globalisation running through the subject, showing students how all countries and their populations are dependent on each other. This helps them to recognise the importance of those in other countries to our own economy, as well as recognising and accepting cultural differences, for example how the same product will be marketed in different ways in different countries as a result of some of these differences. What is acceptable in the UK might be perceived as disrespectful in Japan. Students are also encouraged to consider how our wealth might be created at the expense of the conditions in which others live and work in many low income countries. They are challenged to consider whether this is ethical or morally right, what they can do as consumers to tackle this and what the implications could be for our own economy in doing so.
Business Studies also helps to develop a firm grasp of British Values, particularly democracy and the rule of law. Students learn about legislation that affects businesses and employees, for example laws governing health and safety and the fair treatment of employees. Whilst not part of the GCSE specification, time is spent developing an understanding of the role played by Government and Parliament in legislation. As well as an understanding of legislation, students develop a knowledge of taxation, what this is, who pays it and what it is spent on. Again, whilst not part of the specification, time is spent considering some of the ethical and moral dilemmas associated with taxation and, whilst remaining politically neutral, the stance taken by Governments on this topic. The implication for businesses and individuals not following legislation or evading taxation are also considered as part of the contribution to developing the ‘moral’ aspects of SMSC. Students are challenged to consider the difference between criminal behaviour and behaviour that is unethical, for example the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance and whether the latter, usually involving large multinational corporations, is acceptable.
Students often work together in GCSE Business, exchanging ideas and respectfully challenging the opinions of others. This involves students developing a range of social skills and working with those from different backgrounds, often outside of their normal friendship group. This provides good preparation for life in the work place and modern Britain.
Spiritual education in Psychology involves students having the opportunity to consider and discuss questions relating to all aspects of their development such as their personality, gender, behaviour, thoughts and beliefs. Students are encouraged to apply their own beliefs to a range of ethical and psychological issues, debates and controversies, and to hear other students' opinions to develop a range of balanced view points. Lessons are developed to allow opportunities for students to be creative and resilient and allow for development and reflection of their progress, supported by teacher feedback. Examples of this include:
- Studying the symptoms of mental illnesses, across different cultures.
- Exploring and debating the impact of individual differences.
- Assessing the extent of applied ethics within Psychology and how it impacts how valuable a piece of research is.
Students develop morally through discussing values, attitudes and beliefs relating to a range of ethical, social and controversial issues such as conflicts in research such as culture bias, ethical costs of conducting research, scientific status and sexism. Moral education spans across all areas of study in psychology with ethical issues being discussed and applied to a range of theories, studies, contemporary debates and applications for the various topics studied. In addition to this, students investigate ethical issues in detail - particularly when they study the Stanford Prison experiment & Milgram’s study into obedience.
In addition to this, students improve their social skills in Psychology by being encouraged to consider the values, attitudes and roles of people that occur in different societies and cultures. They will learn to respect and understand different human behaviours that occur in these cultures and societies. Throughout Psychology, students are led to work in groups outside of their friendship groups, which also encourages students them to accept one another and learn to work as a team.
Furthermore, there is a strong focus on cultural development in Psychology as students learn about human behaviour in different cultures. Students develop their understanding of and respect for the different influences people have and the effect it may have on their behaviour. They will also discuss how research carried out in traditional western societies may not be applicable to other cultures. Students also explore topics such as masculine and feminine behaviour in relation to different brain structures, studying different types of culture and cultural differences, and ethnocentrism. Examples of good practice include:
- Explore and debate the cultural differences in behaviour, mental illnesses, memory and aggression. Considering issues such as individual differences.
- Using statistics to make conclusions about trends in behaviour cross culturally.
- Explaining behaviour by looking at the role of physiological, psychological factors across cultures and how it influences socialisation.
Health & Social Care
Approximately 3 million people in the UK work in the Health and Social Care sector. Demand for Health and Social Care qualifications and professions is likely to continue to rise due to the ageing population, so it will continue to play a key role for society in modern Britain. The demand for people to fill these vital positions will continue to increase, especially due to the current climate as a result of COVID-19. SMSC and British Values are evident throughout the subject and the rationale is to provide a dynamic, knowledge-rich, KS4 curriculum, which gives students access to and progression routes into KS5 or related vocations.
Students are regularly faced with scenarios throughout the course and have opportunities to engage in role play activities, for example, looking into how different cultural and religious beliefs can form barriers that prevent people from accessing a Health and Social Care service and how to overcome these barriers. Students also think through the sequence as if they are a Social Care professional and design a suitable plan to advise a patient how to overcome these barriers in order to access the service whist remaining sensitive to cultural or religious beliefs. As well as reflecting on and sharing their own values, this aspect of the qualification links into the spiritual context of SMSC whilst promoting the British Value of Tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
In addition to this, students learn the seven care values that affect all Health and Social Care professionals, as an example, the legal rights governing the health and safety and fair treatment of all service users regardless of age, disability, gender, race, sex, religion or belief. Furthermore, Health and Social care naturally develops students morally, for example by exploring the use of drugs and how it effects the human body. This gives them the opportunity to explore the British rule of law and what is deemed legal and illegal and the consequences of illegal choices.
Students often work together in Health and Social Care, exchanging ideas and respectfully challenging the opinions of others. This involves students developing a range of social skills and working with those from different backgrounds, equipping them for life and the world of work beyond school. The course also helps students to develop key transferable skills such as self-evaluation and research, whilst encountering knowledge that provides them with a sense of enjoyment in learning about the world and people around them.