SMSC in History

Humanities subjects are all heavily focussed on people and their relationships and as such we are well placed to contribute to students’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education. In every lesson across the Faculty, students are expected either to consider the needs and experiences of others, or their own personal responses to events, problems and changes. Teachers in Humanities encourage students to discuss and debate controversy outside the classroom. At times this is in a formal setting like educational visits or homework, but also we expect the study of Humanities subjects to affect positively the way students live their daily lives. We encourage young people to enquire, consider and question in lessons and beyond.

Spiritual Development in History

·         A sense of curiosity is central to the study of History at Arrow Vale and is strongly encouraged by the staff. Lessons adapt according to students’ current knowledge and thirst for more. Recently, an outline of World War One in the library led students to ask why the war started and why America became involved. As a result, the following lessons were altered to focus on these key questions.

 

 

 

·         Spiritual development is encouraged regularly by providing pupils opportunities to appreciate intangible concepts. The idea of truth is central to all History lessons that use sources. The nature of historical truth based on personal memoir was particularly explored following visits to Beth Shalom Holocaust memorial Centre and the annual Holocaust memorial Lecture at Wolverhampton where students heard from and spoke with Holocaust survivors.

 

 

 

·         A strong feature of History lessons is the encouragement pupils receive from each other as well as from their teachers in relating their learning to a wider frame of reference by persistently asking ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ The introduction to the study of History in Year 9 began this year for some students with a ‘guess the artefact’ competition related to the History of Medicine.

 

 

 

·         A good understanding of the importance of values and beliefs is well developed during GCSE History through a visit to the Roman baths in Bath Spa. Students appreciate the importance the Romans placed on religion and how it benefitted their health and their society.

 

 

·         Spiritual development is encouraged regularly by providing pupils opportunities to appreciate intangible concepts. The idea of truth is central to all History lessons that use sources. Order and beauty, and differing interpretations of these, also form a part of GCSE and AS History when assessing Nazi government and propaganda.

 

·         A sense of empathy is consistently extended in lessons. History demands an understanding of others, such as that of women in WW1 during Years 9 and 11 and the experiences of different types of Americans in the first half of the 20th century.

·         Cultural appreciation and understanding is fundamental to learning in History across all key stages. Students are presented with authentic accounts of cultures as diverse as Ancient Rome and Greece (Year 11), Russia (Year 12), Ireland (Y13 Political History).

·         The contribution of different cultures to human development and progress is also explored and studied, especially in the Year 11 unit covering the History of Medicine which considers the role of the Christian Church, the Muslim World and Ancient cultures had on the development of medicine and treatment.

 

 

Moral Development in History

·         History lends itself well to supporting the moral education and development of young people. Whole school assemblies led by the History staff encourage students to reflect on their personal values, principles and actions, in the light of historical events and commemorations. This year, the debate about whether to wear a poppy put forward by former servicemen was the theme of the remembrance assembly.

·         Moral questions form a key part of many of the units on offer in History at Arrow Vale. In preparation for their new A level courses, a summer taster lesson saw students discussing and attempting to come to a consensus on who was more to blame for the Holocaust; Hitler, the Nazi Party or the German people. Notions of right and wrong were explored in this session and throughout the course as students grapple with the nature of conformity and complicity.

 



·         Moral decisions by individuals, governments and societies are central to the study of the Holocaust or globalisation, for example, both topics that students consider in all three phases of their time in the Faculty.

Social Development in History

 

·         Social issues and the needs of different groups of people are also common themes that are explicitly recognised on a regular basis, such as in the study of the experiences of women in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries, covered firstly in Year 9 and then extended in GCSE History.




 

·         The position of African Americans is thoroughly debated in Year 13 and this year students will be attending a lecture and artefact handling session at the University of Birmingham in order to get even closer to understanding how society in America functioned from the mid 19th to the mid 20th centuries.

·         Students’ ability to exercise leadership and demonstrate responsibility is promoted through team learning activities in many History lessons. Sharing understanding, knowledge and ideas is crucial in order that students make informed, well reasoned arguments that are based on fact. The staff regularly employ a range of strategies and activities to facilitate these discussions and collaborations. 



 

·         The Year 13 History curriculum demands an understanding of the British political system and students regularly compare the key issues and debates of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as education, public health and democracy, with our concerns today.

 

·         Social issues and the needs of different groups of people are also common themes that are explicitly recognised on a regular basis, such as in the study of Energy and Waste in GCSE Geography or the experiences of women in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries, covered firstly in Year 9 and then extended in GCSE History.

·         Students’ ability to exercise leadership and demonstrate responsibility is promoted through team learning activities across the faculty.



 

·         The Year 13 History curriculum demands an understanding of the British political system and students regularly compare the key issues and debates of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as education, public health and democracy, with our concerns today.


 

 

Cultural Development in History

·         Much of the History curriculum in year 9 and at GCSE explicitly teaches students an appreciation of the influences that have shaped their own cultural heritage in Britain. The two World Wars and the key changes brought about by these events are key. For example, a debate about the ‘Blitz spirit’ engages students in the nature of Britishness and the setting up of the NHS and its differences from other nations is also explored.

·         An annual Year 9 project about a significant individual or place in Britain also encourages students to reflect on their own cultural assumptions and values. Through marking each other’s work and delivering presentations, students also are introduced to concepts, values and events they would never otherwise have encountered. This year, projects ranged from Florence Nightingale to the Hillsborough disaster to Jack the Ripper and George Cadbury.





 

·         The History curriculum offers students opportunities to express their opinions and communicate their knowledge in varied ways from Years 9 to 13, including artistic and cultural forms. Homework about the nature of trench warfare have taken the form of artwork, assessments of continuity and change in Medicine have been demonstrated through the rewriting of song lyrics and the role of individuals through the use of social media.




 

·         The contribution of different cultures to human development and progress is also assessed carefully, especially in the Year 11 unit covering the History of Medicine which considers the extent of the impact that the Christian Church, the Muslim World and Ancient cultures had on the development of medicine and treatment.

 

·         Year 9 students, in playing a trading game, took on clearly defined roles and developed their knowledge and undersatnding of relationships between countries around the world.


 

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