At Rawmarsh Community School our Social Studies curriculum encompasses areas from the compulsory Religious Sexual Health, the compulsory Health Education, Citizenship and Religious education. Our aim through Social Studies is to develop responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to play their part and become actively involved in public life as adults. The objective of sex and relationship education is to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development.
A successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, helps young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. We also aim to develop and deepen pupils’ understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance. We aim to promote equal opportunities so that all pupils can thrive together, understanding that difference is a positive, not a negative, and that individual characteristics make people unique. We also endeavour to promote an inclusive environment that meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. We strive to develop pupils character, which we define as a set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others. individual pupils.
We do this by giving the pupils the opportunity to evaluate the quality and intent of what we provide, drawing upon high quality agencies and providers. We teach pupils how to recognise online and offline risk as well as teach digital citizenship. Throughout the social studies curriculum we teach age appropriate SRE as well as stress the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. Through social studies we also give effective careers service that is unbiased, provides pupils with an experience of work, a supportive and effective post 16 transition.
How we intend to remove barriers
In Social Studies we remove barriers to learning and support students’ ability to access the curriculum through the development of literacy, numeracy, oracy skills and vocabulary acquisition. In social studies there is no exam but pupils are expected to write up their work to the same standard as any other subject. Pupils develop their literacy through writing up their work using real life scenarios, writing frames to support extended writing and a variety of question styles to encourage pupils literacy skills. Literacy misconceptions do not go unchallenged and work is regularly checked for literacy errors such as sp – spelling and c – capital letters allowing pupils to grow in confidence within literacy and access the skills required for future learning.
There is some data handling within social studies through the use of graphs and charts in learning certain topics such as drugs and alcohol. As part of the living in the wider world topics pupils learn about how to handle money and the numeracy skills that go with that.
There is a large focus in social studies of debating and pupils being able to talk and share their thoughts, feelings and learning. Pupils are actively encouraged to work in groups as well as flipped learning opportunities. Pupils are encouraged to use correct terminology when discussing topics.
Pupils are given the opportunity to read widely through studying the vast array of topics within social studies which develop pupils oracy and vocabulary skills. Whilst there is no set vocabulary within Social Studies, pupils are encouraged to use the appropriate terminology for the topics that are studied. This includes correcting any misconceptions pupils have around slang terminology and replacing them with the correct words.
How we develop skills for learning
Students are given opportunities to develop their skills for learning and each and every lesson. Engaging starter activities help students to learn more and remember more by challenging their ability to recall key the key concepts of prior learning. Key themes of learning for life are continually recapped allowing pupils to form links and see real life scenarios. The skills for learning process within the social studies curriculum both reinforces the key interpersonal, intrapersonal and making decisions skills content and helps our students develop lifelong learning skills.
How we foster personal attributes
In Social Studies our curriculum intent embodies that of the school. We are committed to ensuring we do not only teach students the knowledge and skills that will help them pass examinations but we also provide them with the exposure to the wider world context in order to develop them as well rounded individuals. Our curriculum demands independence, resilience and responsibility in line with Rawmarsh Way.
Social Studies allows students to see how choices that you make can influence your own and others child’s life. They also learn key information that can influence the rest of their lives, including development of respect and empathy towards others, an understanding of how learning involves making mistakes, and fostering all students’ aspirations to be the dream big and be the best citizens they can be.
How we intend to enrich student experiences and broaden the horizons of students
Social Studies is a subject that naturally goes beyond the classroom. To this end we broaden the horizons of all our students and enrich their experiences through applying the classroom situations to real life events. We allow pupils to discuss information that is important to them as well as look at current affairs when appropriate. Within soical studies we have looked at current affair topics such as BREXIT, Grenfell Towers, the Manchester bombings as well as other topics as they arrive. There are also opportunities for all students to be part of the Schools Senior Council. We also provide out of school experiences for students through offering visits to the House of Commons which is proving popular.
Our Curriculum in Social Studies
In Year 7 pupils are introduced to social studies by learning about well-being and positive self where we explore about what makes a person unique and what makes themselves unique. We also explore strengths and confidence and about their hopes and dreams for the future. This is followed by our first personal development unit where we explore key themes of RSE and Health Education. These include understanding friendships, challenging bullying, the importance of healthy relationships, coping with puberty and change and understanding mental health. Pupils are then exposed to their first RE topic where we look at Ultimate Questions and the origins of the Christan Religion. Pupils are also taught about staying safe both online and offline including understanding exploitation, the effects of Crime and why children and young adults may run away.
A large part of PSHE education is around building tolerance and understanding so our next unit is Diversity and Values where we explore British Values, Diversity and Prejudice by looking more closely at homophobia. Pupils then delve into another RE topic looking at World Religions and the similarities and differences between them. The final topic in year 7 is a citizenship topic where we look at Politics and Government exploring the main UK political parties, how voting works and understanding how laws are made. Within social studies we aim to give pupils skills for lifelong learning as well as skills for the future. Throughout social studies we focus on three main skills these are personal effectiveness, interpersonal skills and social effectiveness and managing risk and decision making. Within year 7 we start to look at personal effectiveness skills by asking pupils to identify things they like about themselves as well as areas they may need to develop.
We start to identify unhealthy thinking traps such as exploring stereotypes, introduce reliance and self-regulation ideas. We also look at self-organisation strategies and strategies for finding help and support. Within interpersonal skills and social effectiveness we look at empathy and compassion and why some people may need it. We also explore respect for others opinions and skills for having healthy relationships. Within managing risk and decision making skills we focus on identifying risks to themselves and others.
In year 8 we build on topics covered in Year 7 and explore areas in more detail. Our first topic is studying society where we look at what society is and explore theories around why people make the choices they do. We also explore bigger questions such as how ‘infelucinal are violent video games’ and ‘what is crime?’. Our next topic explores ethics, specifically around medical ethics. We look at genetic engineering, fertility treatments and organ donation focusing on ethical questions that may surround these. Such as reasons why people may agree/not agree with organ donation. Our third topic builds on pupils dreams for the future that they looked at in year 7 by looking at finance and career planning.
We look at poverty and the welfare state, This unit also contains some financial capability work by exploring managing finance and the risks of borrowing money. This unit also contains career planning by exploring KS4 options and careers education through Kudos. Our fourth unit builds on the Year 7 staying safe online and offline topic by looking further at staying safe online and avoid risky situations. We look at sex media and relatyionships and what approportae bebahiour looks like in relationsips, including consent. Our final topics in Year 8 look at wider issues such as Human Rights in Conflict and Glocal Democratic Values. Within these topics we look at areas such as current affairs like the Syrian refugee crisis, Religious Expression and the freedom of speech.
Within year 8 we start to look at personal effectiveness skills by building on self-improvement techniques including goal setting in the careers topic. We build om identify unhealthy thinking traps by recognising and starting to manage peer influence and build on the reliance techniques in year 7. Within year 8 we also look at clarifying pupils own values and beliefs as well as seeing if these change after looking at new learning such as is the freedom of speech always ok. We also expect pupils to recall and apply previous learning knowledge.
Within interpersonal skills and social effectiveness we build on the skills learnt in year 7 as well as discern and evaluate the opinions of others. Skills for employability and enterprise skills are also explored helping pupils prepare for their future. The identifying managing risk and decision making skills are developed by challenging pupils to formulate questions about risks such as why people choose crime and how those risks can be avoided.
Key Stage 4
Currently in year 9, 10 and 11 we have a rolling programme in Social Studies where pupils access lessons once every 4 weeks.
In year 9 we focus on lifestyle choices that they may start to be exposed to. We look at giving pupils information to allow them to make informed decisions and choices. These include lessons such as the tobacco trap, how safe is vaping, the cannabis trap, the facts and risks around alcohol and psychoactive substances. In year 9 we also look at sexual health lessons including the age of consent and managing pressure and sexual health and contraceptives. We also look at critical thinking in year 9 by exploring the idea of fake news and challenging islamophobia.
In year 10 we build on some of the topics we have looked at around staying safe by looking at areas such as Internet Law specifically sexting, alchol sex and consent, busive behaviour cohercion and the law and domestic violence. We also look at topics which can affect mental health such as stress and mental health especially with the pressure of exams, positive body image and self-esteem and the growth mindset and resilience techniques. We also look at citizenship and careers preparing for the future by exploring careers and enterprise in more detail as well as understanding consumer rights.
In Year 11 we focus the curriculum on preparing for their next stage of learning by ensuring that all pupils are given appropriate careers and college advice. All year 11s have at least one lesson run by our careers advisor as well as an experienced social studies teacher.
Within key stage 4 we start to look at developing personal effectiveness skills by building on all the skills in year. Within these lessons we look at personal planning, explaining post 16 options, revisiting KUDOS from year 8, support to complete personal statements, support to apply to college and one-to-one guidance if pupils require it.
In Year 9, 10 and 11 we look towards developing and maintaining a healthy self-concept (including self-confidence, realistic self-image, self-worth, assertiveness, self-advocacy and self-respect). We also look at using all the interpersonal and social skills they have developed by Using these skills and attributes to build and maintain healthy relationships of all kinds. Within key stage 4 we also look at analysis (including separating fact and reasoned argument from rumour, speculation and opinion), assessing the validity and reliability of information and identify links between values and beliefs, decisions and actions. We also prepare pupils to make decisions that will impact on their future life choices.