Throughout their time at Samuel Ryder Academy, students are exposed to texts from literary heritage allowing students to appreciate British writers who have contributed to the great works of our heritage. A range of texts and topics are studied as part of the English curriculum here at Samuel Ryder Academy, which lend themselves to promoting our fundamental British values of: democracy, rule of law, tolerance and mutual respect.
Embedding student understanding around the importance of living in a democracy is developed within many of our non-fiction schemes of learning that centre around the world and how it works. In many schemes we consider the importance of the free press and in Yr11 analyse a range of newspapers considering their political leanings. In many of the units, particularly key stage 3 we hold Socratic debates about issues such as utopian worlds, the London Riots and issues that arise from literature such as taking the law into one’s own hands. We also hold mock trials for characters such as Macbeth.
Most of our schemes of learning involve at least some element of discussion pertaining to individual choice and journeys, be this from exploring nonfiction texts such as travel writing in Yr 8 or Yr11 to reading about how characters such as Katniss in the Hunger Games or Mariam in A Thousand Splendid Suns strives for her individual liberty.
We also do a lot of work that looks at how people choose to speak, their idiolects and how personal speech can be, analysing how people respond to how others speak here in Britain and the influences on our own speech and idiolect.
Rule of Law
Many of our units allow students to consider rule of law. For example when we study war poetry we consider various policies put in place by the governments at the time. Similarly when we study novels or plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest, A Christmas Carol, The Woman in Black, The Hunger games, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Fault in our Stars , we analyse characterisation very carefully consider the flaw s in certain characters and the punishments that writers to inflict on them. This enables students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
We also have a Year 8 scheme of Learning called Crime and Punishment, which allows students to explore, discuss and write opinionated articles on issues such as capital punishment
Equally through out literature studies of texts such as A Christmas Carol in Yr10 and Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience in Yr8, students are able to see how and where the Welfare State emerged from, which enables students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
Mutual Respect and Tolerance
Across the key stages we read a range of texts from different culture. These texts are carefully selected and include key literally heritage texts like Shakespeare and Dickens and also texts from other cultures such as Of Mice and Men, the Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and Small island, enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures and a sense of social responsibility.
Fairness and equality are explored within units such The Tempest in Yr7 and The Hunger Games in Yr8. Here, students discuss the social and moral implications of racial, class and gender prejudices and the overall fairness of societies.
Conflict poetry and other war literature studied throughout Key Stages 4 enables students to reflect upon important scarifies made with British history.