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SMSC in Humanities

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 Humanities

  • 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 migration in Year 7 geography, or the experiences of women in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries, covered in year 8 and then extended in GCSE History.    
  • Students’ ability to exercise leadership and demonstrate responsibility is promoted through team learning activities across the faculty. A Geography visit to Flatford Mill to assess tourism saw Y10 Geographers engage with the public to assess the impact of tourism.
  • Some of the key social concerns for modern Britain are developed in lessons. Year 12 Psychology students assess theories of attachment and how these can be applied in the 21st century. 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.

Moral developments in Humanities

  • 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.
  • There is an open and safe learning environment across the Faculty which allows students to express their views. An organised debate about the impact of the Holocaust on the Jews was used as the basis for selection of two students to visit Auschwitz.

Spiritual developments in Humanities

  • 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.
  • Being inspired and awed by the world around us is also a key facet of the study of Geography, and one that is explicitly promoted through the study of Tectonics (Y10) and Coasts (Y8). In addition, through the study of revelation and the design theory, students in Years 9 and 10 consider how the existence of God is show through the world.
  • A sense of empathy is consistently extended in lessons. History demands an understanding of others, such as that of women in WW1 during Years 8 and 11. Studies of migration in year 7 and 11 provide direct opportunities for geographers at Samuel Ryder to consider the experiences, feelings and respect for others. Year 8 students visited the trenches in Belgium to gain an understanding of the sacrifice of soldiers from all different backgrounds and to gain an understanding of the conditions soldiers lived in during World War one.

Cultural developments in Humanities

  • Cultural appreciation and understanding is fundamental to learning in Humanities. Students are presented with authentic accounts of cultures as diverse as Mexico and Somalia (Year 7 Geography) Vietnam and Eastern Europe (GCSE History), Germany [GCSE and A-Level History], China (Y10 Population) and Ireland (Y12 History). Throughout KS3 and 4, Religious Studies students compare the beliefs and values of the main world religions.
  • The contribution of different cultures to human development and progress is explored in Year 7 History through studying the contributions of the colonies to the British Empire and the subsequent calls for independence. In addition, in Geography at KS4, students consider the social, economic and political progress of a sub-Saharan country.
  • To prepare students for life in modern Britain students study a range of religions in Religious Studies. They consider the importance of community in Year 7, and different beliefs about marriage and divorce in Year 8. The benefits of migration are studied in Year 7 Geography and also in Year 11. Year 9 students are given a taste of potential careers in the travel and tourism industry through a BTEC First in Travel & Tourism. Through teaching the history of Britain in the period 1906-51, Year 12 students gain a political understanding that will help inform their own choices when they get the opportunity to vote. The use of IT is encouraged in Humanities in order to develop these important skills for the modern Briton. For example, students often use their iPads in lessons to carry out extension tasks, independently researching to consider the most up-to-date perspectives.


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