We aim to enable pupils to develop independence of thought and an understanding of themselves as individuals, members of communities and global citizens. The course is comprised of an eclectic mix of PSHCE (personal, social, health, citizenship and economic education), religious studies and philosophy aimed at providing pupils with a fast paced, contemporary course that offers something for everyone.
Students are engaged in the study of a diverse range of topics from health and safety to religion and politics, and all pupils are provided with a comprehensive examination of some of the most important issues for young people today.
Staff and facilities
The Life Studies department consists of two full time teaching staff and three part time teaching staff that deliver the programme. The department utilises a variety of software, media and resources to make lessons interesting and interactive. All teaching rooms are equipped with an interactive white board (IWB) and have a departmental computer suite. Invariably, teachers encourage a good deal of pupil input, with discussion, formal debate and group presentation forming a significant proportion of lesson time. Pupils are encouraged to develop their rhetorical skills and think in a manner that involves empathy and reflection.
The sensitive nature of some of the work is recognised by members of staff and great care is taken to discuss issues sympathetically.
Life Studies in the Lower School
In the First Year, we cover topics including an introduction to secondary school, personal identity, beliefs and values, world religions, health and safety and rights and responsibilities. These topics are designed to offer a comprehensive introduction to the subject and offer pupils a flavour of what they will experience in their Life Studies lessons. Pupils are also offered support through the curriculum to help them adjust to the transition from primary to secondary school.
In the Second Year, we consider issues pertaining to conflict and politics, political systems in the UK, the impact of contemporary events on prejudice and discrimination, and stewardship. The course aims to provide pupils with an understanding of the context in which they live today and also draw their attention to the challenges raised by politics and the importance of promoting fundamental Britain Values.
In the Third Year pupils examine philosophical and ethical issues, such as moral dilemmas and personal responsibility. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to engage in debate and develop their critical thinking skills through engaging in philosophical enquiries. Pupils also continue their study of PSHCE, focussing on sex and relationships, personal finance, drugs education and creating a Utopian society as their final Key Stage 3 project.
Life studies further up the school
Fourth and Fifth Year Life Studies lessons take place once a week and utilise debate, discussion and group work to explore modern day topics and current events. The course aims to give pupils the opportunity to gain essential life skills and investigate everyday adolescent issues. Some examples of the topics that will be covered over the two year period are Sexual Relationship Education (SRE), personal finance, discrimination and racism, work experience, driver’s education, careers and basic first aid.
All of the work that takes place in Life Studies is part of and supported by our whole school Pastoral Curriculum. A complete overview of our Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 programme is available here.