What does it mean to be human?
In the Autumn term of 2016, the year 8 expedition was Being Human.
The learning targets were :
- I can describe the basic structure and function of the musculoskeletal system.
- I can explain how the musculoskeletal system works to generate force.
- I can discuss the causes of racial prejudice and the consequences it has.
- I can use Standard English accurately in my written responses.
- I can explore different characters’ viewpoints within a text.
- I can discuss the development of a theme or central idea throughout a text.
- I can design a successful product.
- I can create a prototype product from a plan.
- I can respond to the work of artists by creating my own sculpture.
- I can analyse data using statistical averages.
- I can use different charts to display statistical analysis.
Students studied three main case studies looking at how science, history and literature convey what makes a human. This involved a study of the human skeleton as well as investigating the history of the slave trade and segregation and the civil rights movement that followed with the USA.
The text Wonder written by R.J Palacio underpinned the learning in all three case studies, underlining that what is on the outside does not reflect what is in the inside, that students are more than the sum total of their looks, that what makes them human is their understanding and acceptance of others for HOW they are, not HOW they look.
Fieldwork was carried out at the Centre for life, Newcastle to view the exhibition Animals Inside Out as well as hearing from one of the experts Alison Twells at Sheffield University. We also had support and input from the expert, Steve Judge.
As a result of this research, students each wrote speeches and produced sculptures to represent their response to the guiding question.
The expedition culminated when students presented these speeches in front of their parents and members of the community demonstrating what they believe it means to be a human. These ideas were also visually represented through the presentation of the sculptures students created.
These sculptures were displayed in Doncaster’s local theatre, Cast, from the beginning of November until the 4th December 2017 for the public to see.