The Year 11 students have carried out some very thoughtful humanities work as part of the preparation for GCSE and GCSE Entry Level exams. Part of the curriculum requires the students to have an understanding about some of the issues surrounding the death penalty. This is a very sensitive subject. Year 11 showed great maturity in carrying out their work.
We started off a recent session by watching the short trailer for the film Dead Man Walking. The students then held a class discussion looking at some of the ideas they thought that the film might be about. This developed into a considered discussion about various legal systems and for and against arguments for capital punishment. We asked the pupils to explain their reasoning at every opportunity.
Different research activities then took place. Some students investigated the work of Amnesty International. We wanted to find out what the organisation thinks about the death penalty, and how it is campaigning to change this. The school iPads were used for this research activity.
Other students looked at capital punishment in relation to some of the major world religions. Research was carried out to see how Christianity and Islam both view the death penalty. Year 11 were asked to look for evidence of religious quotes to back up these viewpoints.
This session was concluded by all of the students coming together to share their work and to explain some of their findings. Once again we asked for personal opinions about capital punishment to be explored.