In the previous lesson, students began to explore their own identities. After such personal reflection, it is important for them to look outwards and broaden their understanding of the relationship between the individual and society, exploring the impact that societal institutions, social categories and one’s identity can have on an individual’s life experiences and opportunities. This is important if they are to start to make connections between identity, society, and the impact of our individual and collective decisions and actions on others.
In this lesson, students will explore social inequality and consider the factors, societal institutions and social categories that contribute to such inequality. Such exploration will encourage them to understand the impact that social background and identity can have on opportunities, will lay the foundation for them to reflect on the continued relevance of the themes of An Inspector Calls, and will help them make links between the play, modern society, and their own lived experiences.
These topics may be difficult for some students to discuss, especially if they have been directly impacted by them. It is, therefore, essential to create a safe and reflective classroom, where students feel they can speak honestly about difficult issues without being judged or shut down by others, where they develop listening skills and the ability to hear perspectives different from their own, and where they learn to engage in constructive conversations. If you completed Lesson 1: Building a Classroom Community, the contracting lesson, we recommend that you review your classroom contract to remind students of its content. If you have not completed this lesson, then it is important to do so before moving forward with this scheme of work. When discussing sensitive topics, it is vital to communicate to students that they do not need to share information about themselves and their experiences that they do not feel comfortable sharing: they should always have a choice about what they do or don’t divulge.
Alignment with the GCSE Specification
- Application of Contextual Information (Lit-AO3)
- Clear and Coherent Writing (Lit-AO4, Lang-AO5/AO6)
- Evidence-Based Reasoning (Lit-AO1–3/Lang-AO1–4)
- Spoken Language Skills (Lang-AO8, Lang-AO9)
- Summarising and Synthesising Skills (Lang-AO1)
Students are introduced to social inequality, a key theme of An Inspector Calls, and one that lays the foundation for understanding the context and the message of the play in later lessons. They also discuss and debate what it is that drives social inequality in society, and critique graphs on social inequality in a gallery walk. This not only helps develop their speaking and listening skills, but also their evidence-based reasoning as they respond to information in the graphs, using it to draw conclusions. Additionally, the use of discussion and journalling help students to verbalise their thoughts in different ways, and to practise turning them into coherent sentences, which will help them across their English GCSEs.
Learn more about this unit's Alignment with GCSE Specification.