Cultural Literacy


At Royds, every learner studies Cultural Literacy at Key Stage 3, where they travel back in time, from Brexit and 9/11, all the way to the Norman Invasion, via the Reformation and the British Empire. We believe students need a sense of their own cultural heritage and exploring these time capsules allows for exposure to complex concepts and the vocabulary that goes alongside them.

Teachers look at etymology, the key to a rich vocabulary, and consider how our cultural literacy shapes who we are today. They will get the opportunity to explore languages, both ancient and modern, and look at how the English language has developed across the centuries. The lessons are discursive and allow for exploration of social, political and spiritual awareness, whilst raising the cultural capital of our learners. Lessons are linked to our Cultural Literacy library and learners are encouraged to read around the topics to ignite their intellectual curiosity and cultivate a love of reading.


Our curriculum is organised in such a way that provides our students with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can achieve our #LiveLoveLearn mission.  Our strategic intent is therefore very simple:

  • Provides a diversity of powerful knowledge, which over time, cumulatively builds to provide the cultural literacy that enables students to function in society.
  • Enables all students to enjoy learning and experience success.
  • Takes into account individual needs.
  • Creates a culture of high expectation and aspiration to raise standards of attainment and progress.
  • Develops confident and responsible individuals who can make a positive contribution to society and live safely and independently.

Implementation: Design

The Cultural Literacy curriculum is designed to provide a high level of challenge for all students as we tackle demanding concepts and try to unpick historical bias. We also study etymology and encourage our students to rejoice in the rich tapestry of the English language. Each unit covers a key historical era; and is underpinned by 10 words that we want our students to explore and understand. These words will be shared across the curriculum in order to deepen knowledge and show that learning is not an isolated event but an ever-evolving jigsaw.

These are not history lessons, rather an opportunity to grapple with our cultural heritage and ask questions in a safe and supportive environment. Each unit start and ends with a vocabulary quiz, enabling the understanding of key concepts to be tracked. Aside from this, the lessons benefit from being free from assessment as we encourage healthy debate and communicating with kindness, despite differing opinions.