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What Matters Statement 4

Human societies are complex and diverse, and shaped by human actions and beliefs.

An appreciation of identity, heritage and cynefin can influence learners emotionally and spiritually, and help build their sense of self and of belonging. Through an understanding of themselves, learners develop their own identity and an awareness of how they, as individuals, can shape the communities in which they live. Consequently, learners will come to realise that the choices we all make, individually and collectively, can have major impacts on society.

Through consistent exposure to the story of their locality and the story of Wales, as well as to the story of the wider world, learners can develop an understanding of the complex, pluralistic and diverse nature of societies, past and present. These stories are diverse, spanning different communities as well as in particular the stories of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people. This also enables learners to develop a common understanding of the diverse history, cultural heritage, ethnic diversity, identities, experiences and perspectives of their local area, Wales and the wider world.

Over time, places, communities and societies evolve, experiencing continuity and change that has affected, and continues to affect, their own and other people’s lives. As they explore this, learners can come to appreciate how this evolution is driven by the interplay between a range of factors, including environmental, economic, social, political and cultural processes, human actions and religious and non-religious beliefs and worldviews. It will also help them build an understanding of the causes, consequences and significance of the changes and interrelationships that have shaped societies at different levels of development.
Experiences in this Area can encourage a critical understanding of how societies are and have been organised, structured and led, in the learners’ own locality and in Wales, as well as in the wider world. Societies are characterised by a range of cultural, linguistic, economic, legal and political norms and values. They are also dynamic, both driving and reacting to changes on a local, national and global scale. Learners can explore the connections and interdependence between such societies in the past and present, in the context of a globalised world. Further engagement will also encourage them to explore – and develop a tolerant and empathetic understanding of – the varied beliefs, values, traditions and ethics that underpin and shape human society.

This aspect of the Area encourages learners to explore concepts, including chronology, change and continuity, diversity, cause and effect, interconnectedness, community, identity and belonging, authority and governance.

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