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Headteacher’s SMSC Weekly Topic
1. Why Have a Government At All?
With the General Election coming up the Royal Greenwich Trust School is expecting all students to be thinking about why such processes are important. We want all our students to be informed, thoughtful and passionate citizens in global, national and local arenas so that they are fully fledged and powerful world citizens. For them to be this they need to be able to join in with the various conversations and debates that have been taking place not just in the present but throughout history. We want them to be outward looking and know what choices they have. We expect our students to weigh up their own thoughts with those of others so that unthinking bias, historical ignorance and general prejudice don’t control them. We agree with Aristotle that ignorance is a vice. We also want them to be able to step back from the media narratives that will bombard them over the coming weeks so that they are equipped to critique news bulletins and party political propaganda rationally and armed with well researched facts and theories. To do this they need to think about key questions: What is good government? What is it for? Who is it for? Is it necessary? Who should choose who rules? Should we obey rulers? When should we protest? Is democracy the best form of government? etc. And whatever position they take up, it should be one that emerges from a process of thoughtful and engaged reflection.
To help them we shall be looking at various political thinkers and their ideas over this half term. We begin this week by looking at Thomas Hobbes who is one of the most important political thinkers ever. Whether or not we agree with him, he is a voice that needs to be considered in any conversation touching on the role of governments and their justification. The short video below gives a brief overview of his ideas. This link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy gives a more detailed analysis of what he claims.And this link gives a broad overview of all his ideas, not just his political ones.
About the Headteacher's SMSC Weekly Topic
Each week Dr Marshall leads the school in a broad range of spiritual, moral, social and cultural topics
The focus in the school is learning and with it the working principle that all students can learn so long as they are prepared to work hard and relish a challenge. The videos on the site are brief introductions to some of the world’s greatest thinkers, people who we hope will inspire our own students’ ambitions.