Week B
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)

At Highdown School we promote student’s development of SMSC understanding through our pastoral care system, our curriculum, our assemblies, our PSHCE days, and through our extra-curricular provision.

Our SMSC programme:

  • enables students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enables students to know the difference between right and wrong and to respect the law in England;
  • encourages students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to our local community and our wider community;
  • enables students to acquire a broad understanding and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of their own and others’ cultures;
  • encourages respect for others;
  • encourages respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process.
Promotion of Fundamental British Values

At Highdown School students develop their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Our SMSC and PSHCE programmes, through daily mentor period, weekly assemblies, curriculum, e.g. Ethics, and PSHCE days help students develop:

  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individuals and is essential for their well-being and safety;
  • an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, e.g. public bodies like the police and army are held to account by government, others such as courts of law are independent;
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
  • an acceptance that other people have different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
  • an understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.

All students at Highdown School have a voice that is listened to and are able to demonstrate how democracy works through our Student Leadership Group (School Council), whose members are voted for by students. Furthermore, all students from 11-16 years study Religious Education/Ethics in which students reflect on aspects of life in modern Britain, including developing an understanding and appreciation of a number of different faiths and beliefs.

Spiritual

Personal insight and spiritual development

What does it mean?

  • beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for other people’s feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences

A flavour of where it is applied at Highdown 

All Subjects

All written feedback provides the opportunity for student reflection, Student self-assessment and peer assessment.

Art

African masks – symbols and meanings. Use of abstract thinking to solve problems. Practical investigations which are left open ended. 

Drama

Active learning in all years. By playing different characters and enacting different situations, the students get to experience other people’s perspectives and challenge their own. 

English

Use of texts to explore students’ own beliefs, and beliefs of others from around the world.

Ethics

 

Study of Islam Christianity and Buddhism

Ethical issues: war, abortion, childhood, medical ethics, drugs, crime and punishment, euthanasia, poverty and wealth and the poor in the UK. Students develop an understanding of issues, different perspectives and a personal response to these.

Geography

Exploring Lifestyles, Globalisation and Fair Trade.

History

Influence of religion and the reformation on the Tudor and Stuart Monarchy , applying own morality and world views to historical ethical issues such as slavery and racism, empire and the Holocaust, war.

ICT

Part of the computing curriculum considers the ethics of programming and the laws relating to computer misuse. This encourages students to develop empathy for the feelings of victims of viruses and hackers.

MFL

Lessons dedicated to festivals in each country. For example, in Spanish the students learn about the Semana Santa celebrations in Seville and the Halloween customs in Mexico where they celebrate the day of the dead. 

Moral 

Moral understanding and relationships

What does it mean?

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being
  • able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

A flavour of where it is applied at Highdown 

All subjects

Assessment and synthesis of different interpretations to reach a judgement, group work and behaviour expectations.

Art

North American Totems – KS3 including history of native Americans

Business

Ethics in business is discussed in some detail in Year 11.  Students are required to analyse the effect that unethical behaviour has on a business and the external environment.  

Drama

Styles of theatre such as ‘Forum Theatre’ are used to investigate restorative justice and looking at a moral dilemma from all angles before making an informed decision. 

English

Use of texts to discuss moral choices made by characters/ authors and discussion of what we might have done. Evaluating ideas presented in a text and the moral implications e.g. why do the boys kill Simon in Lord of the Flies?

Ethics

 

 

People of faith and vision and Ethics units. Helping charities project. Y8. Animal rights, Environmental issues and Prejudice and Equality GCSE units in Y9.

 

GCSE units cover religious attitudes towards war, abortion, childhood, medical ethics, drugs, crime and punishment, euthanasia, poverty and wealth and the poor in the UK. Developing an understanding of issues, different perspectives and a personal response to these.

Geography

Fair Trade – Year 9, Year 11 and Year 12

History

Applying own morality and world views to historical ethical issues such as slavery and racism, empire, the Holocaust, war.

ICT

In a unit about e-safety KS3 students considered the consequences of a person hacking into another’s account and changing information about an individual.

Maths

The promotion of logical reasoning and analysis ensures that students can make clear decisions.  Functional maths activities allow students to express and discuss different views.

social

Social development and skills

What does it mean?

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively.
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

A flavour of where it is applied at Highdown

All subjects

Teaching and learning is prepared within the Schemes of Work at all Key Stages to involve group work and peer assessment. This provides students with the opportunity to work with others in the school environment.

Art

Year 8 – African masks project – how, what, why communities use masks/festivals/rituals.

Business

Use of guest speakers within KS4 and KS5 to enable students to interact and engage outside the school community. – John Madejski and Richard WoodWard from Three

D & T

Classes are mixed ability, encouraged to work in pairs and groups when designing, making and evaluating. 

Drama

Social skills are a fundamental building block of the work we do in Drama.  We encourage an atmosphere where everyone is equal and has something to offer.
We foster a community within the work we do with school productions and drama clubs.  Role models are chosen from senior students to mentor younger students.

English

Discussions of society/ communities/ hierarchies through set texts e.g. the fight to be king in Macbeth.

Ethics

All classrooms are set out to ensure collaboration and group work. Emphasis in RE/ Ethics learning is discussion and sharing of different opinions and responses, learning to understand others and justify personal beliefs. 

Geography

Presentations/group work/reporting/interviews/fieldwork

History

Group work used for projects, board games and various tasks, allocating roles within the groups. Year 9 WWII exhibitions – group work and presenting to staff and other students

ICT

Trips to Microsoft KS3 & KS4. Guest speakers come in to school and talk about their experiences in the world of IT – KS4

Maths

Students are given the opportunity to work together on mathematical task through CAME and Bowland lessons

PE

Sports education roles in lessons (different roles e.g. referee, coach, captain). Inter tutor, inter school fixtures & tournaments. Leadership opportunities e.g. captain, vice- captain, coach, referee etc in lessons/matches.

PSHCE

Y7 Team building day in September. Tutor groups responsible for planning and delivery of assemblies. Some students act as buddy readers/mentors. Promotion of the respect agenda in all Mentor Groups.

Science

Practical work needs cooperation and respect. Group sizes and composition vary depending on the task.  Science Fair encourages these skills.

curtural

Understanding and respect for different cultures 

What does it mean?

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

A flavour of where it is applied at Highdown

All subjects

Various trips including France, China, Spain and the theatre. Participation in whole school music and drama productions. Participation in Sutton Trust and UNIQ summer schools, participation in Science outreach project

Art

Masks Year 8 – different cultures and purposes

Drama

The curriculum is designed to allow students to investigate and explore different cultures through the medium of Drama.

English

Students study texts from the literary heritage and explore the significance of social and historical contexts in the production of texts. Visits from the Young Shakespeare Company that promote participation in performance opportunities throughout the session

Ethics

 

 

 

 

Study of Islam, Christianity and Buddhism in GCSE includes looking at historical and social aspects such as Family, Religious Community and serving others in wider communities. Awareness of the role and influence of the media. Understanding of moral issues and different responses to these including exploring many other cultural views and practices from around the world.


A Level course in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics includes units on God’s nature and existence. Origins of life, origins of morals and the concept of evil. Moral theories and applied ethics on abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, environment, business, war and right to a child. This level of study enables all students on A Level to understand and appreciate many different spiritual and ethical perspectives. The aim being for them to develop a critical ability to evaluate these views and issues.

Geography

Life for different groups of people is looked at eg young people, women, peasants, townspeople

History

Music, art, technology etc all discussed throughout eg Industrial Revolution, Empire and propaganda. Democracy and Britain features at KS3 and 5

MFL

At A level the students study films and literature from the different countries. In Chinese the students study the history of China.

PSHCE

Students plan a community fund-raising event, researching charities and finding out why the charities exist.  They consider numerous factors eg in providing food:  they have provided vegetarian options or students have provided for people from different culture, eg kebabs.

Science

Many scientific stories e.g. discovery of atom have stories which start with the Ancients.  Students are often asked to consider the world at the time, the economic and religious influences on Science.  Students consider what led to ‘big leaps forward’.