School is about far more than learning the curriculum. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development is the term used to embrace this broader dimension. It ranges from teaching in religious studies and citizenship through to sex and relationship education and a wide range of extra-curricular and out-of-school activities. Importantly these vital dimensions of life and growth should be present across the entire curriculum.
To help students in their positive spiritual development, all lessons and additional learning activities should be designed, wherever possible to:
- promote students’ self-esteem by valuing and rewarding their achievements;
- encourage students to reflect on their learning and allow them to question and explore;
- provide opportunities in and out of lessons for them to discuss and exchange views;
- be supportive of those who seek faith or wish to strengthen it.
In order for teaching and learning to be effective, students at Whitworth Community High School must adopt a shared moral code of respect. This moral code is taught through form time activities, assemblies and through the Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education (PSHCE) days.
- The necessity of and the importance of following appropriate rules is seen as vitally important in setting an orderly learning environment.
- Students are encouraged to take on responsibility for their own learning and for that of others through peer support. An example is the role of the prefects in assisting the younger students with the organisation of their learning journals and home learning booklets.
As part of engaging lessons and activities, students are expected to interact with their peers and other members of the community. Consequently, their social development is of great importance. When planning teaching and learning activities, staff should always try to promote an environment where there is:
- a willingness to co-operate with other pupils by balancing individual and collective needs;
- a readiness to celebrate others’ achievements;
- a feeling of mutual respect and tolerance.
- a culture where students aspire to achieve!
As well as developing an awareness of their own cultural roots, students should also be able to appreciate the diversity and evolution of cultural traditions. In comparison to other local schools, Whitworth Community High School has a limited cultural mix of students. Therefore, it is particularly important that the following should occur as part of their learning journey:
- in lessons, assemblies and tutorials pupils should be helped to understand, respect and appreciate other beliefs, social circumstances and cultures and their impact;
- further opportunities for the above should take place in extra-curricular activities and school trips, many of which are arranged through the Culture and Creativity faculties.
Monitoring of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students (SMSC)
In addition to the above considerations that take place when planning teaching and learning experiences at Whitworth Community High School, some aspects of the SMSC agenda are explicitly taught in lessons. This is audited annually (appendix 6) to ensure that students are given the appropriate information and guidance on essential topics that may help students to be successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.