spiritual, moral, social & cultural curriculum
As a multicultural, inclusive and multi-faith school we ensure our students have full access to our spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) curriculum and opportunities. SMSC is about the whole student, their welfare and place in society. We aim to develop every student, to offer them an extensive range of experiences and opportunities that help them to develop fully, to keep themselves safe and to equip them to take their place in modern Britain. Our school values, which encourage students to be positive, respectful, unique, open minded and determined, also continually underpin our SMSC work with students.
Students are encouraged to explore their beliefs; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about themselves and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; and reflect. Students’ spiritual experience is developed through their ability to:
- be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values;
- find a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them;
- use imagination and creativity in their learning;
- show willingness to reflect on their experiences.
We help students to recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views. Students’ moral experience is developed through an:
- 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.
We investigate moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance. Students’ social experience is developed through their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with students 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 students develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
We appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. Students’ cultural experience is developed through their:
- 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.
As a modern, multi-cultural school, we promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.
Delivering SMSC and British Values at UHS
We deliver our SMSC curriculum through formal subjects including citizenship, trips, assemblies, speakers/representatives who visit the school, extra-curricular activities and special events.
Examples of the understanding and knowledge students learn include:
- an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
- an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
- an acceptance that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour;
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
Examples of actions we take to promote British values are to:
- include in suitable parts of the curriculum - as appropriate for the age of students - material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries;
- ensure all students within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the students;
- use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide students with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view;
consider the role of extra-curricular activities, including any run directly by students, in promoting fundamental British values.
SMSC and British values are further promoted through:
- a ‘whole student’ curriculum throughout every subject including Citizenship;
- a wide variety of extra-curricular activities;
- a wide range of trips in London, across the UK and abroad;
- services for student wellbeing, including the reflection space, a quiet, safe and welcoming space for students;
- a strong House system, creating a rewarding family culture throughout the school;
- Student Council and Student Voice - allowing students’ opinions to be heard through democracy and providing an opportunity for leadership;
- student mentoring - allowing all students to have someone they can talk to about both their school work and wider lives;
- A whole school rewards system focusing on positive behaviour and citizenship through rewards: PROUD badges; House awards and citizenship awards;
- external agency connections, allowing for students to experience the best of life in London and the UK;
- charity work across the school, including supporting Guide Dogs and Hillingdon Foodbank;
- opportunities to lead within our strong anti-bullying culture as ambassadors;
- opportunities to consider the views of others and our school community;
- a wide range of assemblies, activities and workshops, specifically designed to support students in staying safe, e.g. looking at the use of weapons and cyber bullying;
- a range of external speakers offering bespoke sessions e.g. The Police Firearms service and The Teenage Cancer Trust;
Assemblies & Tutor time
Tutor times are enriched with a full programme of SMSC activities.
School assemblies promote our school values through a wide range of topics. During weekly assemblies, students are rewarded for demonstrating our values throughout the school.
We also have a number of external speakers presenting bespoke assemblies throughout the year.
Them & US
We have recently launched the PIXL Them & US initiative. Them & Us focuses on changing the culture of our communities. It is about helping young people understand the importance of demonstrating kindness, showing respect and living without harm, not just to those people who are like them, but to people who are not like them.
For further information please see the Citizenship page.