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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC)
Shirley High School Performing Arts College promotes a learning environment where every member of the school community feels able to develop spiritually, morally and socially whilst broadening their understanding of other cultures.
We believe that for everyone to benefit from our learning community we should be inclusive, have an atmosphere free from division and ensure that students, staff, helpers, families and other visitors are made to feel welcome and comfortable.
We believe in recognising and appreciating the diversity within our community and taking into account different views and experiences.
We believe in encouraging good relationships and behaviour towards each other, so that spiritual and personal development takes place in a climate of trust and confidence.

The school will:

  • Promote positive relationships based on mutual respect, encouraging an inclusive approach across the curriculum.
  • Offer curriculum opportunities to every student to develop spiritually, discuss moral issues and consider issues of social concern.
  • Respect and value all members of the school community and strive to remove barriers to ensure fair treatment for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, religion or sexuality as well as encouraging understanding and tolerance of different social, religious and cultural backgrounds
  • Adopt a positive approach to Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL).
  • To encourage young people to engage in a process of personal search for meaning and purpose in life.
  • To increase the self-confidence of students and their ability to collaborate with each other.
  • To develop confident individuals through a programme of spiritual and moral education.
  • To help develop responsible citizens.
  • To contribute to ‘Help Children Achieve More’ within our spiritual and personal development curriculum.
What is SMSC?
Spiritual and personal development is the means by which all young people are supported in their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development according to their needs, and regardless of their social and/or economic or cultural backgrounds. It promotes their wellbeing and enables them to develop their potential as healthy, enterprising and responsible citizens in our society.

Students' spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life's fundamental questions. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and nonmaterial wellbeing.

Students' moral development involves students acquiring an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right. They are able and willing to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them.

Students' social development involves acquiring an understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities (local, national and global) and an ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good. They display a sense of belonging and an increasing willingness to participate. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities.

Students' cultural development involves them acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and an ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in others' ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.

  • Students will have access to a variety of interesting and stimulating resources including religious artefacts, multi-media material, visiting speakers and make links with local faith communities to help them gain knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and practices.
  • Students will be encouraged to share what they have learned through discussion and presentations using ICT and consider the implications for their own beliefs and values.
  • Students will be able to take account of differing religious, moral and philosophical viewpoints when expressing their own opinions on issues of belief and morality.
  • Students participate in learning experiences which challenge their perceptions of self and others, for example, by forming partnerships with communities in different parts of the world.
  • Students demonstrate commitment to their beliefs and values, for example, through enterprise projects to raise awareness of environmental issues or poverty.
  • Students engage in learning experiences which promote equality and fairness, for example, by organising an anti-bullying campaign.
  • Students are consistently encouraged to recognise the needs of others and to accept responsibility in school and in their community.
  • Teachers and students will be able to engage in discussion about their work and help each other understand how to improve.
  • Teachers will use a variety of questioning techniques to encourage deeper levels of thinking, including thinking about abstract concepts and increasingly complex moral dilemmas such as medical ethics and sustainable development.
  • Teachers encourage students to recognise the importance of diversity and equality through developing an understanding of the beliefs and values of religions and other stances for living.
  • Teachers set challenging tasks which encourage mature attitudes and collaborative working, for example, interviewing members of different faith communities and producing news articles about their views on a range of religious and moral issues.
  • Teachers help students to develop an awareness of global citizenship through involvement in aid charities and debates about moral issues such as war, poverty, aid, biotechnology and the environment.
  • Teachers help students to develop secure values and beliefs by encouraging discussion and debate about controversial issues within an atmosphere of mutual support and respect.
  • Teachers promote students’ confidence by praising their efforts and by celebrating their achievements within and beyond the classroom.
Ethos and Values
At the centre of our ethos is our golden rule – Respect for All. Respect is modelled by all staff and governors and our students are taught the value of this rule at every possible opportunity. Our shared values are clearly communicated to students, parents and staff through assemblies, staff meetings and parent information evenings and they underpin everything we do.

Our Golden Rule – Respect for All.
Shirley High School students are expected to show consideration and respect to all members of the school and local community at all times.

Our Aim:
A Safe, Happy and Successful school.

Our Core Values:
- ABC - Attendance, Behaviour and Commitment.
- Our policies, procedures and rules.
- Diversity.
- Our personalised curriculum.
- Student voice.
- The right to work and study in a safe environment.
- High quality teaching and learning so all achieve and enjoy.
- Contributing to the school, the community and the environment.
- Personal development.

Our Mission Statement:
We deliver high quality teaching and learning in an environment that meets the needs of our students so that all achieve and enjoy.

“Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity. “ John Hume

SMSC Provision Map
At Shirley High School, SMSC is widely promoted across the curriculum, through our extra-curricular provision and in whole school events.
Click here for our SMSC provision map.
Promoting British Values at Shirley High School
The DfE have recently reinforced the need to 'create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote 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 government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister last year. At Shirley High School these values are promoted and reinforced regularly across the curriculum and through our extensive extra-curricular provision. Details of this provision can be found in our British Values statement.
Click here for our British Values statement.
Extra-curricular Activities
We are extremely proud of our broad and balanced curriculum which is supported by a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. Clubs, trips, competitions and events are offered in all subject areas and also in a range of non-curricular areas. We believe that these activities encourage our students to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understandings and help them to grow into rounded individuals who are well equipped to cope with life in modern Britain.
Click here for our extra-curricular activities list.
Weekly Themes
One of the most important ways we promote SMSC is through our weekly theme. Every week, Form Tutors address the ‘Theme for the Week’ and the ‘British Values Focus’ through a range of tutor time resources and activities. These key themes are promoted on the daily notices board and reinforced in assemblies. As part of this, each year there are a number of high-profile theme weeks covering topics such as bullying, diversity, refugees and Remembrance. These theme weeks involve students completing work related to the topic in a many of their lessons, as well as during tutor periods and assemblies. Guest speakers; display boards; posters and student competitions also support these themed weeks.
Click here for this term’s ‘Theme for the Week’ rota (including the British Values focus and a list of upcoming SMSC events).
Performing Arts
Child Development
Food Technology
ICT & Business
Work Related Learning
Design Technology
Media Studies
Modern Foreign Languages


Shirley High School is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales. Company No.7837778, Registered Office: Shirley High School, Shirley Church Road, Croydon, CR0 5EF, Tel: 020 8656 9755 - Fax: 020 8654 8507 - Email: Office@shirley.croydon.sch.uk