SMSC: Spiritual Moral, Social and Cultural Education
SMSC is an important part of the school's curriculum and wider provision; it is also a requirement for schools to deliver.
‘Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
· promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
· prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’
At Cheam High School, we are committed to this very important part of the curriculum; these themes pervade:
- lessons across a range of different subjects which promote SMSC. All subjects detail their approach to SMSC in their annual departmental reviews and their work in this area is also evident in their curriculum maps.
- tutor sessions, including the Thought for the Week, assemblies and extra-curricular trips, events and opportunities. Assemblies have included looking at Black History Month and Pride Month and helped to promote our Pride and UAR Groups.
- Diversity Week, which was first held in July 2022 and we are repeating the week beginning July 10th this year with a broader range of events at school to help celebrate diversity.
- the school’s behaviour policy including rewards and sanctions
- interventions and extensive pastoral support
- the focus on “growth mindset” and developing further skills and understanding
Some examples of SMSC can be found in:
Our Learning is for Ever course makes a significant contribution to SMSC provision as well as PSHE. The nature of the course encourages discussions, listening to others’ views and exploring perceptions from different cultures or groups in society. It uses controversial and sensitive issues which promote engagement and deeper thinking about moral and social issues, enabling students to reflect upon the morality of choices they make and will make in their adult lives.
SMSC is integral to the LIFE curriculum. This year, the LIFE department has arranged for external organisations to come and deliver key messages to students, including a theatre company running an interactive workshop about mental health for Year 9 and Sutton Schoolswork, who have come to deliver workshops on Healthy Relationships in Year 10. Sutton Schoolswork have run workshops for the Year 8 on safe behaviour outside of school and celebrity culture & the media. The Year 8s will also be taking part in a session run by the London Schools Consent Project.
The United Against Racism group has continued to promote equality and tolerance within the school. Our meetings this year have included a session sharing our countries of affiliation and reflecting on the diversity within our school community. We have celebrated this further with a food tasting session, in which many pupils brought homemade food associated with their cultural heritage.
Ms Bowers and Mrs Rasool celebrated Eid with a henna party and a halal sweet sale which proved to be very popular with the pupils and very well attended.
We are in the process of planning a school wide diversity week which will seek to further promote the work of the UAR group and encourage the entire community to reflect on and celebrate diversity within our school. Several pupils in Year 8 and Year 9 attended an anti-racism summit at The Quad in Sutton, where they discussed with facilitators their views and opinions on how to further prevent intolerance within society. These pupils will attend a follow up session later in the term and are implementing their ideas on their return to school.
The Pride Group has continued to have meetings twice a term to support our LGBT+ community. Meetings have included games and quiz sessions to bring pupils from different year groups together in a safe space. Pupils highly value this time together and the group continues to be very popular.
This year the school gained the Rainbow Flag Award. This involved providing evidence that the school is promoting inclusivity towards members of the LGBT+ community via curriculum, skilled teaching, pastoral systems and inclusive policies. The Rainbow Flag were very complimentary of the evidence submitted and commented on the good practice and commitment of the school.
Members of the UAR and Pride groups alongside student council members attended a workshop on unconscious bias with an external visitor from Nike, which was followed by a dance class to encourage collaboration between the groups.
There are a number of trips available to students during their time at Cheam High School. These include theatre performances, Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions, course field trips, residential trips abroad (such as to France and Germany), and activity days to local places of interest, such as Whitehall. We are pleased to be able to offer a broad variety of trips to students at Cheam and proud that such a significant number of students take advantage of this opportunity.