Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development


Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education provides students with opportunities to reflect on their experiences, helping them to responsibly manage and understand a range of behaviours and situations as they develop.  SMSC promotes respect for diversity and the differences that exist between people, developing our students’ well-being, self-esteem and promoting strong achievement. 

Spiritual:  Exploring beliefs and experiences, respecting values, discover yourself and the surrounding world and your place within it, using imagination and creativity and being able to reflect as an individual.  

Moral:  Recognising right and wrong, understanding choices and consequences, investigating moral and ethical issues and being able to offer a reasoned viewpoint.  

Social:  Using social skills appropriately in different contexts and understanding how different groups and communities function, being tolerant of others.  

Cultural:  Understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, participating in cultural opportunities and understand and appreciate cultural influences 

At Wilmslow High School, we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive, caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultures. The school will ensure that pupils should understand how the culture(s) in which they live influences their individual thinking. 

All curriculum areas have a contribution to make to the child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities for this should be planned in each area of the curriculum. Staff should model and promote expected behaviour, treating all people equally as unique and valuable individuals and showing concern and respect for pupils and their families. All curriculum areas should seek to use illustrations and examples drawn from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible. The school community will be a place where pupils can find acceptance for themselves as unique individuals and where mutual respect, tolerance is fundamental to the ethos of the school. 

Pupils should learn to differentiate between right and wrong. They should be aware that their actions affect other people and they will be encouraged to value both themselves and others. Pupils will be encouraged to understand the need for rules and the need to abide by these rules for the good of everyone. The PRIDE values, central to the Wilmslow Way, underpin expectations of students. School and classroom responsibilities reflect, reiterate, promote and reward acceptable behaviour and provide opportunities to celebrate students’ work and achievements. 


  • To ensure everyone connected to Wilmslow High School is aware of our values and principles. 
  • To ensure a consistent approach to the delivery of SMSC issues through the curriculum and the general life of the school. 
  • To ensure that a student’s education is set within a context that is meaningful and appropriate to their age, aptitude and background. 
  • To ensure that students know what is expected of them and why. 
  • To enable students to begin to develop an understanding of their social and cultural environment and an appreciation of the many cultures that enrich our society 
  • To give each student the opportunity to explore social and moral issues, and develop a sense of social and moral responsibility in accordance with the British Values set out by the UK government 

What are the five British Values? 

  • Democracy 

The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Wilmslow High School with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance through the School Council and Student Parliament.  The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Studies curriculum as well as in form time and assemblies. 

  • Mutual Respect 

Respect is a strong part of Wilmslow High’s ethos.  Students learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment. 

  • The Rule of Law 

Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school, which are highlighted through the Wilmslow Way system.  Students are taught the values and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us.  They also understand the responsibilities involved and the consequences when laws are broken.   

  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs 

Our curriculum enables our students to have a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions, cultures and race. 

In a wider context we support Remembrance, educate our students about the Holocaust, actively participate in Duke of Edinburgh Award, and promote the British values through our assemblies and engage in international visits. 

  • Individual Liberty 

Students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.   Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety.  

The Wider Curriculum  

Within each academic year, students are given the opportunity to engage with and consider a wide variety of topics and issues which contribute to their personal and interpersonal welfare and development. The curriculum reflects the 2020 Statutory Framework. 

Wider Curriculum lessons ensure that these areas of the curriculum are taught with sensitivity, care and consideration, giving students time to engage and discuss all aspects thoughtfully and respectfully within a positive learning environment. Some topics will also be addressed through other mediums such as assemblies, and other subject areas. 

  • Wider Curriculum lessons at Wilmslow High enables students to develop knowledge, skills and values to help keep themselves healthy and safe in an ever changing and demanding society. It encourages students to actively and positively participate in their local community in the knowledge that they can make a difference. 
  • Through the curriculum both at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5, students are given opportunities to engage with and explore difficult, thought provoking issues, with lessons themselves enabling students to develop respectful discussion skills, allowing them to ask questions and share their opinions whilst at the same time being respectful and mindful of the views of others. Giving students such time and a safe environment to explore personal and social issues is invaluable. It may be the only opportunity they have to take time out to reflect on their own opinions on themselves, their aspirations and hopes as young people. 
  • The topics they engage with during lessons may be something of significance now or it may be something that they can consider at a later stage. The relevance of the material being studied will be ongoing but as they have been given the opportunity to explore it they will feel a sense of confidence that they can deal with and manage any similar situations. 

What topics are studied as part of the Wider Curriculum? 

Religious, Moral and Ethical Education
The exploration of, and reflection upon, personal beliefs and those of others both in school and elsewhere in the world is perhaps most extensive in the Key Stage 3 Curriculum, where students experience the full breadth of the National Curriculum and RE Locally Agreed Syllabus. The Religious Studies course is inclusive and sets out to address issues such as ignorance and prejudice. 

The six major world faiths are studied so that students understand the beliefs of others. A multi-faith approach is adopted and inspirational leaders are studied that cut across the barriers of geography, race, colour and creed. 

Additionally all areas of the curriculum contribute to encourage students to think about their our values and attitudes, for example, drama related to real life issues of abuse, discrimination and prejudice, Holocaust related studies in history, ethical and moral responsibility are tackled through world issues such as the environment in geography. 

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the Religious Education element of the curriculum, including assemblies and should contact the relevant Head of House in the first instance school to discuss the matter. 

Social and Moral Development – personal wellbeing – Sex and Relationships Education
All students receive the following two strands of sex and relationships education: 

  • National Curriculum science teaches the biology of human growth and reproduction, and provides education about HIV and AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. 
  • The Wider Curriculum builds on this to consider and discuss broader emotional, moral and social issues, develop appropriate values and understand the skills needed to build caring relationships. 

Sex Education at Wilmslow High School aims to: 

  • provide students with knowledge about the biological aspects of sexual intercourse reproduction and human growth (science) 
  • provide students with facts in an objective and balanced manner 
  • provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed, reasoned and responsible decisions. 
  • help students understand the responsibilities of family life and parenthood 
  • make students aware of the physical and emotional aspects of relationships within a clear moral framework 
  • encourage students to consider moral values before making personal decisions and to show respect for themselves and others 

A wide range of topics, some of which may be considered sensitive, are covered according to the age and maturity of the students. They include: 

  • Personal Relationships 
  • Family Life 
  • Parenthood 
  • Gender Differences 
  • Contraception 
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including HIV and AIDS 

The school’s sex education programme aims to complement and support the role of parents in helping young people achieve responsible adulthood. Parents having concerns about their child’s participation in these lessons should contact the school. 

Social and moral development – personal wellbeing – Drugs Education
All students receive the following two strands of drugs education: 

  • National Curriculum science explores how health and body functions can be affected by drugs (including alcohol, tobacco, volatile substances and medicines) 
  • the Wider Curriculum builds on this to consider the personal well-being and citizenship dimension to drugs education 

In response to specific individual needs, it may be necessary to provide some students with a more personalised drugs education programme. This is likely to involve a range of specialist external agencies. 

Social, moral and cultural development 

Citizenship Education and Community Engagement
Education at Wilmslow High School is a partnership between the school and its local and wider community. 

The Wider Curriculum, Careers Fairs, Year 11 Interview Day and Work Experience illustrate the links forged with local organisations, businesses and community groups when an extensive range of activities takes place with students, teachers and external providers working in partnership. This approach provides young people with opportunities to work alongside adults to tackle real issues and situations and gain enjoyable experiences in new areas of learning. 

Through the House structure students nominate different charities to be supported each year. Recent activities have included raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Seashell Trust, Sports Relief and Comic Relief to name just a few.