Our Wider Curriculum

The Wider Curriculum is a key element of the school’s ‘ethos’ and is the part of our ‘Whole Curriculum’ which includes all of the additional activities, events and visits we encourage students to take part in outside of lessons (enriching experiences), as well as PHSCE related learning about staying safe, healthy and preparing for life in modern Britain (powerful knowledge).  All of these opportunities and wider knowledge support our students’ Personal Development as young people of character.



Our Wider Curriculum seeks to develop well-informed, healthy and caring Young People of Character who will flourish in life, learning and work.

We aim to empower every student to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to lead safe, happy and fulfilling lives and to make a positive contribution to their community.

Powerful knowledge

We believe that the social, moral, social and cultural development of our students is as important as their academic development; therefore

  • our Wider Curriculum encompasses a broad range of powerful knowledge and enriching opportunities and experiences
  • each of our Wider Curriculum threads makes an important contribution to the personal development of our students
  • our Wider Curriculum is intended to help our students to find and communicate their unique voice

Powerful understanding

We want our students to understand:

  • how to stay safe
  • how to build healthy relationships with others
  • how to make independent and informed decisions to enhance and enrich their own and other people’s lives
  • how to make a difference for the better

Powerful learning

We want our students:

  • to learn the importance, and live the values, of: respect, tolerance, integrity and inclusivity
  • to develop a strength of character and resilience that will help them to meet life’s challenges
  • to gain self-awareness and self-confidence
  • to develop skills in communicating ideas and opinions to influence social change
  • to be proud of their school, their community and, most of all, who they are

The eight areas of the Wider Curriculum have a focus on providing enriching experiences and powerful knowledge.


Powerful Knowledge: Citizenship, Aspirations, Relationships, and Well-being

Citizenship  (be a responsible, caring and contributing citizen)

We aim to encourage, develop and promote a keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld.

This applies on many levels; with a focus on democracy in school via the School Council and Student Parliament, and by promoting understanding and awareness of local, national and global politics. Through assemblies, awareness videos, Wider Curriculum lessons and charity campaigns, students are encouraged to engage with contemporary issues and understand the Fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs that also underpin our core PRIDE principles of the Wilmslow Way.

All students are encouraged both within the curriculum and in extracurricular opportunities to debate and make reasoned arguments based on evidence and a range of opinions. This helps prepare our students to take their place in society as responsible, engaged, well informed active citizens.

Aspirations  (do more, be more and aim higher)

At Wilmslow High School, we believe in empowering our students by providing the information, advice and guidance they need to make well informed, realistic and aspirational decisions about their future educational and career goals.

The rapidly changing landscape of careers offers students many opportunities. We believe that they should be appropriately prepared for the choices they make to become knowledgeable, self-aware and adaptable students and employees of the future.

Students should feel confident when making key decisions about educational and career choices and have a clear understanding of the routes to take to achieve their goals. We believe that input from experts in the fields of employment, apprenticeships, further and higher education is crucial to support students from Year 7 onwards. Furthermore, signposting to, and familiarity with, online sites such as Unifrog will enable students to have the confidence to carry out independent research and access tools to track their key skills, competencies and activities.

We firmly believe that a better awareness of careers education across all stakeholders is crucial. Therefore, we encourage all staff across the school to recognise the value of their input, and to promote their own career paths and subject areas. Sessions after the school day for students and their parents/carers provide opportunities for further engagement and conversations.

We want to equip all students with the skills, understanding and confidence to make a positive transition at the end of their time at school, whether this be in further education, employment or independent career pathways.

Relationships   (every good relationship is built on respect)

Our aim is to equip all students with information so that they can manage risk, make safe, informed decisions for themselves, and support others, now and in the future.

As of September 2020, all secondary age children are taught Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE). These are designed to equip young people with knowledge to make informed, positive and safe decisions about their health and relationships (in all contexts, including online) as well as preparing them for a successful adult life

Relationship and Sex education (RSE) makes an essential contribution to every student’s health, wellbeing and preparation for adult life in society. RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. It involves a combination of acquiring knowledge and information, sharing information, developing skills, and exploring issues, beliefs, attitudes and values. It is essential that young people develop the skills to enable them to take control over their own sexual health and entity and become responsible citizens who make well-informed decisions about their lives.

WHS is committed to providing quality and meaningful Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) in order to provide students with lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development.

We recognise the importance of loving and caring relationships and the teaching of respectful and consensual sexual relationships, sexuality and sexual health and we support the importance of gender equality, LGBT+ by creating a diverse programme that positively promotes diversity and inclusivity for all minority groups.

It is the intent of Wilmslow High School that all students receive a high quality RSE education within a safe, sensitive and caring environment and within an atmosphere of mutual respect. We ensure that all aspects of RSE are taught at a level appropriate to both the age and development of the student including SEND students.

Our aims in the Relationships strand of the Wider Curriculum are:

  • to encourage students to value and respect themselves.
  • to develop understanding and attitudes which prepares students to view their relationships in a responsible and healthy manner including an awareness of the law on sexual behaviour.
  • to encourage students to appreciate the value of stable family life, marriage and the responsibilities of parenthood.
  • to encourage students to value and respect differences in people’s religion, culture, race, sexual orientation and gender identity, physical and mental ability and social background.
  • to develop an awareness of consequences of having unsafe sexual relations. This includes STIs, teenage pregnancy and mental health awareness.
  • to foster gender equality and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) equality and challenges of all forms of discrimination in RSE lessons and in every-day school life.
  • to inform students how to stay safe online and to inform them about the law regarding RSE and internet/social media.

WHS is committed to working with parents and sharing RSE education and advice. In addition to this we are committed to working with external agencies to support the trust offering a high quality RSE programme.
*All staff are up to date with the procedures to be followed in the event of a disclosure of sexual abuse and have received training which allows them to deal with disclosure in line with KCSIE 2022.

Here is our RSE school policy. 

Well-being  (value yourself and each other: it takes a village to raise a child)

At Wilmslow High School we aim to promote positive mental health and well-being for every member of our staff and student body, in order for them to cope with the normal stresses of life, to work productively and fruitfully, and to make a positive contribution to their community. We pursue this aim using both whole school approaches and specialised, targeted interventions for individuals.

We recognise that every member of our school community has mental health which needs looking after. In addition to promoting work practices and strategies to promote positive mental health and well-being for all, we aim to recognise and respond to mental ill health, whether this be mild, moderate or severe. We  promote a safe and stable environment for students and staff affected both directly and indirectly by mental ill health.

We, as a school, want to make a positive impact on the mental health and well-being of our young people, as well as building resilience and reducing stigma around mental health. Part of this will be equipping our young people to be able to articulate their emotions and have the right vocabulary to talk about their own mental health.

This will enable our young people to look after their mental and physical health, build positive relationships, ask for help if needed and to set and follow their own academic and personal goals and reach their full potential.

Irrespective of statutory requirements, teaching about mental health, emotional and physical well-being as part of a comprehensive PSHE education curriculum is vital.

Key outcomes:

  • promote pupils’ wellbeing through an understanding of their own and others’ emotions
  • help pupils develop healthy coping strategies.
  • enhance safeguarding by providing pupils with the knowledge, understanding and strategies to keep themselves (and others) healthy and safe
  • help to avoid stigma around mental health issues

These aims are delivered and promoted through Wilmslow Way PRIDE values, strong pastoral support system, Wider Curriculum lessons, assemblies, awareness campaigns and individually tailored intervention strategies.


Enriching Experiences: Environment, Reading, Leadership and Service, X-tra

Environment  (live in harmony with nature)

We want to inspire and develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

We believe that all young people should have opportunities to engage with, and appreciate, the natural world around them. We seek to encourage students to be reflective and proactive sustainability champions.

In addition, we hope that some of our students will pursue careers in green technologies, becoming innovators and creative problem solvers of the future. Environmental leaders instinctively see the wider benefits of doing these things – that a greener way of life means a healthier population, more jobs and a sustainable future for us all.

Reading  (read with confidence and for well-being)

We believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our students to become fluent, lifelong readers.

Reading is a skill that enables young people to develop their learning across the whole curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment.

We believe that reading, and in particular, reading for pleasure and wellbeing, is one of the most important factors in allowing young people to reach their full potential. A love of literature and a genuine desire to read opens doors to students, that can remain closed to reluctant readers, no matter how strong their ability in other areas.

Our aim is to become an outstanding reading school by:

  • acknowledging that not all children will have had the opportunity to develop a love of reading at home, so this has to be taught and encouraged at school – just like any other area of the curriculum
  • building time for all children to read independently, read aloud and be read to during the school day
  • developing a coherent whole-school strategy for promoting reading for pleasure, creating time to support reading, including buying books and developing the school environment to support reading
  • believing that every teacher should be an advocate for reading
  • devoting time to training staff so they are equipped to support children’s enjoyment of reading
  • involving parents to ensure the culture of reading that the school has developed extends into the home

Our whole school reading programme consists of three strands:

  • Reading in the Formal Curriculum and Disciplinary Literacy
  • Reading Interventions
  • Reading for Wellbeing

Leadership and Service  (be a role model and empower others)

We believe that students should have the opportunity to participate actively in school life by taking up roles and responsibilities throughout the academic year in order to contribute to whole school improvement. This is key to a deeper student engagement and enables our students to participate in the sort of leadership opportunities which prepare them for life in modern democratic Britain and a global society. A society where we value equal opportunities and one in which a variety of beliefs and opinions are heard.

Wilmslow High School’s Student Leadership Programme aims to increase the opportunity for Student Leadership across the school and to enhance the input students have with rewards, whole school events and student well-being.

Our aim is to:

  • empower students to work in partnership with staff towards shared goals.
  • enable creativity to flourish as the school community benefits from the wealth of experiences, ideas, innovative skills and sense of fun that students bring.
  • provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through a variety of inspiring, challenging and valued projects which impact positively on learning, teaching and well-being for both students and staff at Wilmslow High School
  • prepare students for Higher Education and for achieving personal and professional excellence in life after formal education.
  • provide processes and structures for student representation and the incorporation of students’ views into decision making in the life of the school.

Our student leadership model aims to be inclusive to ensure that all students have an opportunity to lead.

Leadership can provide students with a range of opportunities and helps them develop key attributes such as communication, both written and verbal, organisation, empathy prioritisation, listening and feedback skills.

Students are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and the local community. In doing so they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that affect young people.

Students also find out about the main political and social institutions that affect their lives and about their responsibilities, rights and duties as individuals and members of communities. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.

X-tra  (get involved and broaden your horizons)

The breadth of extra-curricular activities, spanning the musical, artistic, social and sporting domains, are valuable life experiences that should be open to all young people, regardless of background. Activities such as being a member of a sports team, learning a musical instrument, or attending a lunchtime or after-school club are enriching life experiences. Apart from their inherent value, it is often argued that young people can also develop positive tangible outcomes from these experiences of interacting and working with others through organised extra-curricular activities, which could benefit them in later life.

Our aim is to promote the benefits of students taking part in competitive and non-competitive extra-curricular activities including educational trips and visits. These benefits include increased confidence, improved social interaction, a real aspiration to go onto higher or further education, a range of soft skills and a sense of well-being and belonging. We encourage all students to get involved in our wide-ranging X-tra programme and have an incredibly diverse range of activities available. Ultimately our goal is to achieve 100% student participation in our X-tra programme.

Details of X-tra clubs can be found here