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Castle Hill High School


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development

Our Mission Statement shows that SMSC is at the heart of everything we do at Castle Hill:

To offer an inclusive learning environment that encourages students to take active control of their learning and behaviour, to embrace challenge and to develop into responsible adults.


Our students and their learning are at the very heart of every decision made at Castle Hill High School. Our approach to SMSC reflects our diverse mix of students and does not discriminate against any of the protected characteristics.

We aim to help students to develop an inner discipline and will encourage them to not just ‘follow the crowd’ - they should make up their own minds and be ready to accept responsibility for what they do. They will grow through making choices and holding to the choices that they have made. They will want to be honest with themselves and with others. The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education of students at Castle Hill High School is cross-curricular and not limited to specific SMSC lessons.

Our SMSC Policy can be viewed here:

SMSC Policy

Guiding Principles

Spiritual development

The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life.
  • Interest in, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values.
  • Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.
  • Use of imagination and creativity in their learning.
  • Willingness to reflect on their experiences.


Moral development

The moral development of pupils is shown by their:

  • 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.


Social development

The social development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Willingness to participate in a variety of community and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Ability to use modern communication technology, including mobile technology, the internet and social media, safely.
  • 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 pupils should also develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in, and contribute positively to, life in modern Britain.


Cultural development

The cultural development of pupils is shown by 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 the 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.
  • Understanding, acceptance, respect and celebration of diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.


Whole school, cross-curricular approach

At Castle Hill development in SMSC takes place in and out of lessons and across all areas of the curriculum. 

SMSC has particularly strong links to form time, RE and PSHCE.

All areas of the curriculum will draw examples from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible.

In order to develop a strong sense of identity in our pupils, we use classroom discussion and specific interventions to enable them to:

  • Talk about their experiences and feelings.
  • Express and clarify personal ideas and beliefs.
  • Speak about difficult events, e.g. bullying, death.
  • Share thoughts and feelings with other people.
  • Explore relationships with friends/family/others.
  • Consider the needs and behaviour of others.
  • Show empathy.
  • Develop self-esteem and a respect for others.
  • Develop a sense of belonging.
  • Develop the skills and attitudes that enable children to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally e.g. empathy, respect, open-mindedness, sensitivity, critical awareness etc.

Our weekly 'Pupil Voice' form time session specifically addresses the SMSC issues. 


Many areas across the curriculum provide opportunities for pupils to:

  • Listen and talk to each other.
  • Learn an awareness of treating all as equals, accepting people who are different because of physical and learning difficulties.
  • Agree and disagree.
  • Experience good role models.
  • Take turns and share equipment.
  • Work co-operatively and collaboratively.


We use the following methods to help students develop an understanding of how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process:

  • Electing a Senior Student and prefects
  • Hearing students’ voice through a suggestion box
  • Appointing student Buddies to support other students
  • Voting on charities to support
  • Issuing student exit questionnaires, in particular for students leaving the school, for example, those moving onto the next stage in their education
  • Writing balanced arguments in English lessons
  • Providing students with opportunities to take part in debates and public speaking activities


We use the following methods to help students develop an understanding of the rule of law:

  • Setting high expectations for attendance, punctuality and behaviour
  • Setting classroom and school rules
  • Teaching students about health and safety laws, including e-safety laws, relevant to the school setting
  • Teaching students about the roles of all those who help us, including staff members, emergency services, friends and family
  • Teaching students about the role of the monarchy and of previous monarchies
  • Providing students with opportunities to celebrate the lives of people who have influenced the course of history
  • Encouraging students to behave appropriately at mealtimes.


We use the following methods to help students develop an understanding of different faiths and beliefs:

  • Celebrating differences and similarities through cultural event days, for example, International Day
  • Arranging trips to places of worship
  • Teaching about different beliefs and cultures
  • Exploring morals through lessons, stories and assemblies
  • RE lessons


Additional practical activities to encourage students’ SMSC development include:

  • Working together in different groupings and situations.
  • Meeting people from different cultures and countries.
  • Participating in a variety of different educational visits.
  • Participating in live performances.
  • Studying literature and art from different cultures, supported by visits from writers and artists and participation in workshops.
  • Hearing and seeing live performances by professional actors, dancers and musicians.
  • Making and evaluating food from other countries.
  • Studying the contributions to society that certain famous people have made.


Teachers will help students’ SMSC development by:

  • Encouraging teamwork in PE and games.
  • Encouraging an appreciation of, and respect for, the work and performance of other students, regardless of ability.
  • Using form times to explore important aspects of both British heritage and other cultures, e.g. festival days, Remembrance Day and global events.


Community links

Castle Hill has strong links with the wider community.

In order to develop these links, Castle Hill reaches out to the community through the following activities:

Fundraising activities. Charities we have supported include:

  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Children in Need 
  • Stockport Foodbank 
  • Operation Christmas Child
  • Jump-Space
  • South Manchester Down's Syndrome Support Group
  • Cancer Research
  • MIND

Summer Fair

Parent events - family quiz evenings

Parent Group

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Work experience placements

Travel training

Links with Stockport primary schools

Links with other schools, colleges and universities through teacher training placements

Drama performances

Altius Alliance

School website: www.castlehill.stockport.sch.uk

X: @CastleHillHigh

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