SMSC, 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.


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.

In September 2016 we introduced a weekly 'Pupil Voice' form time session for all pupils which 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.


Practical activities which develop SMSC include:

  • Working together in different groupings and situations.
  • Encouraging the children to behave appropriately at breaks and lunch times.
  • Taking responsibility e.g. delivering messages, class monitors, prefects, Head Girl & Boy and looking after younger children.
  • Encouraging teamwork in PE.
  • Appreciation of and respect for the work and performance of other children, regardless of ability.
  • Meeting people from different cultures and countries eg. RE, school sport fixtures
  • Participating in a variety of different educational visits.
  • Participation in live performances eg. performing arts lessons
  • Using assembly themes to explore important aspects of our heritage and other cultures e.g. festival days and global events.
  • Studying literature and art from different cultures eg. English and art
  • Opportunities for the children to hear and see live performances by professional actors, dancers and musicians.
  • Opportunities to make and evaluate food from other countries eg, food technology
  • Opportunities in performing arts to experience music from different cultures.
  • Studying the contributions to society that certain famous people have made eg. science and humanities
  • Themed days eg. World Book Day and Safer Internet Day
  • Extra-curricular clubs
  • Breakfast Club
  • Holiday Clubs
  • School library contains books and resources from a wide range of cultures
  • School Council


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. In 2017-18 we are supporting:

  • Children in Need
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Red Nose Day
  • The Wellspring (Stockport homeless charity)
  • Sport Relief

Summer Fair

Parent Forum

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Work experience placements

Travel training

The Zone cafe and our Hair and Beauty salon are open to the public every Tuesday afternoon (run by our 6th form students)

Links with Stockport primary schools through the Schools Link Network

Drama performances

Altius Alliance and other teacher training providers

Links with Stockport Music Service who are based in our building

School website,

Twitter, @CastleHillHigh