Personal Development

SMSC & Cultural Capital

Year 7

Our curriculum supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • using writing to explore thoughts and feelings.
  • sharing experiences to develop ideas and discuss issues of social and cultural importance.
  • learning from the experiences of others.
  • the thematic exploration of texts that develops discussion of dealing with peer pressure, bullying, friendship issues and familial relationships.
  • exploration of personal relationships, their importance and the issues they present.
  • discussion of the changing nature of friendships as we grown in maturity in our poetry unit.
  • exploration of romantic relationships, friendships and family conflict in our study of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".
  • exploration of the theme of violence, its impact and long-term consequences, in "Romeo and Juliet" links to current issues of gangs and knife crime.
  • reading for information using skimming, scanning and close reading are important life skills and develop competent functional literacy.
  • studying journalism on homelessness, encouraging the development of empathy and engagement with social issues.
  • considering the importance of place on the development of identity in our module on The Beatles.
  • exploring the impact of shared culture on a sense of identity and belonging.
  • exploring different life experiences and the impact of culture on experience.
  • the exploration of the genres of fantasy and gothic horror develop knowledge of the English literary cannon and its traditions.
  • its study of poetry, which is considered the highest literary art form.  Familiarity with its conventions and language develops understanding of the arts.
  • developing understanding of Shakespeare as a cultural icon and his impact on the English language and British culture.
  • understanding how rhetoric supports the development of an elaborate code and the ability to articulate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • our spoken language unit on The Beatles as icons of popular culture.  An understanding of their place in British social history and the emergence of youth culture develops understanding of our cultural history.

Year 8

Our curriculum supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • using narrative to explore thoughts, feelings and ideas about the world.
  • thematic exploration that develops discussion of dealing with peer pressure, friendship issues, relationship issues and familial relationships.
  • the examination of the experiences of the homeless in the study of Robert Swindell's "Stone Cold" develops empathy and awareness of societal issues.
  • the theme of domestic violence raises awareness and identifies the characteristics of coercive control.
  • evaluating the impact of lifestyle choices on ourselves and others in our non-fiction writing unit on healthy lifestyles.
  • supporting the making informed lifestyle choices based on synthesising information from a range of sources in our healthy lifestyles unit.
  • the exploration of romantic relationships, friendships and family conflict in our study of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing".
  • developing understanding how the media targets and influences us. 
  • studying a range of texts from the English literary cannon that provide opportunities to experience our heritage.  The supernatural and gothic horror are genres that have influenced some of the greatest writers of English Literature.  The genre continues to have an influence on popular culture through film and television. In exploring its conventions in our ghost stories unit, students are able to begin to recognise the intertextuality of different creative medias.
  •  the study of poetry, which is  considered the highest literary form.  We develop an appreciation of the art form and an ability to deconstruct the meaning of challenging texts to develop confidence that is empowering and raises self-esteem.
  • the study of the novel "Stone Cold", whichl explores key issues in our society relating to PTSD, homelessness and domestic violence.  In exploring social problems we recognise where there are problems in our culture and explore how we address them;
  • developing knowledge about what makes a healthy lifestyle, which is central to an awareness of the importance of diet, exercise and lifestyle to our culture.
  • developing understanding of the contemporary relevance of Shakespeare’s insight into human behaviour and motivation and his immense skill as a writer
  • studying advertising as a central part of popular and consumer culture.  It has a great influence on what is popular in our society.  Awareness of how it works and its persuasive strategies helps to develop critical thinking skills to make for more discerning and informed consumers.

Year 9

Our curriculum supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • using narrative to explore thoughts, feelings and ideas about the world and the self.  Of Mice and Men deals with issues of loneliness, friendship, isolation, discrimination, prejudice and racism, all of which are relevant to the experiences of young people.  Through discussing these issues we support our students in negotiating their presence in our lives and developing empathy for others who have different experiences and/or come from different cultures from our own.
  • using poetry to explore the human cost of war develops political awareness, engagement with history and world issues and empathetic consideration.
  • writing creative and expressively as an important  outlet for exploring ideas and emotions.
  • developing the ability to articulate ideas clearly through reasoned argument as an essential life skill that empowers students and supports them in having their voices heard in a range of contexts.
  • exploring romantic relationships, friendships and family conflict across a range of texts
  • understanding the role of the media in keeping us informed of national and world events.
  • studying John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" as a seminal text in American literature and wider western culture.  It develops knowledge of the American depression of the 1930s and the effects and impact of racism and prejudice in American society.  An awareness of this is essential to understanding C.20th history, it’s wider impact and continued repercussions.
  • studying the poetry of the First World War as an important part of British history and culture.  A knowledge and experience of it is important to understanding the history of our nation and the role the war played in creating the values that underpin our country.
  • Studying  poetry as the highest literary form and developing an appreciation of the art form.  The ability to deconstruct the meaning of challenging texts develops confidence that is empowering and raises self-esteem.
  • studying a range of texts from British and American literature to reflect cultural experiences and issues that enrich students’ knowledge and awareness of wider experiences than their own.
  • developing an understanding of rhetoric to suppors the development of an elaborate code and ability to articulate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • developing understanding of the contemporary relevance of Shakespeare’s insight into human behaviour and motivation and his immense skill as a writer.
  • considering representations to demonstrate how cultural short-hands, archetypes and stereotyping develop.
  • exploring television news as an important source of information to stay informed about local, national and world events.  Understanding how it works enables students to stay informed and question sources of information.

Year 10

Our curriculum supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • studying a range of short stories that explore relatable issues of bullying, sibling rivalry, first love and family tensions.  By developing empathetic responses we support our students in reaching emotional maturity.
  • Studying Shakespeare.  We study his enduring relevance and relats to his pre-eminent understanding of human behaviour and motivation.  The personal issues covered in Macbeth relate to ambition, jealousy, power and control.    
  • developing understanding of the media and its function.  
  • exploring texts that consider the making of moral choices and personal and social responsibility.  Focus on the importance of society and our place in it.
  • exploring a topic of personal interest for the spoken language aspect of the GCSE qualification.  By engaging others, students develop confidence and self-esteem.
  • studying how narratives are important vehicles in our culture for creating dialogues and raising awareness of social issues.  
  • studying Shakespeare is a cultural icon who has a huge influence on both literary and popular culture.  Knowledge of his work and influence is central to understanding British culture.
  • studying rhetoric to support the development of an elaborate code and ability to articulate ideas clearly and effectively, whilst also developing healthy awareness of the influence viewpoint and the need to be well informed.
  • studying J. B.Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" as a key post-war text of significance influence.  Its context helps students understand the background to the welfare state and the establishment of the NHS crucial aspects of British values.
  • developing strong presentation skills that are self-esteem building and make links between our students' personal interests and their place in our wider culture.

Year 11

Our curriculum supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through:

  • the study of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" to engender discussion of what it is to be a moral person, our place in society and the internal battles individuals face.
  • the discussion of poetry to involve exploration of a wide range of human experience, encouraging empathy and understanding.  Themes covered in the GCSE English Literature anthology include: different types of relationships, growing up, conflict, loss and guilt.
  • preparation for external examinations to develop a strong work ethic and resilience.
  • studying "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde" as part of our literary heritage and its characters as cultural icons of the battle between good and evil in society.  This supports understanding of morality and related issues
  • studying GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications to give students the opportunity to gain internationally renowned  qualifications that have obvious currency in the academic world and wider labour market.

Linking Curriculum to Careers

Year 7

  • Literacy
  • Effective communication in writing
  • Higher order thinking skills

Year 8

  • Effective communication in writing
  • Higher order thinking skills
  • Journalism
  • Literacy

Year 9

  • Literacy
  • Effective communication in writing
  • Higher order thinking skills
  • Spoken presentation skills
  • Advertising

Year 10

  • Functional Literacy
  • Effective communication in writing
  • Higher order thinking skills
  • Journalism
  • Report writing
  • Journalism/copy writing
  • Formal letter writing 
  • Presentation skills

Year 11

  • Functional Literacy
  • Effective communication in writing
  • Higher order thinking skills
  • Journalism
  • Report writing
  • Presentation skills