At St James’ we aim to promote the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of all students through our curriculum and extensive enrichment programme.
SMSC is at the heart of St James’. The learning that students undertake complements our Catholic values. Throughout their St James’ journey our students are taught the British Values of democracy, the rule of law, tolerance and mutual respect.
The climate and ethos of any school can have a large impact on the development of young people. A positive climate and ethos will see young people develop effective relationships, high levels of tolerance and respect for others, regardless of their different cultures, faiths or races. Students receive many opportunities to experience a range of social settings that enables them to become confident, contribute positively and interact appropriately with others. Different viewpoints are welcomed, and our young people develop their understanding of the differences between right and wrong and consequences of their behaviour and actions. In a positive culture young people are encouraged to be creative and reflect on their own actions and those of others.
At St James’ Catholic High School, we pride ourselves on the opportunities that students have to extend their experiences and understanding of the different elements relating to SMSC.
Spiritual provision for our students forms an important part of our Catholic mission at St. James’. The spiritual provision for students across the curriculum is strong, and there are a large number of extra-curricular opportunities that are open to all students, including retreats, Morning Prayer and participating in liturgies and services throughout the year. Retreats also provide opportunities for students to reflect on their faith and experiences. Our school Chaplain leads on our Faith in Action project and our wider community work.
At the same time, St. James’ is a community where students reflect on their beliefs and perspectives in form time and lessons to find out about other views and faiths. For students both in curricular and extra-curricular activities, St. James’ is a place where enjoyment, learning and creativity go hand in hand.
Here are some ways in which St. James’ students demonstrate their spiritual development:
- Morning Prayer
- Liturgies and services
- Charitable work – with local, national and international charities
- Collective worship during assembly time
- Finding out about other faiths – throughout the curriculum and on Multicultural Day
- Creativity – Enterprise Day, the Wise Up Challenge
At St. James’, we know that the moral development of students is at the heart of their learning. In the curriculum, provision is made for students to understand the difference between right and wrong. Students learn about the law and legal boundaries, and in PSHCE, RE and other subjects they learn about civil and criminal law and how it applies to British citizens. In particular, students are taught about the consequences of their actions, and how they have both rights and responsibilities. Our rewards system prepares students for this, by making them both Ready To Learn (RTL) and by equipping them with a good Attitude To Learning (ATL). In lessons, and in other extra-curricular activities, students learn how to listen to and respect other people’s points of view.
Here are some ways in which St. James’ students demonstrate their moral development:
- There is a comprehensive and well planned PSHCE programme that allows all students to develop an understanding of right and wrong in their school life and outside of school – through discussions, debates and education to make informed choices
- Examples throughout the curriculum of activities where students investigate moral and ethical issues, for example in RE, Science, Geography, History and English
- Assembly and form time – discussion of themes and issues
- Rewards system and doing the right thing – half-termly awards, Lower School Presentation Evening, Presentation Evening, Year 11 Prom
- Whole school Mock General Elections and Referendums
- Alton Towers Rewards Trip for students who meet the RTL and ATL criteria
- There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities provided to develop pupil understanding of right and wrong for example visitors and agencies in school during Curriculum Excellence week
At St. James’, students develop a range of social skills that enable them to develop a lifelong love of learning. In lessons, students work individually, in pairs and in small groups to gain the ability to work independently and with others. During the year, students also have many opportunities to meet people from other backgrounds, to participate in extra-curricular trips, and to gain experience that will help them in the world of work and careers. Underpinning all of this, students are aware of the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance. Above all else, students become both confident learners and acquire the skills needed to thrive in modern Britain.
Here are some ways in which St. James’ students demonstrate their social development:
- Working with others in lessons and extra-curricular activities over time
- Careers education in Years 7-11 and work experience in Year 10
- Careers Convention and Mock Interviews in Year 10
- Charity work – St. Ann’s Hospice, the Wellspring, CAFOD, Retrak, Prem Dam
- Curriculum Excellence week – meeting with Holocaust survivors, Multicultural Day, the Wise Up Challenge
- Whole School Sponsored Walks raising over £25,000
At St. James’, students learn about the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped, and continue to shape, modern Britain. Through work in subjects, and a wide range of extra-curricular trips, visits and other activities, students gain an understanding of other faiths and cultures. In PSHCE, RE, Geography, History and other subjects, students learn about the parliamentary system in Britain, and the many people and groups who have fought to build and defend our British values. There is also a wide range of opportunities for students to participate in Art, Music and Drama, through which students come to appreciate the diversity of the world in which they live.
Here are some ways in which St. James’ students demonstrate their cultural development:
- Many extra-curricular trips – Western Front trips, Iceland trip, ski trip, Manchester trips in History and Geography, Madrid football trip in PE, the Year 8 French and German trip
- Theatre visits to local and national productions
- School productions such as Popstars in 2019
- International charity links
- Multicultural Day
- Choir and orchestra
- European Day of Languages
- World Book Day and Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) Day