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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is at the heart of everything we do at Burnley High School and forms an integral part of our Personal Development Curriculum. We help our students to develop their own personal values, have positive relationships with others and become responsible global citizens in society.

SMSC development encourages and challenges our students to be kind, thoughtful, respectful and caring, allowing our students to be able to live and learn alongside people with different beliefs, cultures and lifestyles.

Our provision for pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural and Emotional development (SMSC), builds on our ethos of FAMILY, where we have mutual respect for all and create a positive learning environment for all.

An integral part of SMSC is to support pupils to engage with British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect for different faiths and beliefs.

Spiritual Development

We want our students to be reflective about their own beliefs, but also show interest and respect for the beliefs and faiths of others. We encourage students to reflect, not just on their own behaviour and the choices they make, but also on the skills needed to remain calm and focused on their learning.

Spiritual development is also about supporting our students to be creative, imaginative and reflect on their learning experiences.

Opportunities for spiritual development at Burnley High School include:

  • Learning together to value the ideas and contributions of all pupils
  • Providing a varied and exciting curriculum that inspires children and makes learning enjoyable
  • Coming together in assemblies and special events, such as our Personal Development Days, to share learning with each other, parents and the community to reflect on our learning experiences


Moral Development

It is incredibly important to us that our students are able to articulate the difference between right and wrong. Through our Personal Development Programme, which has interwoven throughout our SMSC programme, our students are able to identify right from wrong with respect to civil and criminal law. Our students are well informed and recognise actions have consequences and are able to communicate their views whilst appreciating and respecting the viewpoints of others. We work closely with external agencies to ensure our students are fully informed about the dangers of making the wrong choices as well as the benefits of speaking up and challenging poor choices.

Opportunities for moral development include:

  • Students working together to discuss and agree on what they need to do to create a safe, friendly and inclusive environment for learning
  • Opportunities in the curriculum for students to offer their own points of view and to be able to listen to and value those of others
  • In every classroom and throughout the school environment, students are encouraged to make positive behaviour choices and develop strategies to manage conflicts effectively


Social Development

The school has incorporated a bespoke whole school social development approach through our Personal Development curriculum. This teaches our students the social and relational skills needed to participate in social situations with the ability to co-operate and resolve conflicts with others as well as engaging and accepting the fundamental British values which are rooted in our school values.

Opportunities for social development include:

  • Developing skills throughout the curriculum and wider opportunities
  • Making a positive contribution to the community through fund raising, volunteering and engagement in community projects
  • Supporting students to develop the skills needed for living in a democracy through activities such as elections for School Council, the appointment of the Student Leadership Team and our Student Voice activities and feedback.


Cultural Development

At Burnley High School, it is a core aim of ours to foster a clear understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Our students participate in vast amounts of sporting, artistic and cultural opportunities every day. Pupils take part in community and charitable outreach programmes to further develop their attitude to different socio-economic groups.

Opportunities for cultural development include:

  • Burnley High School enables students to value living and learning alongside students from different backgrounds, different beliefs and lifestyles throughout the curriculum and wider opportunities
  • Providing opportunities in the curriculum for pupils to share their beliefs with others
  • Enabling pupils to enjoy and appreciate a variety of artistic, musical and cultural experiences, including drama, music, singing, performances and sports

SMSC is not a standalone at Burnley High School – it is embedded into curriculum across the subjects is evident in every curriculum scheme of work.

“I love BHS because it really does feel like a family. All staff and students know each other, are extremely supportive of one another and show amazing levels of respect throughout the school. There really isn’t another school like it!”

Miss Yates