We take every opportunity across our curriculum (and through extra curricular activities) to enhance our students’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development.
The following explains each important element of SMSC and how we examine, discuss and apply ourselves to them in the life of our school.
Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect. Explored in depth, particularly through teaching of subjects such as: religious studies, philosophy and ethics, sociology, psychology, health and social care, sciences, critical thinking, english, geography, history, art and design. Additionally, our students actively participate in PSHE Days held regularly throughout the year and in tutor group discussions on topical issues raised each day.
Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views. Again, through our curriculum, these moral issues are regularly discussed on PSHE days. Also, through our debating society, the english speaking union and philosophy club, our students are encouraged to discuss, present their own balanced views and importantly, listen to those of others. Our school is renowned for its stance on behaviour for learning. Consistency of behaviour management is achieved through a clearly defined merit system and administered by our Behaviour Management, Pastoral Care and E-Safety staff.
Investigate and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy. A great example of our engagement with British democracy were our morning discussions around Democracy Day and a hustings we staged at The Cotswold School. At that event, 5 local parliamentary candidates representing the countries’ main political parties faced an audience of some 400 sixth formers from our own school and from other local sixth form colleges who were invited to take part. The politicians had the opportunity to present their party to the audience of young voters which was followed by a Q&A with students asking questions they had submitted prior to the event. We were delighted that the local candidates engaged with our young people in this way and our Sixth Formers were keen to engage in the process also – an indication that they will not be regarded amongst the widely publicised statistics that state young people are disinterested in politics. We will do our best to ensure tomorrow’s voters will exercise their right to vote in the General Election. Our students engage with both local and national charities raising funds for a number of charitable organisations. For example, each year our choir performs the Spirit of Christmas concert at Gloucester Cathedral, raising thousands of pounds for Muscular Dystrophy. Our Sixth Formers coordinate and manage our annual Charity Fashion Show which regularly raises substantial sums for charities selected by the students. These have included cancer research charities and a foundation fighting domestic abuse. Year 8 stage a charity fair each year with groups of pupils coordinating fundraising activities on a specific day to benefit their selected charity. As well as charitable fundraising we engage with our community. Our choir felt honoured to recently perform at Citizenship Ceremonies at Gloucester welcoming new citizens to this country. Our musicians also perform at local care homes and each Christmas, Year 11 provide an afternoon of festive food and entertainment for local senior citizens. The students decorate the hall, rehearse entertainment, prepare food, meet and greet their guests, source raffle prizes, serve the refreshments and spend time with the senior members of our community. This tradition has been running at The Cotswold School since December 1996 with sometimes more than 100 attending.
Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. We were delighted to have Lord Dear come and speak to our students about the parliamentary system last year and were even more delighted that he concluded that our young people had asked him the most challenging, mature questions he had ever had posed at a school. While we recognise that our catchment area might not be as culturally diverse as many in Gloucestershire, we celebrate the cultural differences and diversity that is in our school and we are pleased to have International School status in recognition of our work with schools from around the world, as well as for the many curriculum projects that enable our pupils to learn more about different cultures, people and languages. In so doing, our students acquire an appreciation and respect for other cultural traditions as well as their own.