SMSC in Learning for Life

In year 9 students study L4L during one timetabled lesson per week. They study a different aspect of L4L per half term. The units studied are:

1.     PSHE

2.     Sex Education

3.     RE

4.     Finance (economic well-being)

5.     Careers

6.     Moral Maze


They form part of a recurring spiral curriculum where students revisit these themes in year 10 and 11. Throughout all units all students gain many learning opportunities to develop and experience SMSC in all its forms.

Students are encouraged, through the effective use of the TEEP teaching and learning cycle, to engage with a wide range of issues that impact upon their journey of social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. We are supported by working with the Respect Project in year 9, run, via Redditch Borough Council and with Redditch Night stop, a local charity that supports local homeless projects.


Spiritual Development in Learning for Life

Learning for Life (L4L) lessons develop student’s spiritual journey and students are offered a wide variety of opportunities to develop their own viewpoint.

Students are given opportunities to consider their own spiritual standpoint and those of others.

All L4L lessons  follow the TEEP teaching and learning cycle and there are built opportunities for students to develop a set of principles that inform their own values and patterns of behaviour. Through the introduction of effective starters and settlers students are given a wide variety of introductions to topics such as euthanasia, animal rights, the morality of war, religious diversity

Experiencing awe and wonder


Students are given the opportunity within the RE unit to

1.     develop a curiosity about the different religious view points on marriage, divorce and human rights

2.     debating whether God takes sides

3.     notions of good and evil

4.     The importance of understanding different viewpoints in RE.


Exploring the values and beliefs of others


Students are given the opportunity within the moral maze unit to:


1.     a respect for the suffering groups within society go through when battling alcohol and drug addiction.

2.     Students are able to build upon issues discussed in year 9, 10 and 11 within these units of work.

3.     Within the unit on the war in Afghanistan students look at the war on terror from many different points of view.

Within the unit on PSHE there is a focus on stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination and students are able to:


1.     Help students to understand what these terms mean and how they can impact upon different group’s progress within different societies.

2.     Help students to understand the importance of tolerance within our school , local and wider community


Understanding Human feelings and emotions


1.     Within the RE unit students are encouraged to reflect upon who inspires them. This leads to a research task looking at an inspirational person from three world religions.

2.     Students are able to debate what it is like to live in a multi faith society and how this can lead to a lack of community cohesion or a factor in promoting it.


Using imagination and creativity in learning.


All students are able to access the learning resources presented to them. Each lesson has a detailed lesson plan and teachers are encouraged to differentiate to meet the needs of all students. Lessons are designed to meet the learning needs of all.

For example some lessons require students to:

1.     Complete individual research tasks

2.     Work individually, in pairs and in small groups

3.     Work as part of a team

4.     Use their numeracy and literacy skills

5.     Have opportunities  to self and peer assess their own work and the work of others

6.     Engage in class debate

Moral Development in Learning for Life

Learning for life lessons develop the following moral attributes within the L4L curriculum:

·         An ability to distinguish right from wrong, based on a knowledge of the moral codes of their own and other cultures

·         The ability to trust in their own judgement

·         An ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions

·         A willingness to express their views on ethical issues and personal values

·         An ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements on moral dilemmas

·         A commitment to personal values in areas which are considered right by some and wrong by others

·         A considerate style of life

·         A respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings as well as their own

·         A desire to explore their own and others’ views

Investigating moral values and ethical issues

Students have a number of opportunities to investigate moral and ethical issues for example:

1.     Students have the opportunity to discuss the  morality of celebrity culture within our modern day society

2.     Students debate the rights and wrongs of euthanasia and explore the right to die debate.

3.     Students debate the morality of war

4.     They also have the time to look at the role of Martin Luther King Jr played in combating attitudes to racism.

5.     Students also look at corporate racism within the Disney Media Empire.

6.     Students also have a lively debate on whether God is female!


Recognising right from wrong and applying it:

Students are encouraged to know the difference between right and wrong not only within their own personal view of the world but also in how they view the world around them. For example:


1.     In looking at debt students get to look at the rights and wrongs of personal financial planning and dealing with debt.

2.     Students also are given the opportunity to look at gambling and how it can ruin families and careers.


Understanding the consequences of their actions

1.     The TEEP teaching and learning cycle allows for clear planning and delivering of curriculum content.

2.     Staffs consistently model the behaviour they expect to see from their students.

3.     Staff are polite, firm but fair.

4.     Staff follow clearly embedded routines of behaviour management  and expect students to focus on their learning at all times

5.     Students do not stop teaching or learning.

Where there is a drop in standards L4L teachesr deal with them swiftly, firmly and with compassion.


Social Development in Learning for Life


Using the TEEP teaching and learning cycle during L4L lessons students engage in a wide range of social development activities that enables them to highlight their skills such as:


·         Relating well to other people and interacting with their peers, teachers and visitors is a mature, polite and sensible manner.

·         Working successfully, as a member of a group or team

·         Giving them the opportunities to challenge, when necessary and in appropriate ways, the values of a group or wider community.

·         Have the opportunities to reflect on their own contribution to society and to the world of work

·         Showing  respect for people, living things, property and the environment

·         Exercising responsibility

·         Understanding the impact our school community can have on their future well-being and that of their family and local community.

·         Participating in activities relevant to the community

Developing personal qualities and social skills

Students have the opportunities to take part in a variety of lessons that enable them to develop their personal qualities and skills for example:

1.     In careers students look at highlighting their own personal skills and attributes so that they can demonstrate their employability skills

2.     Identifying the interpersonal skills needed to hold down a responsible career and play an active role in their own future

3.     In PSHE students are given the opportunity to challenge stereotypes within our society relating to the culture of celebrity and how body image is portrayed in the media

Participating cooperatively and resolving conflict

Through careful lesson planning teachers make L4L lessons organised and purposeful and the lesson starters and activities are designed to allow students to model working as individuals, in pairs, in small groups and as part of a team. Classroom expectations are made explicit and students are both compliant and cooperative working in partnership with their peers and teachers. For example:

1.     In PSHE lessons on disability students are able to work as a team to prepare whole class presentations on disability not being a barrier to having a happy and successful life.

2.     In RE students are able to debate the James Bulger case and to look at the emotive issues surrounding who is the victim in this.

Understanding how communities and societies function

Students are given many opportunities to reflect on what it means to be part of a community and how different communities make up the multi-faceted nature of our modern society. For example:

1.     In RE students look at what it is like to live within a multi faith society and debate and discuss what impact this has upon community cohesion or the development of community segregation and social isolation. These types of debates are often brought back to the impact they have on our school community and what we can do as a school to make our community better.

2.     In the homelessness (£5 pound challenge) topics we work closely with a local Homeless charity to raise money during tutor time but also within L4L lessons students look at the reasons for homelessness, especially amongst teenagers and that it is not a school issue but a local, national and international issue. These are often very powerful lessons.


Cultural Development in Learning for Life


In L4L lessons students are given opportunities and learning to develop their appreciation of culture. Skill nurtured include:

·         An ability to appreciate cultural diversity and accord dignity and respect to other people’s values and beliefs, thereby challenging racism and valuing race equality

·         An openness to new ideas and a willingness to modify cultural values in the light of experience

·         An ability to use language and understand images/icons – for example, in music, art, literature – which have significance and meaning in a culture

·         An appreciation of the diversity and interdependence of cultures


Exploring, understanding and respecting diversity


To understand, celebrate and respect diversity within our society students are given time to:


1.     In RE to explore the awe and wonder of the natural world and celebrate plant and animal diversity

2.     In RE students explore living in a diverse community with a multitude of faiths and beliefs.

3.     In RE students look at who inspires them within the  Christian, Hindu and Muslim faith.

Participating in and responding to cultural activities

To understand, celebrate and respect diversity within our society students are given time to:


1.     Look at what it means to be part of a diverse community

2.     As part of a year 9 day on diversity students looked at a created art work related to what it meant to be British and celebrating our cultural diversity and achievements

3.     As part of the same day students looked at the role senior citizens play in our society and how they can often feel threatened and marginalised .


Understanding and appreciating personal influences

Here students have many opportunities in L4L lessons to reflect upon - as part of the normal review section of L4L lessons- how they arrived at a particular point of view. For example:


1.     In debates on are prisons good for society students have to come up with a stand point on the nature and function of prisons in our society

2.     Likewise in debates on capital punishment and on the causes and nature of war students have to be able to explin their own view point and be able to articulate a clear and logical reason for their personal opinions.



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