Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

Leventhorpe is a non-denominational, non-faith academy where governors have chosen to provide collective worship that is mainly of a broadly Christian character.  Our Religious Studies syllabus is based on the locally agreed syllabus established by our local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE).

Our vision that: “together we provide the care and opportunities for all to grow, learn and face challenges with confidence” and our focus on “excellence, commitment and respect” take as its starting point the belief that education is about the whole child and not simply academic outcomes.  For this reason, education at Leventhorpe is characterised by fantastic opportunities for all to experience spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning (SMSC).

When we think about the spiritual development of our students, we want them to be reflective about their personal beliefs and understanding about how the beliefs of others might affect their outlook.  We teach our students to be fascinated about the diversity of the world around them and passionate to find out more.  We believe that students should develop a strong base of knowledge and respect for the Judaeo-Christian tradition and other principal religions represented in Britain such as Islam and Sikhism.  As well as regarding the spiritual as a key element in faith and religious observance, we see it more broadly in human imagination and creativity as well as self-reflection and looking inward.

Moral education underpins all that we do in our pastoral care of students.  We teach our students to respect themselves and others and demonstrate that our firm boundaries have consequences when they are overstepped.  Appropriate to age, we use this sense of personal morality to help unlock knowledge of the law and civil society.  As a Business and Enterprise College, our curriculum is particularly rich in the areas of Ethics, Business Ethics and Civil Society.  Sociology, Business, Economics, Ethics and Politics are all very popular subject areas within our school, and these areas provide great curricular and extra-curricular learning.

We take the social development of our students very seriously and are proud of our highly effective house system.  Our pastoral system is based around six houses, which have become like small communities within the school.  Students are proud of their house and enter into healthy competition with the other five houses during the year in sporting and cultural competitions.  The house system also provides the structure for student voice, through the house councils and Sixth Form Prefects Council.  A key event in every child’s life at Leventhorpe is the Year 7 citizenship camp, were they live away from home with their peers; the sense of community at this camp is sustained throughout their school life into the Sixth Form.  We are a diverse but exceptionally cohesive community, where students understand and demonstrate the values of British society.

We have maintained the breadth of our curriculum and cultural opportunities are available to all through option choice and extra-curricular participation.  We run many music concerts each year, have art exhibitions and an annual musical production.  These opportunities to participate are supplemented by rich opportunities to visit cultural events such as matches, concerts, museums and exhibitions.  We are careful to enable disadvantaged students to access these opportunities, by using Pupil Premium Funding and the post-16 bursary.  We also develop students’ wider cultural understanding through foreign links, visits and exchanges (Ghana, Canada, Netherlands, France and Spain) and our Eco-global group.

Provision for SMSC can be described in a number of distinct areas as well as being an essential part of everything that happens during a school day.  These distinct areas are:

  • The assembly and form time programme
  • Learning@Leventhorpe - our vision for learning
  • Taught lessons in religious studies, SEAL and PSHCE
  • Extra-curricular opportunities and trips 
  • Annual celebration events

Assemblies and Form Time

Leventhorpe is a big school with a small hall and so each student will usually have only one assembly each week.  Assemblies are held after lunch, between 1:30pm and 1:50pm, and are usually presented by senior staff and occasionally visiting speakers.  The cycle of assemblies follows an alternating pattern between house assemblies led by our six Heads of House, and age group Assemblies led by other senior staff.  On the other four days of the week students work with their Form Tutors between 1:30pm and 1:50pm where the Assembly theme of the week will be reflected on.

We respect the fact that students in our school come from a variety of faith backgrounds and that many see themselves as humanists.  For this reason we take the notion of “act of worship” in the sense of an act of reflection.  Therefore in Assembly or Form time, students have a daily opportunity to reflect upon a spiritual, moral, social or cultural point in line with the theme of the week. 

Our themes of the week aim to focus on a variety of SMSC areas and cover the range of content appropriate to our students.  As an example the following are a list of planned themes:

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
A New Challenge Resolutions House Spirit
Listening Conflict House Spirit
Community Spirit Courage Next Steps
Succeeding on Purpose Diversity Listening and Empathy
Acts of Kindness e-safety Listening and Empathy
Harvest Festival Curiosity Learning from Experience
Equality Positivity Personal Challenge
Belonging Careers Week Determination
Challenging Goals Careers Week Your Future
Remembrance Charity Week Consideration
Anti-Bullying Week The Best You Can Be Reflection
Planning and Procrastination Confidence Celebrating Success
Perseverance Shorter Terms -
Taking responsibility - -
Christmas - -

Learning @ Leventhorpe, our vision for learning

At Leventhorpe, teacher and students have invested considerable thought into defining the habits which make up a confident learner.  These habits are expressed in the following scheme which teachers use when planning lessons and students are invited to use as a tool of personal reflection.

learning image 

A number of these learning habits are particularly attuned to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural education and show how SMSC is woven into the lessons that we teach across the curriculum.

  • Imagining: being creative and coming up with ideas and solutions to problems. Being able to think how things might be if things were different.
  • Reasoning: being able to develop a chain of argument to show that you understand the key issues. Making sure that your points make good sense, and justifying what you are saying.
  • Positivity: having a ‘can-do’ attitude, being prepared to take responsible risks. Understanding that if you try, and don’t quite achieve what you hoped, you have still made progress. Feeling good about yourself and knowing you can always learn more.
  • Empathy: being able to understand the views and opinions of others. Can you see things from different perspectives and respect beliefs or opinions that you might disagree with? 
  • Listening: We have two ears and only one mouth! Can you listen effectively to other people? Do you really listen, or do you just pretend you are listening? Can you listen effectively for a long period? Can you listen to short sharp instructions? 
  • Collaboration: being able to work effectively with others. Teams often have different roles. Have you got the flexibility to undertake different roles in groups? Can you work well with different people, even those you don’t necessarily like?

SMSC in our Timetabled Lessons (SEAL, RS and PSHCE)

In addition to these whole school themes, students are given specific timetable provision and formal teaching throughout their school careers.

Keystage 3

Year 7 receive one period of Religious Studies, one period of SEAL (the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) and Citizenship content delivered through Geography, History and RS lessons.

Year 8 receive one period of Religious Studies and Citizenship content delivered through Geography, History and RS lessons.

Keystage 4

Year 9 receive two periods of Ethics and Philosophy, which includes RS content.

Year 10 have study one period of PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) with the option to take Ethics and Philosophy GCSE.

Year 11 have one period of PSHCE and may have taken Ethics and Philosophy GCSE.

Keystage 5

Year 12 and 13 participate in a number of special days and events related to the PSHCE.  Many elect to follow ethics and philosophy, politics or sociology A’ level courses.

For more information on the structure of these timetabled SMSC activities, please follow the links to the relevant curriculum areas on our website.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Trips

Leventhorpe School has a particularly rich and varied offering of extra-curricular activities and trips which give students the opportunity to broaden their experience of SMSC learning.  We use Pupil Premium Funding to provide access to these activities so that no student is disadvantaged.  If you would like to learn more about recent events, please visit our catalogue of past newsletters.

Annual Celebration Events

At Leventhorpe we believe in praising the celebrating the behaviour and attributes we want out students to show and so we invest a great deal of time in our annual celebration events.  At these events, we strive to reward students for their contribution, their effort and their excellence in equal measure.  We run the following events every year - again, more details of these events can be found in past newsletters in the corresponding months.

December - Sixth Form Alumni Celebration and Dinner, where prizes are awarded to Sixth Form students who left the school in the preceding summer.

May – Year 11 Leavers’ Assembly, where the contribution of Year 11 students is celebrated.

June – Year 13 Leavers’ Assembly, where the contribution of Year 12 students is celebrated.

June – Year 11 Leavers’ Awards, where achievement and effort are celebrated.
July – Year 9-10 Awards Assembly.
July – Year 7-8 Awards Assembly.

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