At The Morley Academy we are committed and passionate about developing students’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) awareness. Within the specific areas we aim to:
Spirituality – provide students with an opportunity to reflect upon their place in the world whilst also acknowledging and respecting other people’s faiths, feelings and values.
Moral – ensure that our students understand the difference between right and wrong whilst also being able to debate empathetically and reasonably why other people’s moral and ethical standpoints may be different to their own.
Social – provide students with opportunities to discuss and engage in wide-ranging enrichment and community based initiatives with other groups of people from different socio-economic backgrounds, faiths and cultures.
Cultural – develop students’ awareness of the wide-ranging cultural influences that have shaped their own lives and heritage, whilst also acknowledging that there are a whole range of influences from further afield which have helped shape Britain’s history, values and place in the world. We are committed to providing our students with a variety of sporting, artistic, musical and cultural opportunities.
Throughout our broad and contemporary curriculum at The Morley Academy there are opportunities for students to engage with SMSC topics and discussions on a daily basis. During form time the SMSC Question of the Week enables high-level debates surrounding current cultural issues in the news. So far this academic year students have discussed negative gender stereotyping in advertisements, the relevance of foodbanks in modern society and the potential over reliance on ‘instant internet’ in daily life. Teachers will further seek to develop students SMSC thinking through tasks and activities that question morality, link learning to modern cultural issues and allow students to evaluate and form independent opinions alongside the subject-specific information being taught. We are also very proud of the evolution of our PHSEE curriculum (known as ‘Be Smart’ by our students) which covers a range of issues in depth including prevent and radicalisation; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender groups; female genital mutilation; child sexual exploitation; revenge porn; sexting and drug, alcohol and substance misuse. Our PHSEE team work with a number of external agencies to ensure the PHSEE provision is up-to-date and relevant. This includes guest speakers and presentations; for example in 2017 we had Dr Stephanie Hirst speak to students, parents/carers and members of staff about her journey of gender transition from male to female. Students SMSC opportunities are further enhanced at The Morley Academy by a range of educational visits and excursions linked to the curriculum, such as English and Drama students watching plays at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Media students visiting the Emmerdale Studios and History students travelling to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Krakow – see the news page of the website for the latest trips (insert link).
Furthermore we seek to develop, within our students the core principles of Modern British Values as part of our curriculum. Our students are encouraged to accept and engage with the Modern British Values of:
- The rule of law;
- Individual liberty; and
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
These values are defined in all student planners (see planner page) alongside how each value is developed at The Morley Academy to support students with identifying, questioning and evaluating the importance of Modern British Values and the relevance to their learning.
Engaging our students in government and politics plays a pivotal role in developing our students understanding of life in the United Kingdom. We are very fortunate to have Miss Easton as a Gold UK Parliament Ambassador Teacher who works with parliament to develop educational links and has access to unique opportunities for our students. In the last year both our Student Executive and a group of Year 10 students have visited parliament and received bespoke tours and learning opportunities. We have hosted our local MP Andrea Jenkyns for a tour and Question and Answer session with a group of students who were able to ask her questions on a wide range of national and local issues affecting young people including Brexit, the re-development of Morley and migration crisis – look out for further parliamentary activities via the news page of our website (insert link). Furthermore, we always engage students in general elections and referendums by hosting mock elections within school. This involves students representing political parties and communicating the party’s manifesto, students voicing their opinions, voting independently and cross-referencing our voting to the national outcome.
Additional information on Be Smart, SMSC and Modern British Values can be found in the student planner. Alternatively, if you have any questions or queries related to any of these issues please do not hesitate to contact Miss Whyld, SMSC lead at The Morley Academy or Miss Easton, SMSC lead across the Gorse Academies Trust.