SMSC & Character
SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development. Character and a shared culture are also developed through the Academy’s faculty system and inter-faculty competitions.
Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral: recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social: use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Students embed the core values of the Academy and are mindful of one another’s views, demonstrating tolerance to differences in opinions. We encourage students to be reflective learners, showing curiosity and a thirst for knowledge in order to improve as individuals. This enables them to develop holistically and become active participants in modern British life. This is a real strength in the Academy and is embedded in the curriculum through drop down ‘thematic days’ four times a year (see below), tutor time activities (see below), a debating programme, educational visits, student leadership, enrichment and the assembly programme (see below).
To promote spiritual development, all students study Religion, Philosophy & Politics at Key Stage 3. This encourages students to reflect on their own beliefs and those of others. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism are studied and other belief systems are examined through modules on ethics and metaphysics. The diversity of faiths represented in the Academy is rich, with students demonstrating respect for others' faiths, feelings and values. One of the ways this is reflected is through the Academy’s annual Carol Service at a local church and through the Academy homily during assemblies. Students learn about themselves and others through the ‘PXS’ personal extended project. All students study a full range of creative subjects at Key Stage 3 including Art, Music, Drama, Dance and Technology, allowing them to engage their imaginations and be creative in their learning.
The moral development of pupils is also promoted through tutor time and our Assembly programme (see below). The Academy’s core values provide a shared language for talking about moral issues which is well integrated into the Academy’s vernacular. Students reflect on the difference between right and wrong, and they are equipped to apply reasoning and critical thinking skills to their own lives, based on a moral compass. All students study ethics, including different points of view, and learn about how to make ethical decisions as part of Religion, Philosophy & Politics at Key Stage 3. Students reflect on their own moral decision-making through a focus on restorative justice integrated into our culture for learning.
Character and a shared culture are developed through the Academy’s faculty system and inter-faculty competitions. The Academy strives to ensure it is fully inclusive and we achieve this by ensuring all students have a strong sense of association with their faculty and that students are able to succeed and show resilience in failure. Each faculty has its own identity, including a bespoke crest and motto. Students develop their character within their faculties in a number of ways including:
- Raising money for their faculty's nominated charity
- Being a member of the Faculty Cabinet and whole-academy student council
- Taking the opportunity to speak in public during assemblies
- Taking part and competing in inter-faculty competitions such as debating, sporting and culture for learning points.
RAG - Raising and Giving
As part of our character development opportunities, the Academy has a Raising and Giving programme which helps teach students key life skills to support them in being happy and active members of society. The Academy commits to at least six opportunities over the course of the year to raise money for each faculty charity.
- HCACP RAG Run
- Prefect Shelter cinema screening
- Arts Faculty charity event
- Communications Faculty charity event
- Maths and Commerce Faculty charity event
- Science and PE Faculty charity event
Our enrichment programme offers students the chance to develop a wider variety of skills, knowledge and cultural capital to use in becoming active citizens of society. The Academy offers over 46 enrichment clubs.
In order to support our students to develop into successful citizens, we offer a range of giving mentoring opportunities. Students may be identified as needing additional support by their pastoral or subject teams or may request some additional support for a variety of reasons. Some examples of the mentoring on offer are listed below:
- TIS, Emotionally Available Adult (EAA)
- Raising self-esteem in girls (Strengthening Minds)
- Managing emotions (Strengthening Minds)
- Change 2020 Aspirations programme
- Crystal Palace Football Club: Premier League Inspires and the Palace for Life Foundation
- Greenhouse Peri Sessions
- Academy Counsellor
- Academy Arts Therapist
- Governor Mentoring
- External Key Skills Mentoring for example with organisations such as Safer London
- Complex Needs Mentoring