SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education. At HLC we ensure that SMSC is woven across the curriculum. We promote children’s understanding of and respect for all aspects of British society and encourage children to explore and question their understanding of what is important. Underpinning this curriculum are the five core values of our school: belong, respect, inspire, succeed and enjoy.
We are lucky to have children from a wide range of belief backgrounds in our school. We have a large Muslim community and celebrate a number of festivals which are special to Muslims including our fantastic Eid Mela every autumn. Our Sikh community work with us to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, and our Year 3 children enjoy a visit to the Gudwara in Hadley to see how they prepare for the celebrations. We also have a large Christian community; we work with a prayer group who provide a prayer space weekly in our library and opportunities for children to think about big questions and also Year 1 enjoy visiting Holy Trinity Church where they explore how birth is celebrated. We also understand that not everyone has religious beliefs and learn to respect the great variety in our school and the wider community.
Our curriculum supports our children to develop a love of learning. Each unit of work ends with a reflection activity where the children think about their learning and how they can demonstrate what they understand to others. Children are supported to use their imagination from role play situations in the early years through to debating how to change our school, the education system and the world in Year 6. Supporting this is our ‘Lessons for Life’ week. Here a whole week is dedicated to teaching our skill the skills that they will need as they grow. Last year, saw our children learning basic first aid, visiting Tesco to budget for a weeks worth of shopping and cooking basic healthy meals.
Children at HLC love learning. They are able to talk confidently about what they have done in school and some of the learning they complete at home is fantastic; amazing projects linked to their work in class. They particularly enjoy trips and we regularly receive feedback from places they have visited praising the children for their manners, engagement and knowledge of the place they have visited.
Smiling Minds is an initiative that we have recently just invested in and after lunch you will see many of our children taking part in mediation sessions. School life can be busy and these sessions allow our children just a few moments to gather their thoughts and ready themselves for afternoon learning. At HLC, we are committed to ensuring the mental well-being of children and staff.
We have agreed our school rules as a whole community and each year we explore how these are fair and make things better for us all. The children are able to explain clearly why we have our rules and understand there are consequences for making the wrong decisions. We discuss their actions with children when things go wrong and support them to reflect on their choices. We also take the opportunity to identify better choices they could have made.
Year 2 explore the issue of discrimination and develop their understanding of how people have had to fight to get equal rights for all. They research significant figures in the human rights movement and look at how people have stood up for themselves and others in the past. They produce very thoughtful and reflective work linked to this topic.
In Year 4 the children explore Magna Carta and how this forms the basis of the laws and rights of individuals in this country today. They find out about how Magna Carta came about and understand the role of the monarch in the process. They explore parliament now and how laws are agreed and reflect upon the laws they would like to establish if they were in power.
Every year group enjoys a debate with Year 6 children showing us they know how to explain their views in a reasoned way. The children explore ethical issues such as the holocaust and reflect on the impact of these events on the world.
We pride ourselves on how inclusive our school is. We really enjoy welcoming children from the Bridge School into our lessons and understanding how to support these members of our school community. We also enjoy bringing our parents into school, sharing with them our learning and occasionally cooking them some food. Cooperative learning is a key to successful working and we work in a variety of teams across our school career. All of our foundation learning is done through group work and during these times it is fantastic to see our children learning to develop their problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Every year our school parliament nominates a charity for the children to support through fundraising. They research charities and sometimes meet with their representatives. After a charity has been chosen the children then organise activities throughout the year. We also support Children in Need each Autumn and join the whole campus charity event in the summer term. Our children understand the work of charities and are keen to support them.
Our school has a rich cultural mix which supports our children’s understanding of their heritage and the heritage of the other children in the school. We regularly visit museums and art galleries to find out about the past and wider cultural influences. In school we enjoy competing in sports and joining with other local schools in our sports cluster. We are a ‘Sing up Gold’ school and regularly perform for a local parish concert, the Telford and Wrekin music festival and also the regional ‘Young Voices’ concert. Our children always make us proud at these events. We even have our own school song!
Performing arts is a large focus of our school and we are lucky to be able to use the expert skills of some of the secondary teaching staff to ensure that our children have the best possible experiences. All of the children throughout school are involved in at least one drama performance in a school year and you will regularly see our children at Dance Fest. Our children love dancing so much we even have our own dance area on the playground.