Eaton Bank Academy

‘Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education’ Martin Luther King

SMSC stands for SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL and CULTURAL education.  At Eaton Bank Academy we champion and firmly believe in a holistic education, experience and curriculum that ensures that our students are ‘rounded and grounded’. We recognise that spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students plays a significant part in this, and in their ability to learn and achieve in school and in later life.  SMSC is also central to their ability to relate fully to, and access the world they live in: to become productive and active citizens.  SMSC is addressed through the curriculum in the context of the subject under study, and also in the wider school experience we offer our students.

Linked to the provision of SMSC is the teaching of ‘Britishness’.  This includes an emphasis on teaching about British civil and criminal laws and the workings of British democracy such as the British Parliamentary system.  It asks students to understand, appreciate, respect and engage with these and the core British values of freedom, respect and tolerance.  ‘Britishness’ is also about students’ recognising their cultural traditions, history and heritage and the diversity and richness of modern British cultural life today.


Spiritual development is about a student developing a sense of identity and self-worth.  It is about growing personal insight and experience, exploring the meaning and purpose of life and reflecting on the awe and wonder of our shared human existence. It looks to explore and develop a student’s spirit, soul, personality or character.

It is demonstrated by a student’s:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise
  • interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning and willingness to reflect on their experiences


Moral development is about the development of a framework of moral values. It is also about a student’s understanding of society’s shared and agreed values and ethics.  It asks students to understand that there are issues where there is disagreement in society and to understand why. It is also about developing an opinion about these different views and accepting other people’s points of view as valid.

It is demonstrated by a student’s:

  • willingness to make a decision and understand the consequences of it, including accepting right and wrong
  • understanding and accepting of British law
  • willingness to accept and understand ideas and attitudes different to their own


Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together in a multi-racial, multicultural society. This includes understanding how British society works but also involves the development of interpersonal skills necessary for successful relationships.

It is demonstrated by a student’s:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including volunteering and charity work
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, including respect and tolerance of others in their actions and attitudes


Cultural development is about students understanding their own culture and other cultures that exist in their town, region, country and global community. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging and ever-changing world culture of shared experiences provided by new technologies. It is about welcoming and accepting diversity.

It is demonstrated by a student’s:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of, and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities



All curriculum areas have a contribution to a student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Opportunities for this will be planned in each area of the curriculum and are integral in the learning experiences of our students.

More detailed mapping of SMSC provision would be available in schemes of work and lesson plans.

An example of how each key theme is addressed in each faculty is demonstrated below:

Art, Design and Technology Faculty

Spiritual: In Art, students look at identity and explore ideas around their own ‘self’ both their identity and their expression of that identity.

Moral: Across the faculty, at all key stages, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and behaviour.  They are expected to use technical and advanced equipment independently, and respect property and the classroom environment.

Social: The faculty has strong links with community organisations such as Congleton Museum, Open Space, giving students’ opportunities to work in different social contexts.  Most recently demonstrated with participation in the Congleton Carnival and involvement in the Congleton Rotary Club Art Competition.

Cultural: Student’s work is regularly exhibited, presented and celebrated, for example KS4 and 5 art shows, fashion shows, and around the school building.

 ‘Britishness’: In the ‘identity’ unit in year 9, the faculty explores graffiti in the local context and sets it against the rule of law and the freedom of speech as key elements of British values.

English Faculty

Spiritual: At KS4 students study war poetry and are asked to reflect on their thoughts and values surrounding the issues raised by it.

Moral: At KS4 through persuasive writing students explore and develop their own moral values, based on the issues raised in the text under study.  For example, in ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ students explore issues of racism, discrimination, the rule of law and justice.

Social: Through structured and regular teaching of analytical methods to infer and deduce meaning in a variety of fiction an non-fiction texts, students are given a conceptual and linguistic framework within which to understand and debate social issues.

Cultural: In year 8 students study poetry from other cultures.

 ‘Britishness’: The William Golding classic, ‘Lord of Flies’, studied in year 9, considers the notions of extremism and British values.  Students reflect on human behaviour and the impact of peers and the group on an individual. The ideas of acceptance and tolerance are promoted through the teaching of this novel. Democracy, order, anarchy and chaos are all central themes explored in the novel.

Humanities Faculty

Spiritual: In R.E at KS4 students explore evidence of the existence of and nature of God, the ‘soul’ and the afterlife and meaning of life, and reflect on their own beliefs and that of others about these ‘Big Questions’.

Moral: In KS4 R.E. the ethics and morality of a wide range of issues such as war, medical advances, euthanasia, divorce are discussed and evaluated by students.

Social: In KS3 History, when studying the Invaders module in year 7, students learn lessons from history in how to resolve conflict, and explore how a sense of common identity in communities was developed.

Cultural: In Geography, at KS3 students investigate Britain as a tourist destination including its major attractions and areas of outstanding beauty.

 ‘Britishness’:  In History at KS3 and 4 the development of key British institutions such as parliament and the rule of law are investigated and returned to, at pivotal points in their history.

ICT and Computing Faculty

Spiritual: At KS3 in the introduction to computing and ICT students explore the links between how a computer works and how a human body works.

Moral: Internet use and misuse and internet safety are explored at KS3 and 4.

Social: Students are taught how to communicate in different platforms such as blogging.

Cultural: In KS3 the ‘World Tour’ module looks at communication in different cultures and different countries.

 ‘Britishness’: The key role of British scientists, inventors and innovators in the digital world is highlighted and celebrated in KS3 and 4 schemes of work.

Maths Faculty

Spiritual: As part of the curriculum, students use imagination and creativity to design a farm.

Moral: Students are expected to offer reasoned views in response to any mathematics question.

Social: Students have opportunities to work in different contexts, for example linking to industry with regular visits to Siemens.

Cultural: Students study mathematical innovation in a cultural and historical context, e.g. Pythagoras’ Theorem.

 ‘Britishness’: Participation in ‘Great British Bake-Off’

Modern Foreign Languages Faculty

Spiritual:  The cultural and religious festivals of France, Spain and Germany are explored, including the impact of these on the individual, and students’ own responses to them.

Moral: At KS3 and 4 in French, German and Spanish, students are given many opportunities to discuss the rights and responsibilities of young people in their capacity as global citizens for example environmental concerns and impacts.

Social:  Extra –curricular trips, such as the Year 7 trip to Normandy, France offer students opportunities to learn in a wider context than the classroom.

Cultural: At KS3 and 4, students use authentic sources such as magazines, paintings, websites to extend their knowledge, experience and understanding of other cultures.

 ‘Britishness’: British life and customs could be compared with those in France, Germany or Spain. Similarities and differences can be identified and discussed. Stereotypes can be looked at and the question “What makes us British and what makes the French French” debated.

Performing Arts Faculty

Spiritual: Throughout KS3 and 4 students are asked to reflect on their performance, and personal target setting.  They are taught critical appraisal of practical work from both professionals and themselves and their peers.

Moral: In Drama the key text of ‘Blood Brothers’ involves analysing the script to study consequences of behaviour and the role of a person’s upbringing in decision making.

Social: GCSE Dance students run after an school club in primary schools that leads to a final performance at Eaton Bank at Christmas and in the summer term

Cultural: Throughout KS3 in Music, students have the opportunity to experience and appreciate all types of music. This includes folk, classical, Blues,  to  heavy metal and punk.  Students investigate and understand the origins of British  pop music today.

 ‘Britishness’: In GCSE Dance,  English Morris dancing is explored with appreciation of the dance style demonstrated through practical and written work  based on  ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café (by David Bintley).

Physical Education Faculty

Spiritual: Students are taught aesthetic appreciation – to see the beauty in performance.

Moral: Students are taught self –discipline and this is applied in fitness units at key points in each year, where students are asked to set targets for improvement.

Social: Students have a wide range of opportunities to meet and mix with students from a variety of different backgrounds through sporting events at other venues/schools.

Cultural: At GCSE students discuss how culture influences the sports we play.

 ‘Britishness’: Students are taught and practice key British values and codes of conduct in sport,  such as fair play, teamwork, mutual respect and sportsmanship.

PSHE and Citizenship

Spiritual: In KS4 PSHE/Citizenship students reflect on their own beliefs and ‘world view’ in relation to outside speakers who talk to our students on a wide range of topics within the ‘Inspirational Speakers’ programme

Moral: Students investigate a wide range of social issues throughout the PHSE programme and are asked to explore the morality of these including current British legislation on them. Topics include drug and alcohol use and misuse, anti-social behaviour, homelessness and internet safety

Social: Students will engage with a wide range of providers during their PSHE course and work in different settings, from working with local business men and women having a ‘mock interview’ to teaching the elderly IT skills.

Cultural: At KS3 students look at childhood across the world and during the ‘paper bag game’ come to a greater understanding of the issues and unfairness around child labour in other countries.

 ‘Britishness’: At KS4 and 5 students are taught about the British Parliamentary system, voting systems, rights and procedures.

Science Faculty 

Spiritual: Students explore space at KS3, 4 and 5, and reflect on the extent and nature of the universe and our relationship to it.

Moral: Students look at the ethics of animal testing and selective breeding.

Social: At KS3 and 4 environmental issues such as global warming, alternative energies are explored with investigations into their effects on other communities.

Cultural: It KS4 Evolution and the ‘Big Bang’ theory are explored within the cultural contexts of other faiths and belief systems.

 ‘Britishness’: The role of, and current laws on drugs and alcohol are explored as well as the physical, social and economic impact of their consumption and usage in UK society today.

Social Science Faculty

Spiritual: In Psychology students are asked to reflect on the human brain and its workings and abilities.

Moral: In Business Studies students are asked to discuss the ethics of business models and practices and their impact on a range of communities and social groups.

Social: In Child Care and Health and Social Care, students are encouraged to engage in work experience placements and work in a variety of settings, such as local primary schools or elderly residential homes.

Cultural: In Sociology students are asked to explore diversity of British society and its impact on key institutions such as the family and education system.

 ‘Britishness’: Students study all subjects within the context of modern British society, culture and law.  For example, in Business studies the UK policy on corporate law is examined.

Whole School SMSC

SMSC and ‘Britishness’ is addressed in the wider enrichment learning experiences students have at Eaton Bank Academy.  Below is a list of examples of this:

Student Leadership and Student Voice:
Eaton Bank Academy has an extensive student leadership team.  The student leadership team consists of Head Boy Head Girl and Head of Senate and Head of Student Advocacy (peer support), Deputy and Assistant Head Boys and Girls, the Student Senate and the Student Advocate team.  All forms and year groups are represented and every student has the opportunity to be heard and be part of the decision making process in the school.   The Student Leadership Team meet regularly to discuss school policy and student issues and with the Head Teacher, Mr O’Neill.

Students decide which charities to sponsor and regularly raise money for these ,with extra-curricular events such as non-uniform days, film nights or the ever popular Christmas ‘elf sale’.  The student leadership team raised £750 for the Teenage Cancer Trust Christmas 2014/5. Other recent charities we have fundraised for include the British Heart Foundation, Street Child, and Manchester Children’s Ward.

The Ambassador Programme:
Every student at Eaton Bank has the opportunity to become an Ambassador for their favourite subject and take part in leadership activities to represent that subject and the Academy.  The programme is facilitated and lead by the Sixth Form Executive Ambassadors for that subject.  All subjects have ambassadors, and they represent the subject at open evening and at other school events. They also work to support and promote the subject within the school.  For example, Performing Arts Ambassadors are kept busy organising and helping out at concerts and plays.  The Literacy Ambassadors regularly help with the Learning Resource Centre with library duties and developing literacy throughout the school.  Ambassadors run competitions school wide within their subject.  Most recently IT ambassadors judged a poster competition on Internet Safety. IT students also run a very successful ‘Cakes and Computers’ afternoon where they coached members of the local elderly community on basic internet and word processing skills. Maths Ambassadors run a regular origami club for younger students, and the Science Ambassadors lead the Green Team.  Student Ambassadors are integral in working with primary students when they visit us at EBA, and they have also visited students in their primary schools to work with them there.  Each form has an Ambassador, who the form has chosen to represent them.  These range from Nelson Mandela to Steven Sutton, Malala Yousafzai and Princess Diana.  David Beckham is currently Ambassador of Ambassadors representing EBA.

Community Links and the Inspirational Speaker Programme:
Eaton Bank Academy has close links with the community and has developed a network of ‘Inspirational Speakers’ who regularly come into school and talk and workshop about their specialisms and areas of interest, person experiences and achievements and careers.
Recent examples include talks on leadership and initiative by a local pilot Peter Smith, and Paul Nixon who inspired our students to raise money themselves, after telling them about his fundraising for the Street Child Charity, which included trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro.  Consequently, year eight had a sponsored ‘zumbathon’ to raise money for Street Child to support the charity.  Holocaust Memorial Day is remembered annually and students have witnessed testimony from survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau and Terezin, among others.   Students also meet local community based organisations in our ‘Other Stuff to Do’ event where community organisations give students a ‘hands on’ experience of sports and activities they can be involved in in the summer holidays in the Congleton area.

PSHE/Citizenship days:  
A key area where the SMSC/Britishness agenda is delivered is through our PSHE / Citizenship  curriculum which offers enriching and extending learning experiences.  Most recently, these days have included talks and ‘hands-on’ demonstrations by the Police, Fire Service and Army.  The local New Life Church regularly contribute to these events with workshops such as ‘the paper bag game’ offering students a glimpse into child labour around the world.  Eaton Bank has an extensive relationship with members of the local business community, who regularly contribute to our students’ learning experiences.  For example Year 7 recently met many local business people and professionals in our ‘Guess My Occupation’ introduction to careers module.  These included police officers, nurses, scientists, hairdressers, lawyers, plumbers, personal trainers and accountants.  Local business such as Siemens, Flowcrete, SAS Daniels and Plus Dane have also been part of our mock interview experience for year 11 students when every member of the current year 11 received a mock interview and feedback on their performance as part of their careers programme. Eaton Bank Students have prepared a ‘Best of British ‘ Tea Party for the Local University of the Third Age and students’ grandparents which included an afternoon tea served by waiters and waitresses, quiz and full programme of entertainment on stage – organised and delivered from start to finish in one day!

Enrichment Learning including educational trips:  
Students take part in a wide range of competitions and events in all curriculum areas which develop and deepen their learning.  For example, our students have recently successfully taken part in the Siemens Roller Coaster Challenge  and ‘ Sticksplosion’ competition, the Rotary Young Chef competition, Gen rail and the BBC News Report.  Sixth Form students have also participated in ‘Take over Day’ where they took over peoples’ jobs for the day.  Year 10 students also spend a week with the Army in an outreach course experiencing esteem boosting activities such as canoeing, zip rope, abseiling and climbing.  EBA students won a national competition for Vauxhall and the prize was a signed England Football Team Shirt!
Eaton Bank academy offers a wide range of educational learning visits that students can participate in.  Regular trips include the RE places of Worship Visit to Birmingham, where students visit a Mosque, Gurwara and Mandir Temple, and the annual Houses of Parliament Visits.  Students regularly attend Dance workshops/residentials at Conway.   EBA students regularly visit the theatre, most recently to see Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Doctors Show to support GCSE History and the Lion King in Manchester.  Further afield, students can go on the Creative and Performing Arts trip to New York, French culture and language trips to Normandy, and the hugely popular annual Skiing trips.

International links:     
The sixth form run a bi-annual visit to the Gambia and Romania.  In the Gambia students visit and help out building projects in communities.  The Romania trip supports the local Congleton founded and based charity, Children of Romania and visits three children’s homes in Romania.  For both communities, students raise money before the trips through sponsorship activities.  In the past these have included car washing, auctions, and round Cheshire bike rides.  They also give assemblies to raise awareness of the issues facing the communities upon their return.

Whole school, year and key stage assemblies give students the opportunity to learn and reflect on a wide range of current moral and social issues.  Assemblies are given by students, staff and outside speakers.  Recent topics have included Road and Internet Safety, Holocaust Memorial Day, Children in Need, Remembrance Week, Black History Month, World Book Day and Learning Disability Week.  Local employers and businesses regularly present to our students.  Recent examples include Bentley, Total People, the Police, the Royal Navy.  Assemblies are also a key platform for celebration of student success and achievement at EBA.

Tutor time:  
Developing a sense of team identity is a key purpose of tutor time at Eaton Bank Academy. Tutors engage students in discussions about news and current affairs and tutors also mentor students on an individual basis.