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Personal Development


SMSC – Empowering young people for a stronger society

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum. It involves educating your children to be the best versions of themselves and to become well-rounded and informed citizens of tomorrow. Strong evidence shows that promoting SMSC in schools can contribute to raising academic standards and improving children’s life chances in modern Britain.

At St John Fisher High School, we are committed to promoting the following aspects:


According to the government: “SMSC is the training of good human beings, purposeful and wise; themselves with a vision of what it is to be human and the kind of society that makes that possible.” Hansard, 2006.

At St John Fisher High School we recognise and firmly believe that the development of our pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part not only in their ability to learn and achieve, but in their ability to relate fully to, and have the ability to access, the world they live in. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop their own values. We aim to nurture and develop the whole person so that they contribute positively as responsible and considerate future global citizens. They achieve this through the SMSC form time curriculum, extra-curricular opportunities and the guidance we provide, supports the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our students. Students are taught SMSC once a fortnight in their form groups. The curriculum is inclusive and age appropriate.

As a result of this work, we expect from our students:

  • An understanding of how they as citizens, in our school and in their local community, can bring about influence through a democratic process

  • An understanding regarding the rule of law and how it aims to protect individuals and the need for it to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all

  • An understanding of the freedom of choice, particularly related to choice regarding faith and beliefs, and how these choices are protected in law

  • An acceptance of others who hold differing beliefs, faiths and opinions and that tolerance is required and how discriminatory or prejudicial behaviour is against the values and ethos of this school but also is against the law

  • An understanding of the world around them and how to function beyond secondary education.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is now compulsory in all secondary schools, which is why at St. John Fisher we have invited Spectrum Health (A not-for-profit social enterprise, who provide healthcare services on behalf of the NHS and Public Health) to come in and deliver RSE to Years 7- 11. Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 each receive two sessions and Year 9 receive four.

Useful Documents

Sexual Health and Relationships Education (RSE): Year 9 sessions

British Values


British Values are intrinsically linked to the school’s mission statement, “learning together as a community in Christ”. By this we mean that the values of tolerance and consideration are embedded in our school community. The five identified values are:


         Rule of law

         Individual liberty

         Mutual respect

         Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

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Mutual Respect.png

Pupils are taught British Values through the SMSC Curriculum. This is a spiral curriculum that allows pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of the different British Values throughout their time at St John Fisher. British Values education is also taught across the curriculum in subjects such as History, Drama and Sociology. 

Pupil Leadership

School Council:

Here at St John Fisher we are very proud of our School Council. We have a strong group of students who are elected by their peers to represent the views of all pupils and to improve the St John Fisher School Community. EACH form group is represented from Y7-Y11. The pupils meet to gather the views of the wider school community. The meetings are an opportunity to propose new ideas and develop leadership skills.  The School Council has played a key role in school developments such as the canteen refurbishment. They have also contributed to the development of School Uniform options and choices.


At St John Fisher High School, pupils in Year 11 are given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills as a Prefect. These pupils are elected by their teachers to work together as a team. They play a valuable role in the day to day life of the school. Our Prefects demonstrate the ethos and values we promote. They are respectful, polite, aspirational and kind. Prefects have a number of responsibilities across the school. For example, supporting each Year Team during registration sessions. Also supporting each curriculum department and SLT in the day to day running of the school. 

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors:

The Anti-bullying Ambassadors consist of 10 of our pupils from Y7,8 and 9. They successfully completed training with the Diana Award to become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. An Anti-Bullying Ambassador helps to educate their peers on bullying. This is a youth led programme which aims to create a safer and kinder school community. The team are excited to further develop their leadership skills, through a range of projects and ideas. Look out for some exciting campaigns that the Anti-bullying Ambassadors will be launching in the months ahead!

Useful Documents

Health Curriculum

Living in the Wider World Curriculum Map

Where to access support

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