At Beis Yaakov High School the personal development of students is a fundamental part of the academic and pastoral work of the school. To this end, we want to develop students spiritually, morally, socially and culturally and ensure that they grow up to be proud of their heritage and are able to understand their responsibilities as British citizens.
We endeavour to deliver spiritual, moral, social and cultural education through aspects of school life; The Kodesh and Secular curriculum, extra-curricular activities, the pastoral system, assemblies as well as themes events.
Spiritual development is essential to helping students to value everyone as a unique human being. For our students it involves fully participating in our religion and carrying out all the requirements as best as they are able. Spiritual development includes providing opportunities for students to encounter all the positive aspects of human experience, for example:
• Feeling happiness, pride, forgiveness and responsibility.
• Exercising imagination, curiosity, creativity and intuition.
• Exploring, searching, questioning and engaging.
• Experiencing order, peace, wonder and calm.
• Surviving hardship, pain and grief.
• Empathising with others at times of joy and tragedy.
Moral development enables students to value and improve their relationships and is central to the smooth running of the school and wider community. Moral development involves:
• The understanding of the concept of right and wrong
• The ability to deal effectively with moral conflict and temptation.
• The understanding that people choose their behaviour and those choices has
• The determination to choose wisely with consideration for self and others.
• The understanding of the danger of acting against one’s conscience.
• The willingness to engage in self-reflection.
• The ability and willingness to exercise compassion, understanding and forgiveness
Social development involves the growth of the desire and ability to:
• Set aside self-interest to work with others for the common good.
• Negotiate disagreements fairly and compromise willingly when necessary.
• Contribute confidently to the well-being of friendship groups and community.
• Understand, appropriately express, recognise and respond to emotions in others.
Cultural development enables students to appreciate that creativity and imagination is stronger because of the community and society to which we belong. Cultural development has to do with the growth of pupils’
• Understanding of and respect for how people from their own and other cultures think and live.
• Sense of belonging within local, regional, national and international cultures, together with a willingness and ability to contribute creatively to these cultures.
Cultural understanding can defuse tension, enabling pupils to respond appropriately to the views and values of others.
Implementation of the policy
Beis Yaakov High School has a very clear ethos in terms of the way we treat ourselves and each other. As a school:
• We offer positive and realistic examples and role models for students to follow
• We provide opportunities for reflection, discussion, advice and support to enable them to set personal goals and develop self-awareness and self-esteem through the Lilo programme
• All teachers understand the importance they play in contributing to the personal development of each student. This is now a school action point in the new Performance Management pro-forma.
Monitoring of SMSC includes: Lesson observations which include a comment on SMSC provision in the Learning walks and pupil interviews are used to evaluate SMSC development.
Pastoral Care is a key element of our provision of moral, cultural, social and spiritual development of all students, building strong relationships between staff, students and their families. We have a strong child centred pastoral structure with both year leaders and pastoral managers for each year group. This structure allows issues raised by students and staff to be dealt with quickly by staff who know the students well.
Students who need extra care and attention are placed on our mentoring system which is supported by teachers and students and by our school councillor and psychologist. This has been in place for three years now and is a highly effective tool for tracking and communicating the extra provisions provided to support these students. These models are discussed weekly at a matrix meeting of year leaders and leadership team members.
Through the school council and the Senior Student Team
We aim to develop pupils who know how to act responsibly, and who become more independent as they grow older while knowing the value and importance of making a positive impact on the lives of other people. There are activities that teach co-operation and initiative, giving pupils responsibility within school, and enabling pupils to serve other people in the wider community.
The curriculum provides ways of promoting the students’ spiritual development by:
Encouraging students to consider their own values, beliefs and attitudes and those of others.
Reflecting on human experiences
Promoting understanding of ways that beliefs contribute to individual and group understanding and identity
Providing opportunities for problem-solving and discovery
Developing students capacity to think, reflect and express themselves on spiritual matters
Exploring the beliefs that are central to our religion
Promoting respect for their own and other people’s religious beliefs
Recognition of the multi-faith society in which we live
The Students through assemblies, external speakers, and the promotion of themed days (such as Healthy Lifestyles and community cohesion), will be exposed to the diversity of society and issues facing the modern world.
The School goes on trips to a variety of places of interest including historical sites, Europe, London and Museums.
Students, through subjects such as History, English and Geography, and informal education extra-curricular opportunities will gain a broad general knowledge of public services and institutions in England.