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At the heart of our school is our ethos:




As a school community, we believe that it is essential that every child develops in every way possible. Every aspect of our school life, curricular and extra-curricular, has a role to play in this development, especially in the areas of SMSC. Within Atherton High School’s curriculum, every subject contributes to students’ SMSC, making a valuable contribution to the personal development of the whole child.

Spiritual development is about the development of a pupil’s ‘spirit’. Some people see this as the development of ‘personality’ and ‘character’. We believe that our school ethos, and the curriculum intent in all subjects, supports our pupils to develop their character and find their own personality. We allow our pupils to grow and develop into young adults, with the drive to succeed.

Moral development is the building of a framework of personal, moral values, which regulates personal behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. Students gain an understanding of a range of views, beliefs and opinions, to develop respect and tolerance.  At Atherton High, we use the ‘Law of Eve’, which is set number of ‘laws’ that define our expected behaviour within school, and around the local community. These ‘laws’ help define what is right and wrong, and what is expected not just in school, but what society as whole expects from individuals.

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. These skills are developed through teamwork, in all subjects and in the extra-curricular, enrichment activities that we offer. Our Careers curriculum supports all pupils to build social and personal skills with confidence, to prepare students for the next stage in their journey when they leave Atherton High School.

We believe that our SMSC curriculum equips young people to live  in an ever changing, diverse world. It involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all its aspects. This includes understanding people, as well as understanding society’s institutions, structures and characteristics; economic and political principles and organisations; roles and responsibilities; and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community. It also involves the development of the inter-personal skills necessary for successful relationships.

Furthermore, we support the Prevent Strategy, which defines fundamental British Values as:

  1. Democracy
  2. The rule of law
  3. Individual liberty
  4. Mutual respect
  5. Respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Cultural development is about pupils’ understanding their own culture, and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith nature of the United Kingdom and understand the crucial role our school plays in promoting British values.

It is about understanding cultures represented across the globe, to support our students to feel comfortable in a variety of cultures, and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the internet. Promoting pupils’ cultural development links with our values and goals, to create a community that is accepting of cultural diversity and to prevent prejudice and discrimination.

At Atherton High School, we aim to build cultural capital through our curriculum. The school offers all students opportunities to appreciate and understand a range of cultural experiences. We can evidence a wide range of activities to support this claim: tours, trips, artistic productions, enrichment clubs, Student Council and Student Voice. We believe all our pupils are entitled to enrichment experiences as part of school life, to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the ever-changing world, as well as allowing them to develop their resilience and ambition.

“culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

(Mahatma Gandhi – Indian Lawyer and non-violent campaigner)