Life Skills and SMSC
At Patcham High School, we are proud to be at the centre of the community. Students at Patcham
have access to a wide range of opportunities that develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural
awareness. This is particular true of unique and innovative Life Skills programme.
Below you can see the opportunities available to Patcham students through the Life Skills curriculum
for each year group. For the more detailed curriculum maps and schemes of work please see the Life
Skills Curriculum Maps section of the website.
Social and Moral:
Students undertake SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) lessons
focused on belonging and empathy. Students begin to explore their personal
identities and consider how they can feel a sense of belonging in a diverse school
Students receive lessons on E-Safety and Managing Risk. They also learn about
Healthy Lifestyles. All students receive a visit from Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
regarding how to avoid unnecessary risk and how to make safe decisions.
Environmental Responsibility is also covered in year 7 where students reflect on
environmental issues facing today’s world and begin to build opinions on whether
we have a moral duty to care for the planet.
Spiritual and Cultural:
Students study ‘Life after Death’ from a range of Faith and non-Faith perspectives.
Students are encouraged to explore ultimate questions surrounding Life after
Death and are helped to explore their own personal beliefs about the issue.
During this topic students also look into bereavement as part of the PSHE local
As part of the RE locally agreed syllabus, students also study Christianity,
Buddhism and Hinduism. During these topics, students learn about and from the
core beliefs and practices of these faiths and compare them. This is particularly
applied to beliefs about life after death.
In line with the PSHE local syllabus, year 7 students must learn about puberty and
FGM. Here at Patcham High we use a scheme of work called Coming of Age which
covers the changes experienced during puberty (physical, behavioural and
emotional), religious and cultural coming of age ceremonies as well as the law
surrounding, and cultural attitudes towards, male circumcision and FGM.
As a result of these topics they develop an understanding of different cultural
perspectives and as such practice their empathy skills.
Social and Moral:
Students participate in a number of Citizenship topics during year 8 which help to
prepare them for commencing their GCSE next year. During these topics which
are Smoking, Crime and Responsibility, and Responsible Citizenship, students
address issues such as peer-pressure, the law, justice, seeking help and advice,
discriminatory behaviour, bystander behaviour, and making safer decisions.
As part of the Crime and Responsibility topic, students receive a visit from Sussex
Fire and Rescue Service which builds on their workshop from the previous year.
We believe that year 8 students are mature enough to debate, question and
critique issues such as War. This topic addresses the causes and consequences of
war and the exploitation of children during conflict with specific focus on child
soldiers and the experience of unaccompanied refugees. As part of the puberty
topic for year 8, the issue of child exploitation is reiterated and re-addressed in
the form of raising awareness about grooming, unhealthy relationships and the
importance of staying safe online.
Spiritual and Cultural:
As part of the RE locally agreed syllabus, students study Islam and Sikhism. The
core beliefs from these religions are covered so students are able to learn about
and from religion.
Along with the religions studied in year 7, students are encouraged to reflect on a
range of spiritual and cultural perspectives and apply these to citizenship issues
such as discrimination and equality.
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural:
In accordance with the RE locally agreed syllabus students learn about Judaism.
We choose to place this alongside our Radicalisation and Religious Persecution
topic with specific reference to The Holocaust. Students learn about the history of
The Holocaust from a social perspective but how this affected Jews spiritually and
culturally. As part of this topic, students also address the current issue of Muslim
extremist groups; the social response to these groups, and the issue of recruiting
young people. Work is then undertaken to reflect on how recent events in current
affairs are impacting the local Jewish and Muslim communities morally and
Year 9 students also cover a topic on Animal Rights which looks into a range of
religious and non-religious attitudes animals and issues involving animals such as
vegetarianism, animal testing and hunting.
The Drugs and Alcohol topic also covered in year 9 includes lessons on religious
views on substance misuse. The purpose of these lessons are to make students
aware of not only the law surrounding drugs and alcohol but also the social,
emotional and physical effects they can have on the individual and society.
Introducing religious attitudes in this topic shows students that there are a range
of ways to think about drugs and alcohol which is important because the media
portrays our society as holding a very accepting, sometimes even normalised,
attitude towards substances which isn’t always the case. By opening up space for
discussion and investigation we encourage students to develop their own opinion
During Relationship and Sex Education, students are made aware of the signs of
unhealthy relationships and are provided with help, advice and support with how
to avoid these whilst also building and maintaining positive relationships.
By year 10, the GCSE Citizenship course is well underway. The topics covered fall
under three titles outlined by Edexcel; Living together in the UK, Democracy at
work in the UK, Law and justice. Students study a wide range of social issues in
order to further develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, empathy,
responsibility and social awareness.
As part of the PSHE syllabus, Year 10 students learn about sexuality in more
detail. We encourage students to accept and understand all perspectives towards
different types of relationships and sexuality, religious and non-religious, but
always refer back to the importance of equality and diversity in our society.
Students are encouraged to build empathy, acceptance and understanding
towards all relationships and individuals by looking at the past, present and future
of the LGBTU community. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of
discriminatory language and how this can have damaging effects on an
individual’s mental and emotional health. Our hope is that our students make
current and future choices which do not disrespect or harm the rights of others.
Moral, Spiritual and Cultural:
Here at Patcham High we use issues raised in current affairs as an opportunity to
bring in a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives on citizenship issues.
In particular, students reflect on Christian and Muslim arguments for and against
Capital Punishment as well as different religious beliefs about environmental
issues and ways to tackle them.
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural:
Year 11 students continue to work towards their Citizenship GCSE by applying a
range of religious and non-religious perspectives to social issues and current
affairs. They also undertake project and campaign work which forms part of their
GCSE qualification. For this, students must communicate with members of the
community from a range of backgrounds and expertise which enables them to
gain a better understanding of an issue of their choice in order to bring about a
positive change in society. We have found that students become very passionate
about their projects. They enjoy the opportunity to be given responsibility to
organise events themselves, as well as recognising the long-term benefits of
developing key social and communication skills whilst doing so.
We understand that year 11 is a time of stress, pressure and anxiety so students
also undertake PSHE units in mental health with a focus on stress management
and how to seek help, advice and support.