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Summerhill School

Summerhill School

Personal Development

At Summerhill, we ensure that our students are fully prepared for life both in and outside of school and to support the personal development of every individual. We recognise that all students need to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. This development allows them to make sense of their world and our curriculum helps develop an informed and balanced view on world events, beliefs and values of others.

Personal Development at Summerhill consists of many different elements as we help the students become well rounded individuals. Further details of part of personal development can be accessed by clicking on the sections in this page.

In all lessons students have opportunities to explore their values and the values of others. Our broad and balanced curriculum holds at its heart fundamental British Values which promotes respect and tolerance of all faiths, respect of law and rules, encourages respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes and the belief in liberty and freedom for all people. We actively promote extra-curricular activities and the importance of active citizenship.

Ofsted 2018 reported that:

 “Leaders and governors ensure that the curriculum effectively promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) awareness as well as their personal development.”

“The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good.”

Through our curriculum, Global Learning programme, assemblies & house time we aim for a simple and obvious philosophy- “Success through Caring.”

Success is naturally sometimes measured through exam results but success for Summerhill is also about receiving children and supporting them to develop as individuals to leave us as fully-rounded young adults with skills and experiences that will help them to succeed in every area of their future lives: as they continue their learning journeys; as they enter employment; and as they take on new roles in families and local / national / global communities.  

Caring can be soft and gentle, when members of our community need support.  Caring can also be about being “bothered”.  We believe that real “Success through Caring” comes as a result of focusing on 4 key attributes with all members of our community:

Courage   – doing what is right; being truthful; trying new experiences
Ambition  – having high aspirations and expectations of oneself and others; testing the boundaries between possible and impossible
Respect    – being considerate to oneself, others and the environment; working together in teams
Effort         – investing time and energy to achieve success; demonstrating resilience when success seems a bit more elusive

Summerhill fundamentally believes in the development of a growth mind-set culture with a drive for marginal gains in all that we do.

Social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of learning are embedded into our schemes of learning as well as through a wide range of bespoke activities, cultural trips and residential opportunities that contribute to preparing our pupils for life in modern Britain. 

Summerhill is proud to be delivering comprehensive coverage of so many key skills and knowledge, which are fundamental to the growth of our students into successful young adults.

If you have any contacts, links or experiences that may help enrich our curriculum further then please contact so we can apply the working world of the 21st Century to all that we do. To see what we do follow us on Twitter @SH_PersonalDev