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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. We 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 our students become well-rounded individuals. Further details of each element 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 promote respect and tolerance of all faiths, respect of law and rules, respect for democracy and encouraged participation in the democratic processes and the belief in liberty and freedom for all people.

Social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of learning are embedded in our lessons and a 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.

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.”


Global Learning

Global Learning is taught once per week to all students in each year group. During this time, we deliver lessons on, Relationships and sex education, Physical health and wellbeing and Citizenship. Fundamental British Values and SMSC are embedded in each lesson and taught explicitly throughout the curriculum.

The curriculum is planned and sequenced to reflect the needs of all students at each stage of their education and personal development. We aim to prepare them for all age-appropriate circumstances that they may encounter, whilst developing characters who have the cultural capital and personal attributes to succeed in Modern Britain. This helps students develop the skills required for future learning and employment.

Global Learning is also deliberately aligned with the school’s core ethos, success through caring, with content designed to drive our CARE values.

Global Learning has been developed to encourage discussion, debate, opinion and thought. This allows sensitive and more difficult discussions to be explored. Learning is planned to progress from lesson to lesson and year to year with more depth and detail provided on the foundations previously built. This is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.

Ofsted 2018 reported that:

“The global learning lessons effectively provide pupils with opportunities to learn about British values. The range of educational visits and trips, as well as a well-attended and diverse programme of extra-curricular activities, makes a strong contribution to pupils’ SMSC awareness and personal development.”

“The global learning lessons provide pupils with opportunities to reflect on their approach to learning, including promoting positive attitudes. Pupils also learn about safety matters as well as British values. The large majority of pupils who responded to the survey said that the school encourages them to respect people from other backgrounds and treat people equally.”

“In the global learning lessons, pupils are helped to explore personal feelings and emotions.”

Full consideration is given to all statutory guidance, national policy and national curriculum expectations alongside the specific needs of individuals at Summerhill. To view the Global Learning teaching overview* please CLICK HERE

*Please also be aware that this is a working document and updates are ongoing to ensure we are able to reflect on the dynamic world in which we live.

To view the RSE policy please CLICK HERE