Holly House School



Through experience and curriculum, Holly House ensures that our pupils have the skills they need to become successful rounded young people. We recognise that with their additional need related to social, emotional, and mental health, their spiritually, morally, socially and culturally development along with Skills for Life lessons plays a significant part not only in their ability to learn and achieve but in their ability to relate fully to and have the ability to access the world they live in.

Our school is committed to providing a nurturing and inclusive environment that supports the personal, social, and emotional well-being of every child. This SMSC strategy outlines our approach to promoting these fundamental aspects of development within the school community. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides students with opportunities to explore and develop their own values, whilst recognising that those of others may differ. Beliefs, spiritual awareness, and a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures are all critical skills and dispositions that we nurture, encourage and develop through our subjects and wider curriculum.

Spiritual Development:

Objective: To encourage pupils to explore beliefs, experience awe and wonder, and develop a sense of identity and self-worth.


  • Incorporate reflective activities in the curriculum that allow students to explore their own thoughts and feelings.
  • Provide opportunities for quiet contemplation and mindfulness activities.
  • Celebrate diversity by acknowledging and respecting different beliefs and cultures.
  • Create a supportive environment for students to discuss and express their thoughts.

Moral Development:

Objective: To instil a strong sense of right and wrong, empathy, and responsibility in our students.


  • Implement a values-based education program that emphasises moral principles.
  • Encourage a positive and respectful school ethos through consistent modelling of moral behaviour by staff.
  • Promote social responsibility through community service projects and involvement in charitable activities.
  • Provide opportunities for structured discussions on moral dilemmas, fostering critical thinking and decision-making skills.

Social Development:

Objective: To develop positive relationships, cooperation, and a sense of community among students.


  • Implement social skills opportunities to support the development of positive relationships.
  • Foster a sense of belonging through collaborative activities, team-building exercises, and group projects.
  • Address bullying and conflicts promptly through a comprehensive anti-bullying policy and restorative practice.
  • Encourage students to participate in our extended day, residential provision and actvities that promote social interaction.

Cultural Development:

Objective: To celebrate diversity, promote cultural understanding, and develop a sense of belonging in a global context.


  • Integrate multicultural perspectives into the curriculum, ensuring representation of various cultures, traditions, and histories.
  • Celebrate cultural events and festivals, involving parents and the local community.
  • Organise visits and workshops that expose students to different cultures, beliefs, and traditions.

Developing and appreciation of theatre and the arts. 

Cultural Capital 

Cultural capital encompasses the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that enable individuals to navigate social and cultural settings effectively. It can be seen as the 'toolkit' that allows individuals to participate fully in society. Holly House School develops cultural capital for our pupils, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Holly House prides itself in its ‘community’; we are an outward looking school who believe in the benefits of a diverse and interconnected world.

1. Diverse Curriculum:

We provide a curriculum that includes a diverse range of subjects, perspectives, and authors. This can include literature, history, art, science and social activities exposing pupils to a wide range of cultural perspectives and traditions.

2. Experiential Learning:

We organise trips to museums, historical sites, and cultural and sporting events. These learning opportunities expose our pupils to different aspects of culture, society and history.

3. Guest Speakers and Workshops:

We invite guest speakers from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and insights.

4. Inclusive Literature and Resources:

Holly House benefits from a well-resourced library and learning materials which represent a wide range of cultures and perspectives. This includes literature, textbooks, and multimedia resources that showcase the richness of human diversity.

5. Community Engagement:

We encourage students to actively participate in community service projects and engage with local communities. This can help them develop empathy and a sense of social responsibility.

6. Cultural Events and Celebrations:

We celebrate cultural events and highlight the diversity within our school community. We participate in fairs, festivals, and awareness campaigns.

7. Cultural Exchange Programs:

We facilitate programs that allow students to interact with peers from different cultural backgrounds.

8. Professional Development for Educators:

School staff are provided with ongoing training to enhance their cultural competence.

By incorporating these strategies, schools can contribute to the holistic development of students, fostering cultural capital that prepares them for a

Many of these events and activities can be seen in action in our half termly newsletters that can be accessed here.

Implementation and Monitoring:
  • Review and evaluate the impact of SMSC activities through student, parent and staff feedback.
  • Provide continuous professional development for staff to enhance their understanding and implementation of SMSC principles.
  • Foster collaboration with parents, carers, and the wider community to reinforce SMSC values at home.

Our SMSC strategy reflects Holly House Special School's commitment to creating a nurturing and inclusive learning environment that supports the holistic development of every student. It will be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure its effectiveness in meeting the unique needs of our students.

Links to curriculum areas:

English Maths  Science PSHE
History  Geogoraphy R.E. Outdoor Education 
Physical Education Food tech & DT Art & Design