Moral and Social Studies (MSS)

Moral and Social Studies (MSS) are the subjects at Wildern through which students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. During these lessons students will develop the qualities and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.  The curriculum incorporates the new RSE government guidance.  

In their lessons students will explore a wide range of issues relevant to their current and future lives and these lessons will provide students with the opportunity to develop their own arguments and viewpoints.  A key part of Moral and Social Studies will be to enable students to express their opinions whilst also recognising and respecting those who hold differing views, thus promoting the core values of being a UNICEF Gold accredited Rights Respecting School.

The programme of study is designed so that students revisit topics and issues they have previously explored so that they build on their knowledge, skills and understanding as they progress through the school.  It is also designed so that students are provided with ample opportunity to develop our Wildern attributes of curiosity, determination, pride, reflection, respect and kindness.  

Through their MSS lessons we will:

  • support the development of physically, emotionally and socially healthy young people, including how to make healthy choices with regards to exercise and healthy eating and providing students with strategies for maintaining positive emotional wellbeing
  • support the development of essential employability skills for the 21st century ensuring students are well prepared for the next stage of their education, employment, self-employment or training
  • reduce or remove barriers to learning, such as bullying, low self-esteem and unhealthy or risky behaviours
  • equip students to keep themselves and others safe from risks, including domestic abuse, forced marriage, drug and alcohol abuse
  • promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students
  • prepare students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
  • promote British values, including democracy and prepare students to become active members of society
  • promote equality and diversity so that students respect others, as well as promoting tolerance and understanding of different religious beliefs

Year 7 MSS

Key Units & Topics:

  • Moving on Up: managing transition from primary to secondary school
  • Friendship: developing healthy friendships, bullying and teamwork
  • Money: managing your money, understanding bank accounts, creating a budget
  • Risk and First Aid: identifying common risks inside and outside of the home, how to administer basic first aid, such as treating a burn, whilst keeping yourself safe
  • Healthy Choices: explore the affect lifestyle choices have on daily life, such as the impact of sleep, energy drinks, food etc. and how to make healthy choices to promote physical and emotional wellbeing

Year 8 MSS

Key Units & Topics:

  • Me, Myself and I: the effect of social media on self-esteem, the celebration of our differences, strategies on how to improve self-esteem and emotional wellbeing
  • Relationships: family relationships, strategies for managing conflict
  • Careers and Pathways: an explanation of the Pathways process and GCSE subject choices, an exploration of different types of careers and training, strategies for how to develop a growth mindset
  • Citizenship: the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship, how the parliamentary system works in the UK, how to get your voice heard and have your say, the Police and Criminal Justice System

Year 9 MSS

Key Units and Topics:

  • When I Grow Up: a reflection on future dreams and aspirations, how to create a monthly budget for living independently, how to make the most of your money, an understanding of renting and mortgages
  • I Am Who I Am: individuality, sexuality, physical and mental health, self-determination, domestic abuse
  • Be Humankind: humanity, human rights, prejudice and discrimination
  • Are You The Marrying Kind?: marriage, including civil and religious ceremonies, forced marriage, dealing with relationship breakdown, divorce, cohabitation
  • Drugs and Alcohol: drugs and the law, managing peer pressure, smoking, alcohol, the effects of drugs and alcohol, drug addiction and support
  • A rotation of IT lessons that includes IT skills and e-safety

A study of different religious beliefs and teachings is incorporated into a number of topics in Year 9 in order to provide students who do not study the Religious Studies GCSE with their statutory Religious Education provision.

Year 10 MSS

Key Units and Topics:

  • Sex and Relationships: the portrayal of sex in the media including body image, consent, sexting and the law, pornography, contraception, STIs
  • Mental and Emotional Wellbeing: positive coping strategies for feelings of anxiety, stress and exam pressure
  • Careers: reflection on career goals, key skills employers require, how to write a successful CV, the features of a successful interview, different types of employment
  • Family Matters: the role of the family; pregnancy; the opportunities and challenges of parenthood; abortion; medical ethics
  • Study Skills: effective revision methods and strategies in preparation for the Year 10 Practice Exams
  • Religion in the Modern World: religion and science; religious prejudice and discrimination; humanism; the afterlife
  • First Aid - all year 10 students receive lessons equipping them with basic first aid skills and a qualification by St Johns Ambulance.¬†¬†

Incorporated into the Year 10 MSS programme is an exploration and study of a variety of religious beliefs and teachings in order to provide students who do not study the Religious Education GCSE with their statutory Religious Education provision.

Year 11 MSS

Key Units and Topics:

  • Government and Voting: how a general election works, how to make an informed decision on who to vote for, an evaluation as to whether voting should be compulsory, voter apathy, how public money is raised and spent
  • Drugs and Alcohol: students will build on their learning from Year 9 with further information and guidance on topics such as binge drinking, the effects of drugs and alcohol, drug and alcohol addiction support
  • Finance: understanding a payslip, creating a monthly budget, savings accounts and loans including the dangers of payday loans, saving for your first friends holiday
  • Human Rights: an exploration of what rights are, where they came from and responses¬† to when these rights are not me.¬† This unit has clear links to our Gold Uncicef Rights Respecting School.¬†¬†
  • Staying safe: Risk taking, gangs, radicalisation and knife crime
  • Crime and Punishment: the aims of punishment, prison and the death penalty¬†

Incorporated into the Year 11 MSS Programme is an exploration and study of a variety of religious beliefs and teaching in order to provide students who do not study Religious Education GCSE with their statutory Religious Education provision.  

External Visitors:

Learning is further enhanced through our provision of external visitors whose expertise supports the subjects students explore.  In Year 9 all students will receive a visit based around mental health and wellbeing along with a performance from The Solomon Theatre company based around binge drinking which is followed by an interactive workshop.  In Year 11 we invite a former Police Officer in to deliver a session on drugs and the law.