Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) and British Values

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC)

 We provide a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum within which we promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, preparing them for the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities that life offers. Our work in this area has been judged as outstanding in our recent Church School Inspection (SIAMS, 2018): ‘Children have an outstanding range of social, moral, spiritual and cultural experiences from which to draw and they talk convincingly about how their rich experiences help them understand how the world works.

Definitions

As a school we have agreed ‘working definitions’ for each area of our SMSC curriculum to enable us to have a better shared understanding of these areas and to make them more accessible to children:

Spiritual development: Exploring the mysteries of life and how these guide and connect us

Moral development: Recognising the difference between right and wrong

Social development: Getting along with each other

Cultural development: Appreciating what shapes our communities 

 

Underpinning these ’working definitions’ is a deeper definition and understanding that enables leaders to provide a rich SMSC curriculum:

Spiritual development Spirituality is the interaction of four key elements – Self, Others, World and Beyond - with love at the centre binding them together:

  • Self Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of self – the inner person and the way that this shapes an individual’s perception of themselves as a unique human being. Spiritual learners reflect on the relationship that they have with their sense of being a unique person.
  • Others Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of others – a growing empathy, concern and compassion for how to treat others. Spiritual learners reflect on how their values and principles affect their relationships with others.
  • World and Beauty Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of a physical and creative world – a growing relationship with beauty through the ability to respond emotionally to experiences of the wonder of the natural world and the results of human creativity. Spiritual learners explore their understanding of beauty and the effect this has on their perception of and relationship with the world.
  • Beyond Spiritual learners become increasingly aware of the concept of the beyond – a growing relationship with the transcendental and the ability to explore experiences beyond the everyday. Spiritual learners search for meaning in their very existence and their place in the greater scheme of things.

(Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education 2012, Andrew and Sarah Rickett; Derek Holloway)

Moral development is the ability of children to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily applying this understanding to their own lives and, in so doing, respecting the civil and criminal law of England and understanding the consequences of their behaviour and actions. It is also the ability of children to develop an interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole, using a range of social skills in different contexts, including willingly working and socialising with people from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, able to resolve conflict effectively. It also involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all its aspects so that children can participate fully and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. This includes accepting and engaging with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Cultural development is about children understanding and appreciating the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others and the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain. It includes children’s knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain. It is also about children’s willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities. It includes children’s interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

 

How is the development of SMSC planned for?

It is clear from the definitions that there will be an overlap between the different aspects of SMSC and that our provision will often develop pupils in more than one area. The following table identifies some of the ways in which we deliberately plan wide-ranging opportunities to promote SMSC and build a curriculum that prepares all pupils for life:

 

Spiritual

Moral

Social

Cultural

Values consistently promoted, discussed and explored through worship

x

x

x

x

Pupils supported and trained to lead their own acts of worship

x

x

x

x

A range of after school clubs

x

x

x

x

Promotion of our behaviour and anti-bullying policy (including certificates and awards and class codes of conduct)

x

x

x

x

Broad, rich taught curriculum (topic led approach to learning)

x

x

x

x

Buddy system  (mixed age social/learning development and mentoring scheme, including learning how to be a good role model and mentor)

x

x

x

 

Charity work and links (including through the House system, individual class and school charity fundraising events)

x

x

x

x

Children’s performances   (e.g. Music concerts to the school and local organisations, termly class assemblies to parents)

x

 

x

x

Class spiritual tables

x

x

x

 

Collective worship

x

x

x

x

Educational visits

x

x

x

x

ELSA / home school link workers  (1:1 support and specific interventions, including social skills, anger management, bereavement group etc)

x

x

x

x

Promotion of a ‘Growth Mindsets’ approach

x

     

Home school agreement

 

x

x

 

House system, including interviews, voting and election of House Captains linked to British democratic processes (linked to behaviour rewards and charity work)

 

x

x

x

Links with other schools

x

x

x

x

Marking and feedback (including self/peer evaluation and assessment; children working with peers and sometimes across age groups to evaluate learning and progress)

x

 

x

 

Outdoor learning (Trailblazer curriculum and special days e.g. Get a grown up growing day, Celebrating God’s world day, leading the Pollinator Promise national and international campaign)

x

x

x

x

PSHE curriculum

x

x

x

x

Prayer (opportunities for children’s own prayers in class and through prayer box – for themselves, others and the world; prayer garden; daily class prayer routines; parent led prayer group using children’s prayers, prayer station school community events)

x

 

x

 

RE curriculum and visits (e.g. Hindu temple, St Alban’s Church visits)

x

x

x

x

Residential visits (sharing sites with other schools)

x

x

x

x

School council

x

x

x

 

Staff training in aspects of promoting SMSC

x

x

x

x

Termly school Eucharist service (led by St Alban’s clergy)

x

     

Themed days/weeks/days (e.g. Flying high challenge days, Book week, Sports day)

x

x

x

x

Values driven school ethos:  ‘Inspired to make a difference in God’s world with excellence and love.’   Specific values of love, hope, thankfulness and compassion promoted through worship, curriculum, newsletters etc.

x

x

x

x

 

What is the impact of planned provision for pupils?

Spiritual

February 2018 SIAMS Inspection Outstanding judgement:  ‘Collective worship provides outstanding opportunities for celebration and expression, leading to profound spiritual development’.

Moral

Lesson observations and learning walks indicate that children have a strong understanding of right and wrong, applying this readily to their own behaviour. As a result behaviour in lessons and around the school is excellent, as are relationships. In lessons children are keen to engage in discussions about moral dilemmas and issues and recognise that moral development is an important aspect of their lives.   They demonstrate high levels of engagement in charity work, often initiating fundraising activities for specific causes themselves and organising events. ‘The student council is involved in significant decision making across the school, including decisions on a variety of policies and which charities to support. As a result, children support a wide range of charities... These initiatives help children to appreciate that they have social responsibility both locally and globally, which is based in Christian mission to others.’ (SIAMS Report, Feb 2018)

Social

Children’s behaviour across the school is excellent due to a focus on developing their social skills and abilities to work with others. Children consistently receive positive feedback from visitors to the school and adults they meet on educational visits, demonstrating their extremely good social skills with many different people and in different settings. Children can quickly form good relationships with a variety of children from other schools when they have spent time on residential visits and when they have taken part in projects and events involving a number of other schools. Children for whom social relationships are a challenge make very good progress in developing their skills through intervention and support. ‘Children are developing into confident, thoughtful and highly reflective young people who show complete respect for diverse communities.’ (SIAMS Report, Feb 2018)

Cultural

A large number of children participate enthusiastically in cultural pursuits and achieve very high standards, particularly in music and sport. The school has been particularly successful in competitive events such as Hockey and individual children have been recognised locally for their individual success in other areas such as Athletics. A large number of children take up musical opportunities offered, and musicians across the school perform to a very high standard and a very large number of children join the choir each year.  Many children have a personal faith and also show a keen interest in learning about the beliefs of others. Children’s abilities to question individuals about their beliefs with enthusiasm and sensitivity as they progress through the school have been noted to be extremely good (e.g. Hindu Temple visit in Year 4, Y6 Interfaith conference). By the time children leave the school, they have a good understanding of the British democratic system and show a great deal of respect for the process and outcomes of elections held at school (e.g. House Captains, School Council).

 

 

 British Values at St Alban’s CE Aided Primary School

‘Inspired to make a difference in God’s world with excellence and love’

 

Through our promotion of Christian and British values we believe that we are able to equip children with the understanding, attitudes and values necessary to be able to make a positive difference in the world as they progress through life.   We actively promote British values in the following ways:

 

Democracy

  • Throughout our curriculum children are encouraged to debate topics of interest and make decisions about aspects of their learning.  Through these opportunities children are taught how to express their own views and how to listen carefully and respectfully to the views of others.   We believe that children must develop these skills in order to be able to contribute as active and responsible participants in democratic decision -making. 
  • Children make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve them through the School Council and House Captain systems.  School Councillors from every class are democratically elected after standing for election.  The school council then seek feedback from their peers through surveys and questionnaires to help them plan projects collaboratively as a group.   House Captains also stand for election and lead their houses in projects they have decided on, often relating to charity fund raising etc.
  • Children have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires and interviews about key areas of school life.
  • Children are regularly involved in democratic decision making in their own classes linked to daily class routines (for example, procedures for the management of classroom playground equipment to allow fair access for all children, choice of rewards etc).  Through opportunities such as these children learn to understand that their vote is important and also how to accept and co-operate with a decision that has been agreed by the majority but that they did not vote for.
    • We discuss national and local elections with children and use these to highlight and teach children about electoral systems and democratic processes, including visiting the Houses of Parliament. We also give children opportunities to meet with and question a variety of people involved in democratic systems and processes (e.g. local MP, Mayor of Havant).

The rule of law

  • Our PSHE curriculum provides many opportunities for children to develop a good understanding of right and wrong through the moral choices and dilemmas presented to them.   They also explore the consequences of choices.
  • Through the PE curriculum children are taught from very early on the importance of respecting rules to be a ‘good sport’.
  • Our behaviour expectations are high and children know that there are consequences for not following these.  Staff discuss the consequences of poor choices with children and especially in terms of how this impacts on other members of the school community.
  • Children create their own class code of conduct each year and understand the importance of a shared code to protect the rights of all members of the class and to keep them safe.  Rewards and sanctions reinforce both the positive and negative consequences for keeping or not keeping rules and children learn how to take collective responsibility for keeping rules through shared class rewards.
  • Children in Year 6 attend the ‘Junior Citizen’ event each year, which gives them a good overview of the many services working in society to keep us safe and protect us, including the police.  PCO’s and the Fire Service have also visited the school.
  • The RE curriculum allows children to explore the role of laws and rules in a religious context.

Individual liberty

  • We promote individual liberty within the context of an individual person’s relationship with other people through our core Christian value of LOVE:  ‘It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows.’ (Galatians 5:13, The Message bible).  
  • Through collective worship and the promotion of our Christian values we teach children that every individual is unique, special and loved by God and free to have their own beliefs and opinions.  Alongside this, we teach that individual liberties should not compromise the rights of others.
  • Children are taught how to make independent choices safely, for example through our PSHE and e-safety curriculum.
  • Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express personal views and beliefs, giving children regular opportunities within our curriculum and provision to be able to do this.  For example:
    • choosing tasks or learning activities, including how they might record or present their learning and who they might work or play with;
    • choices in the extra-curricular activities children can participate in;
    • choosing their own learning targets;
    • being free to share their own thoughts during class discussions and debates and during collective worship, including planning and leading their own worship.
    • We teach children about the beliefs and faiths of other people living in Britain through our RE curriculum and give children opportunities to develop and consider their own beliefs and opinions and make decisions about what is important to them (including within the PSHE curriculum and collective worship).
    • All staff actively challenge any behaviour, attitudes or comments that compromise any person’s freedoms to hold their own beliefs and our behaviour and anti-bullying policy set high standards in this for all members of our school.

Mutual respect for, and tolerance of, those with different faiths

and beliefs and for those without faith

  • We teach mutual respect and tolerance through our core value of LOVE and expect all members of our community, both children and adults, to ‘treat others as you want to be treated,’ Luke 6, v 31.  Collective worship themes in particular focus on teaching children about this.
  • Staff and pupils are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour and know and respect our very high behaviour expectations in relation to relationship with others.
  • Across all areas of the curriculum we teach teamwork, collaboration and co-operation based on mutual respect for all.
  • Our ‘buddy scheme’ teaches children how to support each other and respect their views (Year 1 and 5, Year R and 6).
  • Through our PSHE curriculum children learn about their own identity, what makes them special and how everyone is different but equal.
  • Through the RE curriculum children learn about other religions and have opportunities to meet and talk to people with different religious beliefs (e.g. Buddhist monk, Hindu visitor, visiting a Hindu temple) and to put into practice mutual respect and tolerance.
  • The St Alban’s ‘Interfaith Conference’ enables children to hear from different religious leaders and meet with children from other schools with a range of socio-economic, ethnic and faith backgrounds to discuss and share views in relation to ‘big questions’. 

 

 

PREVENT duty

Our SMSC development and promotion of Christian and British Values contributes strongly to our work in meeting the PREVENT duty.  Please click on the link below to find out more.

PREVENT duty leaflet for parents