Social Moral Spiritual & Cultural and British Values
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development (SMSC) and British Values at Moat House Primary School
At Moat House Primary School, we strive to promote our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and their physical well-being, enabling them to develop into healthy, active and engaged citizens. Here at Moat House Primary School, we are not only committed to our school and local communities, we understand and recognise that we are part of the wider community of the world!
What is SMSC?
SMSC is the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children in our school. SMSC is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning that should be present in lessons and in the behaviour throughout the school. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum. We aim and plan to incorporate SMSC across all subjects in the curriculum. We also aim to develop SMSC through behaviour expectations and our attitudes in school, as well as by actively promoting fundamental British values.
Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experiences; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral: Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views and have an appreciation of British Values.
Social: Investigate social and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.
Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
To see the definitions of SMSC provided by Ofsted in the Ofsted School inspection handbook November 2019, please see the document at the bottom of the page entitled ‘Ofsted Definitions of SMSC’.
The DfE guidance for schools on SMSC (November 2014) is based on the Government’s Prevent Strategy (see the document below entitled ‘Prevent at Moat House’ for further details), which requires schools to explore ‘the precious liberties enjoyed by the citizens of the United Kingdom’. In order to ensure this, Moat House Primary does not only promote good social, moral, spiritual and cultural values within school, we also promote the following fundamental British values: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual liberty, Mutual respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
SMSC and the promotion of British values has a key part to play in educating children in order to produce a safe, equitable and just society. Government guidance has stressed the importance that SMSC has to play in preventing extremism and helping children and young people to build resilience to grooming and radicalisation.
At Moat House Primary School, we reinforce these values regularly in many different ways. For detailed information about how British values are incorporated into Moat House’s curriculum, please see the document at the bottom of the page entitled ‘British Values at Moat House Primary School’.
Statement of Intent
At Moat House Primary School, we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We have designed our SMSC curriculum with the intent that our children will become resilient, independent, well-rounded learners. Our children will develop the skills to be reflective, enabling children to develop an understanding of their own and others’ feelings and emotions and the way in which our actions impact on other people. In our school’s inclusive environment, our pupils will learn and develop the necessary skills to be successful, moral adults who are equipped with the secure foundations to lead a successful life in modern day Britain. We aim to inspire children to have high aspirations to make positive contributions to their school community and wider community, always setting high aspirations for themselves.
At Moat House Primary School, we want children to:
- Be respectful and reflective about their own beliefs, and those of others locally, nationally and globally;
- Be informed and fascinated by diversity;
- Be imaginative and creative;
- Recognise right and wrong, understand the consequences of their actions, and respect the law;
- Be able to discuss ethical and moral issues in a reasoned manner;
- Use social skills in a range of situations;
- Want to help others in the immediate and wider communities;
- Demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to, the principles of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and tolerance of others (otherwise referred to as ‘British Values’);
- Appreciate that there are many cultures, all of which are shaped by others and which continuously develop and interlink in modern Britain;
- Have a basic understanding of the parliamentary system of government;
- Have opportunities to experience and take part in a wide range of cultural activities, such as sport, drama, art, dance and music.
- Have opportunities to meet different people and find out about different careers and choices.
Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE and RE, however we aim and plan to incorporate SMSC across all subjects in the curriculum. In EYFS and Key Stage 1 regular, planned circle times are used to facilitate discussions around elements of SMSC development. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, weekly PSHRE and RE lessons, class council sessions and year group assemblies – which have a focus on SMSC and British Values – provide the opportunity for children to develop thinking skills in spiritual, moral, social and moral enquiries through questioning and critical thinking.
Implementation of the behaviour policy focuses on achievements and successes of all; this is particularly effective for those that consistently follow the values of the school. There is promotion of responsibility across Key Stage 2 with classroom monitors. There is also the opportunity for children to apply for jobs that are advertised on our 'Moat House Job Centre' display. The children have to fill out an application form and may get invited to a short interview. The successful candidates, after suitable training, are appointed. The children can even earn Teacher Awards as their 'salary'. The scheme has helped to promote a sense of responsibility in the children and get them ready for the future.
Class-elected school council members throughout the school promote pupil voice on issues that affect them. School council meetings take place on a fortnightly basis; school councillors then report back to their classes during class council sessions. During class council sessions, all children have the opportunity to raise issues, share ideas and take part in discussions that involve reaching a democratic solution. Wider issues that arise at class council are discussed further at school council sessions. This ensures that as may pupil voices as possible are heard. Pupils at Moat House Primary School know that this is their school, therefore their thoughts and ideas matter.
Whole school, key stage, year group and class assemblies have a clear focus that always aim to encourage and teach on issues relating to social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning and British values. Further learning opportunities are offered to all pupils following assemblies and opportunities for them to feed back to staff.
SMSC is embedded in school life at Moat House. We offer an array of after-school clubs which reflect our pupils’ needs, interests and life goals. Many pupils are encouraged to represent their school in a range of local sporting fixtures and tournaments which boosts their confidence and broadens their experiences. Our pupils also enjoy regular days trips, residential trips and visits from outside guests. These opportunities reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom and maximises opportunities for pupils to find something they excel at: this acts as a powerful incentive for pupils to work hard to reach their own life goals. Additionally, the school has, over time, built relationships with the local community (parents, church, local businesses, local schools, organisations and charities) which it regularly calls upon to enhance pupils' learning. Furthermore, we regularly enhance our children’s knowledge and understanding of SMSC through raising awareness of and celebrating annual events throughout the year, such as World Refugee Week, International Women’s Day, Internet Safety Day and many more. We also hold various fundraising events to support a range of charities chosen by the children and within the local community.
Each week, a different class share a photograph and description of an activity that has taken place that week which had a focus on an aspect of SMSC development. These are published on the school website and can be found here. We also ensure to include a ‘Pause for Thought’ section in our weekly newsletter to encourage discussion at home around a variety of social, moral, spiritual and cultural issues. A collection of our ‘Pause for Thought’ statements can accessed through the link at the bottom of the page.
For evidence of the various ways in which SMSC is incorporated into children’s learning at Moat House Primary, please see the document at the bottom of the page entitled ‘Evidence of SMSC at Moat House Primary School’.
As a result of carefully planned SMSC provision, Moat House Primary School will be an environment where:
- Children who are happy, confident, resilient and independent;
- Positive and respectful relationships exist among pupils and with staff. As a result, children are safe and feel safe;
- Pupils are eager to come to school, have a high attendance rate and are punctual to lessons;
- Pupils behave and conduct themselves positively during the day-to-day life of the school;
- Students are engaged in and committed to their learning, have developed effective study skills, are resilient to setbacks and take pride in their achievements;
- Pupils know how to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. They have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships;
- All pupils, including the most disadvantaged, are keen to take up opportunities which enable them to develop and stretch their talents and interests (clubs, volunteering opportunities); therefore, acquiring valuable life skills which will enable them to play an active role in Britain’s modern society;
- Children have developed good social skills and are able to resolve conflicts independently;
- Students are aware of the importance of democracy. They have grown a social conscience and use their voice effectively to challenge injustice and change things for the better in their school environment and beyond.