What is SMSC?
It is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school. This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning that should be present in lessons and behaviour in school. Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE, Philosophy for Children and RE. We also aim to develop SMSC through worship, behaviour expectations and our attitudes in school. (Ofsted have provided definitions which are below)
As articulated in the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy of 2011 we have a focus on the core British values which are: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and belief.
Through our SMSC provision we:
Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect their own and other cultures.
Encourage respect for other people.
Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect on the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
This underpins our ethos to developing SMSC in school. We ensure opportunities for developing the British Values through our SMSC. To see examples that relate to the British Values specifically please see the document below (British Value Development Opportunities)
How do we ensure there are opportunities for SMSC development?
At St Mark’s Primary School we recognise that the personal development of
children, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in
their ability to learn and achieve. We want to give each child the opportunity to explore social and moral issue; develop a sense of social and moral responsibility and promote the British Values. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:
Their own values and beliefs
Their own spiritual awareness
Their own high standards of personal behaviour
Their team and collaborative skills
A positive, caring attitude towards other people
An understanding of their social and cultural traditions
An understanding of democratic processes and the law in England
An appreciation and acceptance of the diversity and richness of their cultures
Their opportunities to experience other cultures
Their ability to celebrate each other’s successes
Their access to a range of educational visits
Our opportunities for SMSC development are continuously changing and evolving. We also have an SMSC Strategy Team who meet half termly to ensure the strategic direction of SMSC in school. To see examples that relate to SMSC specifically see the document below (SMSC Development Opportunities)
Links with the Wider Community
Visitors are welcomed into our school
Links with the local churches are fostered
Visits to places of worship of other faiths will be arranged to support the understanding of different cultures
The school supports the work of a variety of charities
The development of a strong home-school agreement is regarded as very important, enabling parents and teachers to work in an effective partnership to support the children
Children will be taught to appreciate and take responsibility for their local environment
Liaison with local secondary schools to support the primary curriculum and effective transition, takes place regularly
Eco and Junior Citizens programme with Bromley
How do we record and evidence our SMSC development in school?
We have an electronic grid which tracks the progress and evidence of our SMSC development. It is split into the Ofsted success criteria and shows how we develop each criteria. The evidence is dated and also shows how our SMSC provision changes over time.
Showing the impact of SMSC
We also use interviews and questionnaires to see the impact on the children’s development. We also look at their reflection books which they can use during PSHE and Philosophy for Children lessons. We also give questionnaires to staff about how it impacts on the children’s development to give us the whole picture from different points of view.
Ofsted Definitions of SMSC
Spiritual development is shown by their:
beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values
sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible
use of imagination and creativity in their learning
willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Moral development is shown by their:
ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
understanding of the consequences of their actions
interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.
Social development is shown by their:
use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.
Cultural development is shown by their:
understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.