Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC) and British Values at Whitwell Primary School
SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Ofsted’s definition of SMSC is as follows:
'Exploring beliefs and experiences; respecting faiths, feelings and values; enjoying learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; using imagination and being creative; reflection.'
At Whitwell Primary School, SMSC underpins much of what we do. We recognise that the personal development of the children – spiritually, morally, socially and culturally – plays a significant role in their ability to learn, and to grow into well rounded members of society.
We aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:
Spiritual Development – the children’s beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for other people’s beliefs and values. We promote this through the following:
Moral Development – a child’s understanding, attitude and behaviour to what is right and what is wrong. This is developed through the following:
Social Development – a child’s progressive acquisition of the competencies and qualities needed to play a full part in society. We promote this through the following:
Cultural Development – a child’s understanding of the beliefs, values and customs in their own and others social, ethnic and national groups. We promote this through:
We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our children. The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities.
‘British Values’ have been identified as:
Democracy: The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. We ensure that children are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. We empower our children by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty. We have an active School Council.
Rule of Law: We involve children in setting codes of behaviour; helping children to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. Children are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We can help many children to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables children to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Individual Liberty: Children are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each child to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights. Many of our children will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes certain responsibilities. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We support others by participating in charitable events such as Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Children in Need. We believe that promoting a caring and helpful environment and being independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Mutual Respect: Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Within school, children work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted. This may include working with external coaches, theatre groups etc. The curriculum is personalised and planned for children and may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the site and going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include community events and shared participation with other schools. We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the community as the children, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs: Whitwell is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we are keen on promoting diversity with the children. Assemblies are planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE and PSHE teaching reinforce this.
We are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all children’ experiences and awareness of others. For example, children have visited many local places. As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ‘team spirit’.
The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the children at Whitwell Primary are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.