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 beliefs.
Through our SMSC provision we:
Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect democratic processes and the civil and criminal law of England.
Encourage pupils 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 pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
Encourage respect for other people and further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures.
This underpins our ethos to develop SMSC in school. We ensure opportunities for developing British Values through our SMSC and PSHE lessons and whole school practice. For example, we have pupil-elected House Captains and a School Council to represent pupils, raise issues and suggest ideas for improvement. We participate in local citizenship workshops and partake in workshops run by our local police to deepen pupils' understanding of rules and laws. Pupils learn about the importance of charity through PSHE lessons and they make donations (for example, to our local Food Bank at harvest) so that they think about others in their locality and further afield. Pupils learn to understand that they have rights and personal freedoms, independent decision-making and responsibilities, however, that they also learn to exercise such freedoms wisely and safely (for example, through online safety lessons and assemblies which teach about 'Education in a Connected World'). Respect is one of our five school values; as a diverse school community, we celebrate our different backgrounds and cultures through festivals, celebrations and themed weeks. Pupils also share their cultures and faiths through RE and PSHE lessons.
How do we ensure that there are opportunities for SMSC development?
At Whitehall Junior 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 issues; develop a sense of social and moral responsibility and promote 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.
Links with the Wider Community
Visitors are welcomed into our school
Links with the local churches and other faith communities 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 our local secondary school to support the primary curriculum and effective transition takes place regularly
Junior Citizens programme with Hillingdon
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, co-operate 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.