SMSC and British Values
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural
At Upton Cross, we believe in building a community of caring, compassionate, respectful and highly motivated children who will grow up into strong members of society.
Our school curriculum is planned to support this, and enriched with a wealth of opportunities for pupils to learn and play together, to take part in a wide variety of cultural activities, and to mix with people of other ages, cultures and faiths in order to develop understanding and interest in the world.
We aim to give our children the very best, and to ensure this we consider others’ views of what the very best is.
The OFSTED handbook identifies outstanding provision for SMSC in these terms;
‘The school’s curriculum: provides highly positive, memorable experiences and rich opportunities for high quality learning; has a very positive impact on all pupils’ behaviour and safety; and contributes very well to pupils’ achievement and to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The school’s thoughtful and wide ranging promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development enables them to thrive in a supportive, highly cohesive learning community. Consequently, pupils and groups of pupils have excellent experiences at school, ensuring that they are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment.’
SMSC is defined in these ways:
Spiritual – belief, kindness, awe and wonder, reflection
The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:
- ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
- sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
- use of imagination and creativity in their learning
- willingness to reflect on their experiences.
Spiritual development is the development of the non-material element of a human being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view; either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s “spirit”. Some people may call it the development of a pupil’s “soul”; others as the development of “personality” or “character”
Moral – lesson learned, environment, eco team, nature, peace, world help, rights and responsibilities
The moral development of pupils is shown by their:
- ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
- understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
- interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
Moral development is about the building, by pupils, of a framework of moral values which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. It is about understanding that there are issues where there is disagreement and it is also about understanding that society’s values change. Moral development is about gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range. It is also about developing an opinion about the different views.
Social – community, people around you, discussion, how to get on, citizenship, friendship skills, keeping safe
The social development of pupils is shown by their:
- use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
- willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
- acceptance and engagement 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; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together. It is about functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. It involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all its aspects. This includes understanding people as well as understanding society’s institutions, structures and characteristics, economic and political principles and organisations, roles and responsibilities and life as a citizen, parent and worker in the community. It also involves the development of the interpersonal skills necessary for successful relationships.
Cultural – people around the world, environment, different countries, faiths/religions
The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:
- understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
- understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
- knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
- willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
- 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.
Cultural development is about pupils’ understanding their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the internet. It is about understanding that cultures are always changing and coping with change. Promoting pupils’ cultural development is ultimately linked with schools’ attempts to value cultural diversity and prevent racism.
At Upton Cross, SMSC is sometimes taught discretely, and sometimes through other subjects. It is interwoven with the drive to promote positive relationships with all people, to ensure that extremism and radicalization is addressed early, and to engage 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; identified by the Government as British Values.’ OFSTED Handbook
We hope that our pupils will grow into confident, responsible, respectful and active members of society who are able to take their place in the world and go on to great and exciting things.