The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each child is recognised as being of fundamental importance for the education of all children by Governors, staff and parents of our school. It is taught not only through all subjects, in particular Religious Education (R.E.) and Personal, Social, Health and Relationship education (PSHRE), but also through the school ethos.
It supports all areas of learning and can contribute to the child’s motivation to learn. It is recognised that such development will be most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by the staff provide a model of behaviour for the children. To support our teaching of British Values and enhance our SMSC ethos, we not only promote these values through our curriculum, we explicitly teach specific values each half term. This helps our children to understand some key values and identify that many of the same values are important for people regardless of background, culture, faith or beliefs.
At Priestsic Primary and Nursery School we recognise the importance of our role in developing children’s awareness and acceptance of others. We also recognise that some of their existing knowledge or beliefs in regards to the protected characteristics need challenging. We do this by educating them in an age appropriate way, showing children that regardless of background they share many similarities and that everyone can be both successful and achieve.
We continually review the needs of our children, our community, as well as current global issues, so that we can plan careful learning opportunities and experiences that will prepare our children with values for life.
Throughout all subjects we ensure that children are taught to challenge stereotypes and are educated to value and respect differences; including those reflected within the nine protected characteristics. With this in mind, texts, story books and significant people as understudies (across all subjects), are carefully chosen to provide our children with opportunities for discussion in order for them to learn and appreciate that differences are not a barrier to relationships, achievement or success.
What is SMSC?
Spiritual Development relates to the quest for individual identity and the search for meaning and purpose in our existence. It is associated with a dimension of life which is not necessarily experienced through the physical senses, but has much to do with feelings and emotions, and attitudes and beliefs. Spiritual development is not solely linked to a particular doctrine or faith and is therefore accessible to everyone.
Moral Development is concerned with fundamental decisions about how we should behave and act and the reasons for such behaviour and decisions. It relates to the child’s developing understanding of what is ‘right’, ‘wrong’ and ‘fair’. Moral development in school tries to build upon the child’s experience in the home, accepting that there might be different approaches between home and school.
Social Development is concerned with the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to live and function effectively in society. In school we build on and support the functions of the home and wider community by helping to prepare our children to live in society.
Cultural Development allows the child to recognise that all cultural groups are distinctive. Culture is the embodiment of shared beliefs, knowledge, customs and values of that group. The child needs to appreciate the distinctive features of their own culture and those of others. This will help children to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Where do I fit in?”
What are British Values?
Being Part of Britain
As a school we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions and customs throughout the year; including, harvest festival, Remembrance Day, May Day, Easter services and Christmas celebrations! We also value and celebrate national, charity and sporting events.
Learning about being part of Britain is also part of our school curriculum and is taught in Early Years as they learn to understand the World they live in and through both Geography and History at Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1).
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard
Obvious examples are our school council and eco school committee. The election of the School Council members and eco committee members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates explain why they would like the role, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative and pupils vote in secret.
Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are:
The Rule of Law.
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. The school has a set of values which children learn and follow from Nursery. Rewards and sanctions are consistent throughout the school to encourage children to follow these values.
Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken.
These values are reinforced in different ways, including:
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs:
Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource, a religious belief or whatever. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.
This is also enhanced:
Children gather daily, either as a class, a key stage or the whole school. These times include carefully planned assemblies to deliver the key British Values themes or themes based on the social and emotional aspects of learning, assemblies to promote religious holidays or times to sing or reflect as a group.