Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)
SMSC at Leys Primary School
We recognise that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils is of fundamental importance in the ‘whole child’ education we strive to achieve. It is taught through every subject of the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities and in RE and PSHE.
It supports all areas of learning and is key to a child’s motivation to learn. We recognise that such development is most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by all the staff provide a model of behaviour for our pupils. In later years it can enrich the individual’s appreciation of life’s experiences and their relationships with others.
Purpose of SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Spiritual development is to do with ‘the search for meaning and purpose in life and for the values by which we live. It is about the growth of knowledge and insight into values and beliefs.’
We aim to provide a variety of experiences which give potential for the development of an awareness of self, an awareness of other people, an awareness of the natural world and the world around and an awareness of religious beliefs and practices.
Teachers are aware when situations occur in their teaching, which have the potential to give their pupils the experience of awe and wonder and they will, through such situations, help their pupils to:
- Enter into experiences fully and focus upon them in considerable depth. eg the birth of a baby in the family, the death of a favourite pet.
- Discover new facets of things which they would usually take for granted. eg looking carefully at plants or creatures to see how they have special characteristics unique to them.
- Become more aware of the natural world through the outdoor environment.
- Experience the intensity of becoming aware of things at a deeper level.
- Ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life.
- Develop personal values.
- Appreciate and reflect upon the beliefs and values of others whilst having respect for the ideas of people from different cultures.
- Value the ideas and contribution of others by listening to things which are important in their lives.
- In RE, offer opportunities for our pupils to consider religious beliefs and reasons for different types of behaviour.
School assemblies can:
- provide an opportunity for reflection and consideration of issues of meaning and purpose.
- primarily be of a Christian nature but recognise and draw attention to the religious beliefs of others.
- touch on the concepts of mystery, depth of feeling, relationships with others, reflection and contemplation.
Spiritual Development Practice
- We encourage pupils to take risks or face challenges in their learning within a secure and positive environment.
- We appreciate work from our pupils’ imagination and provide frequent and varied opportunities for them to use their creativity.
- We offer opportunities for aesthetic experience in art, music, drama and literature.
- We make time for stillness and reflection.
- We pose questions that encourage our pupils to consider issues of meaning and purpose.
- We aim to develop good listening skills in our pupils. In addition we show that we listen to our pupils through, for example, our responses to issues raised through the School Council.
- We help our pupils to understand that there is not always an absolute answer and that at such times it is a positive experience to value a variety of interpretations and responses.
- To improve co-operation and understanding we provide opportunities for group work where our pupils can have enjoyable and constructive interaction with each other. We often group children with others they would not usually choose as partners.
- We foster emotional well-being by encouraging our pupils to express their feelings and by having the ability to control their emotional behaviour.
- We help our pupils to develop the capacity for evaluative reasoning and critical thought by encouraging them to look beyond the surface.
These opportunities appear across the curriculum and within school activities, assemblies and extra-curricular events.
Purpose of MORAL DEVELOPMENT
Moral development relates to:
- the child’s ability to make judgements about how to behave and act and the reasons for such behaviour.
- the child’s ability to distinguish ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ and towards acting consistently with their beliefs and with a view to the consequences of their own and others’ actions.
- respect for the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- the ability to develop a personal code of behaviour ie telling the truth, being honest, respect for justice and respect for property.
The environment in which our pupils learn and the expectations within that environment will influence our pupils’ moral development.
Our teaching in any subject in the school, including in extra-curricular activities, precludes the promotion of partisan political views, and our pupils are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.
Weekly school assemblies, class assembly or circle time, can provide an opportunity for reflection and consideration of issues of a moral nature.
Moral Development Practice
- Every pupil in the school is involved in the compilation, establishment and annual review of the school’s codes of behaviour ie. ‘The Golden Rules’ and ‘Classroom Rules’.
- The school’s codes of behaviour are directly referred to by all staff with the pupil when a pupil either behaves well or behaves badly.
- We help our pupils make decisions which are acceptable to the school community and society as a whole.
- We help our pupils to realise that to enjoy rights they have to accept responsibilities.
- We encourage a sense of healthy self-esteem and personal worth.
- We help our pupils to value both mental and physical well-being, privacy, feelings, beliefs and rights of others.
- We value and help our pupils to value every individual in the school for the contribution they can make in all situations.
- Pupils are encouraged to explore their feelings in reactions to different stimuli.
- Pupils are addressed with respect by staff and are actively encouraged to express views in a positive and polite manner.
Purpose of SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Social development relates to:
- relating effectively to others.
- managing responsibility.
- participating and contributing positively within the school community and to those living and working in the local community and to society more widely.
- an understanding of citizenship.
The general school environment, its routines and structures, provides opportunities for promoting the social development of all its pupils.
Social Development Practice
- In the classroom and within extra-curricular activities our pupils are able to work in pairs and in groups on collaborative projects which require cooperation, understanding, and the ability to listen to others, to contribute and exchange ideas.
- Our pupils organise and support charity events to raise money for a variety of charities. They organize, plan and execute their ideas successfully. e.g. Jeans for Genes Day, Comic Relief, and Sports Relief.
- Classes work together to plan and deliver assemblies and productions for parents including the Y6 Leavers’ production.
- There is an ever developing extra-curricular programme of activities.
- Team games in sport assist in the development of interpersonal skills. There are a wealth of competitive matches against other local schools in many sports; netball, football, tag rugby, wheelchair basketball, golf.
- Our choir go out into the local community to visit elderly residents at Christmas, sing at Queens Hospital, Romford and participate in festivals and competitions.
- Our pupils are given the opportunity to take part in a residential school trip to Trewern Outdoor Education Centre.
- Citizenship and the rule of law, including visits from the police and fire services, is part of the PSHE curriculum. In addition we run a model democratic school ‘election’ at the start of each year (and sometimes termly) for positions of responsibility within school e.g. Trusted Pupils, School Council Representatives, Buddies and Wellbeing Champions.
Purpose of CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
We celebrate each child’s racial and cultural tradition and encourage each pupil to be proud of their heritage. Through many curriculum areas as well as extra-curricular activities, we encourage pupils to respect and appreciate the diversity and richness of the cultures and heritages different to their own and to avoid and actively resist racism.
- From 2020, (providing restrictions for Covid-19 allow) we plan to organise for pupils and staff a ‘Cultural Day’ to give the school community the opportunity to gain insight and wonder from other cultures. These are mapped out across the school and where possible help us to gain an insight into different cultures within our own school. (Of course this is a development of the many cultural texts which are at the heart of our English curriculum.)
- There are opportunities to visit places of interest to stimulate discussion of the cultural aspects of a subject eg. The local church, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, the local synagogue and Gudwara.
- Professional theatre companies, such as members of the cast from Wicked the musical, and other West End dance and drama productions, have visited Leys Primary School to support learning and provide insight to careers in the arts as a musician, dancer, singer, costume and set design, and technical crew.
- Children have experienced trips to the Broadway Theatre, Barking, for relaxation purposes and gained an awareness of how the entertainment industry can support emotional health and wellbeing.
- Artists with specific skills visit the school and share their expertise and history with our pupils. In recent years we have welcomed M.G. Leonard author of Beetle Boy triology; Gary Parsons, illustrator of the Dragonsitter series and Jerome Monahan from the Wooden World 1805 Society.
- Our pupils experience the culture of other nations through celebrating their festivals eg Chinese New Year; we take a timely approach to this and plan for it as part of the delivery of the wider curriculum.
- Aspects of other cultures are shown to pupils eg dance from Asia or South America, cooking from China.