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Verwood Church of England First School and Nursery

SMSC/British Values

SMSC & British Values at Verwood C of E First School & Nursery

What is SMSC?

SMSC is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school. SMSC is crucial for every child and important for society as a whole. It is the heart of what education is all about; helping pupils grow and develop as people and effective participants in modern Britain. This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning embedded in all aspects of school life. It should be present in individual lessons, extra-curricular activities, collective worships, attitudes and behaviour in school.

Some opportunities lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE & Relationships education and RE learning opportunities, but SMSC can be developed in all subjects and many of aspects of school life (please see separate document that outlines how SMSC features across the various curriculum subject areas). We recognise that the personal development of children, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. 

Ofsted have provided the following definitions:

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, cooperating 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.

As articulated in the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy of 2011 we have a focus on the fundamental British values which are: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and belief. It is a requirement that schools promote ‘British values’ at every level, including through their SMSC development, the curriculum and school leadership. Actively promoting the values means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. In 2014, the Department for Education told all schools to promote ‘British values’ and advised that this is done through SMSC.

Impact of SMSC

Spiritual Development 

  • Children start to show empathy, start to relax and show ability to reflect on their own and others’ achievements. 
  • Pupils develop attitudes, values and principles. 
  • There is an increased ability for them to empathise with others and see beyond the self. 
  • Pupils have a first-hand experience of places of religious worship. 
  • A respect for themselves and others. 
  • An awareness and understanding of their own and other’s beliefs.    
  • They experience opportunities for awe and wonder.         

Moral Development

  • Pupils have more confidence in themselves and in their community. 
  • Pupils are able to give reasons for things being right and wrong. 
  • Pupils make the right choices and a positive atmosphere pervades. 
  • Pupils look after each other and take responsibility for each other; any conflicts are resolved quickly and effectively. 
  • Pupils have very clear values which impact on their behaviour; they have a definite sense of what is right and what is wrong. 
  • Pupils enjoy celebrating others achievements and have opportunities to feel proud of themselves and others.     

Social Development

  • Pupils are able to socialise with a wide range of people. 
  • We receive positive comments from the community when we go on trips and when we receive visitors. 
  • Pupils build relationships and friendships and can sustain these relationships. 
  • Close-knit school community. 
  • Widening of pupil horizons. 
  • Pupils feel they have a say in their school. 
  • Pupils exercise responsibility.     

Cultural Development

  • Pupils are aware and respect people from different cultural backgrounds which help to contribute to a positive atmosphere in school. 
  • Pupils have an understanding of a world beyond their immediate doorstep.  
  • Pupils feel they have opportunities to showcase their diverse talents and feel valued for this. 
  • Pupils show curiosity about the world in which they live.