SMSC and British Values
Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural Development
At Locks Heath Infant school we want our children to work together in our community as thoughtful, responsible citizens. Our aim is to build upon their personal and social skills in order for them to learn effectively and grow their character. We aim for the children to know what each aspect of SMSC is about (at an age appropriate level) and for them to understand how their learning in each area will help them now and in later life. Through building children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, we will prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.
Our SMSC intent is designed to encourage children to:
- be reflective about beliefs, values and experiences
- develop and apply an understanding of right and wrong
- develop their own spiritual awareness and their enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves
- appreciate the world around them and develop an enquiring mind
- participate in a range of activities requiring social skills, working with different groups within and beyond our school community
- develop an awareness of and respect for diversity and to celebrate differences
- respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities and traditions
- develop the skills and attitudes to enable them to have a caring, responsible and respectful attitude towards others
- understand and appreciate different cultures within our school and further afield
We aim to embed children’s understanding of SMSC through a whole-school approach that ensures that opportunities to promote SMSC are capitalised upon, as they naturally arise, as well as through opportunities that are explicitly planned for.
We actively promote SMSC as part of a broad and balanced curriculum. Our curriculum provides highly positive and memorable experiences to promote this area of personal development. Subject leaders highlight opportunities to develop SMSC linked to their planning where there are good connections to be made.
As a ‘reading school’ we have invested in quality texts that support children’s development in SMSC, including British Values. Our library and classroom book corners, our bank of PSHE and RSE books for teachers to share with the children as well as our ‘Book talk’ books all help children to engage in discussion of themes related to these areas of personal development. The children are encouraged to identify and talk about these important themes and relate them to their own experiences and that of others. They make comparisons between texts they have read and return to books frequently in order to uncover meanings, morals and understand more fully any unfamiliar topics.
Our PSHE programme, Jigsaw, has SMSC as an integral part of the planning, and the programme includes information on the coverage of the different aspects of SMSC. Mindfulness and many other activities within and beyond the curriculum also support children’s SMSC development.
A significant contribution is also made by our school ethos and effective relationships throughout the school. Our ethos stems from our vision of ‘Learning together on a voyage of discovery’. Our learning values, as shown on our compass, are our guiding principles at the heart of everything we do. Part of our implementation of SMSC is through strong links with our learning values. We focus on certain aspects of SMSC in line with our Learning Value focus when it fits.
Autumn 1 - 'Working together' (Social)
Autumn 2 - 'Everyone caring' (Moral + revisit Social)
Spring 1 - ‘Seeking to find out’ (Cultural)
Spring 2 - ‘Seeking to find out’ continued (Spiritual)
Summer 1 + 2 – ‘Never giving up’ (Revisit all areas of SMSC as they fit naturally)
These links are driven through our assembly strategy and the children are made aware of the learning value and aspect of SMSC in focus through our collective worship themes. These connections are also made clear to the children visually on our Learning Value compass charts that are displayed in every classroom and in all shared areas around the school.
We have four characters to help the children understand the four different elements of SMSC. These are Sammy the social stag beetle, Milo the moral millipede, Susie the spiritual spider and Cora the cultural caterpillar. Each class has a set of these ‘toy’ characters and they are used to support the children’s understanding of SMSC in a child-friendly and age appropriate way. When trying to resolve a disagreement after playtime, teachers might say “Let’s get Milo and see if he can help us make the right choice”. The characters are also used to support discussions and time for reflection in assemblies.
These characters feature on SMSC displays in every classroom. Our whole school approach is to display, on an SMSC ‘tree’, photographs depicting experiences and stories that the children have engaged in, within each aspect. The pictures on the displays are often accompanied with quotes from the children as we frequently capture pupil voice following discussions.
British Values Statement
The Department for education have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated in 2014. In line with children’s Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development we actively promote British values as part of working together in our community and preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.
We want our children to have a clear understanding of what it means to be a British citizen.
The British Values are promoted throughout the year linked to our everyday school routines and ethos, events that happen as part of life in an infant school and when reflecting on events that are in the news. We also plan opportunities to promote British Values through the curriculum and through specific events. See British values Overview for details of examples of how The Fundamental British values are implemented across the school.