SMSC is one of those infuriating acronyms that teachers use and presume everyone understands. It stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education. It is not taught as a lesson, rather it may be part of Religious Education, Physical Education, Personal, Social and Health Education AND part of the ethos of the school which children experience on a daily basis. SMSC is now highlighted by government as a key means of promoting basic British values and counteracting the development of religious extremism in some school settings.
Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:
- beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life & their interest in & respect for different people’s feelings & 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
Children may reflect before a visit and again after it as to what spiritual impact it had on them, for example. Children may learn that people of all faiths and people of no faith can still be spiritual beings.
Pupils’ 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
Philosophy4Children (P4C) and our work on Rights Respects and Responsibility are examples of learning in this area.
Pupils’ 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
Children mix with children from other schools and other areas through residential visits and sporting events. The school has enjoyed links with school children at Jaresu in The Gambia.
Pupils’ 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
The wide range of music, theatre and literature the children experience enhances their cultural development