Although not a curriculum subject, SMSC (standing for social, moral, spiritual and cultural) education is a strand that runs through all of our learning. We believe that is it essential that children are educated in these areas to prepare them as active positive citizens of the world and to put their learning in context. It is for this reason that SMSC is identified on all planning to facilitate the above.
Below is a description of each area.
Pupils develop what they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities. This starts with understanding the responsibilities and rights of being members of our class community as well as our school community. To be able to express opinions, respect other peers’ views by appreciating the similarities and differences of an individual. Children need to learn how to work with others for the common good and not for personal gain so they are successful collaborators. This fosters a strong community unit which will be able to focus on the needs of the environment and understand the bigger picture of how society functions. A willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively is central to what we model.
Pupils make responsible moral decisions and act on them every day. They must understand that their behaviours and actions have consequences. Within the community of the classroom children have all acknowledged their input of responsibilities to earn the right to learn and stay safe. Expectations are explicitly clear and children successfully follow them to create an effective learning culture. In lessons there will be the opportunity to develop the ‘conscience’ of each child by posing dilemmas and deciding on the right choices. Reasoned views, and an appreciation of others viewpoints, gives moral substance and depth to youngsters. We model a foundation of tolerance, equality, security and justice being recognised. This will help them when discussing complex issues of moral conflict. The ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England, will stand them in good stead for secondary and beyond.
Children are encouraged to reflect on their own beliefs, religious or otherwise. We do this to inform and challenge their own perspectives on life and to develop and interest in, and a respect for, different people’s feelings, beliefs and values. We believe children need to have a clear sense of ‘self’ and that they are unique. In doing this they will need to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. They will also recognise the need to achieve by developing their emotional intelligence so they can make a positive contribution to their community as a learning environment. In lessons there should be ‘Awe and Wonder’ so appreciation can be gained through a variety of aesthetic experiences. Children can respond when learning through theme, through resources in order to develop their knowledge of know-how and create an effective critical thinker. Curiosity will always be celebrated. Imagination and creativity are encouraged in all aspects of school.
Children must develop an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others. They need to have a respect for and take great pride in their own culture and understanding where they belong – their ‘Britishness’ in a local aspect as well as National and Global community. This will support our children in becoming Global citizens and enable them to make informed decisions as an adult, which in turn, will have a greater impact on our world. Difference and diversity are recognised and celebrated. This can be seen in children’s tolerance and attitudes towards other groups. Cultural development is rooted in preparation for life in modern Britain.
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