SMSC & British Values
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
In contrast to the policies for specific curriculum subjects, the development of SMSC relates to the whole life of the school. Of particular importance in promoting spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) is the example set by adults in the school, the quality of relationships and the standard of daily collective worship. The development of positive values and attitudes is intrinsically linked with spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Stapeley Broad Lane C E School is proud of its formal links with the Church of England in general and specifically with Chester Diocesan Board of Education and St Chad's Church, Wybunbury.
Spiritual development is the ability of reflect upon and to express emotions which relate to questions about the way we live our lives and react to others. Understanding of self and others is at the heart of spiritual development and is not linked solely to a particular doctrine or faith. Spiritual development is, therefore, accessible to everyone. All areas of the curriculum contribute to pupils' spiritual development.
As a church school, we place special emphasis on the specific teaching and beliefs of the Christian faith, both within the daily life of the school and through the curriculum.
Acquiring a knowledge and understanding of what is right and wrong is central to moral development. It is the basis upon which the pupils may develop the ability to make judgements about how to behave and it is the standpoint from which to consider the behaviour of others in school and society in general.
The system of rules and codes of behaviour established in our school is an important early introduction to issues of fairness for all and to the consequences of operating outside the accepted rule system. Pupils are encouraged to understand the need for a common code and to follow it from conviction rather than because of consequences or sanctions. Moral development, based on Christian principles, should enable pupils to become increasingly responsible for their own actions and behaviour.
Development in this area enables pupils to become conscientious participants in firstly, the society of the family and then, progressively, the class, the school and the wider community. Provision for social development should balance the positive, satisfying elements of belonging to a group or society with the demands and obligations such membership requires.
The school, but in particular the classroom, provides a suitable environment for promoting social development within a Christian context. Pupils learn to lead, to use their initiative and to use individual skills and strengths when working together towards a common goal. The ability to be led, to support others and to recognise the different skills of other group members can be developed when children work co-operatively.
Cultural development relates to the children recognising and celebrating their own culture and broadening their aspirations and horizons whilst maintaining the balance between the two so as not to enforce stereotypes. It is also to do with valuing and celebrating the diversity of beliefs, other systems of social values and aesthetic experiences.
In order to make provision for cultural development existing knowledge, interests and experiences are strengthened and then built upon further. In this way pupils gain a deeper understanding of their own culture and the factors which influence it and gain a broader understanding of other cultures and cultural influences. All areas of the curriculum can be used to promote and develop cultural awareness, although the arts, music, dance, drama and art are those used the more frequently.
Promoting British Values
As a result of our duty to promote British values, pupils are expected to gain:
- An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
- An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
- An understanding that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence
- An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination
Pupil voice is significant at Stapeley Broad Lane CE Primary School. Our pupil-elected school council plays a strong role in our school. They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the school a better place to learn. Additionally, House Captains are elected each year by the whole school in a democratic election process. Pupils have a great amount of input in regards to what and how they learn as they decide upon the topic they would like to learn about each half term and the teachers use this to inform planning. The pupil’s voice is also heard through various other pupil councils, pupil conferencing and through pupil questionnaires. We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.
The Rule of Law
Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies, in classes, around the school and through our curriculum. The involvement of our pupils in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through SMSC questions and circle times, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including the police, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils. Opportunities for children to take more responsibility around the school are encouraged and such roles as Class Librarians, Register Monitors and Recycling Officers are available.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged and valued. We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests and skills. Through our E-Safety days, we educate children on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. In weekly circle times, all children are encouraged to share their feelings in a safe way. Children take responsibility to help resolve conflicts and repair relationships. At Stapeley Broad Lane CE Primary School, we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. The children learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the School and in the classrooms. Children are encouraged to showcase their work in celebration assembly. Each class draws up a set of class rules or a class agreement each year and use this to set the tone for the level of respect that is expected throughout the year. Through Special Focus Days, E-Safety Days and Anti- Bullying week, the children are taught to value differences in themselves and others and most importantly to show respect to all. Restorative Justice meetings facilitate opportunities for children to show respect to each other’s beliefs, feelings and opinions by given each child a forum to share these on and an expectation that these must be listened to.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Stapeley Broad Lane CE Primary School follows the Cheshire East RE agreed syllabus which ensures that all children learn about the main religions and teaches respect and understanding for the cultures, beliefs, opinions and traditions or others. We have included a number of faiths into our syllabus to provide pupils with a knowledge and understanding of the main world faiths. Class assemblies also help to contribute to the knowledge of special occasions, beliefs and customs. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future. We use opportunities such as the Olympics and current news and events from around the world to help the children study and learn about life and cultures in different countries.